The education and careers of naval officers in the long eighteenth century: an international perspective
2015 (English)In: Journal of Maritime Research, ISSN 1697-4840, E-ISSN 1697-9133, Vol. 17, no 1, 17-33 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
During the long eighteenth century, European navies saw the emergence of a class of highly specialised and professionalised naval officers. These officers were in command of ships and squadrons at major naval battles, led explorations, and in some countries also served ashore as administrators of admiralties and dockyards. Officer training differed from country to country, and careers in different navies were subject to a variety of systems of ranks and promotions that relied both on cultural and on systemic factors. This article explores how the three northern European nations of Sweden, Denmark and Britain developed systems suited to the particular demands of their social and political situations. It presents the results of new research in a comparative context to examine the factors that shaped the development of officer training systems and the criteria used for determining officers' career prospects. Shore-based academies are a useful point of comparison: despite a common curriculum, the development and significance of each navy's academy varied widely. All three navies struggled with the tension between the fundamental demands of life at sea and the behavioural and educational expectations of gentlemen officers. By focusing in particular on officer training, this article provides a variety of perspectives on the origins, emergence, and development of professionalism and expertise in the eighteenth-century maritime world.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 17, no 1, 17-33 p.
Royal Navy, Danish Navy, Swedish Navy, officer training, eighteenth century, professionalism, seamanship, education
Research subject History
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-126925DOI: 10.1080/21533369.2015.1024515OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-126925DiVA: diva2:903902