The Milne Papers. Papers of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Alexander Milne 1806-1896, Volume II, 1860-1862

Vol 162 (2015), Professor J. Beeler

Centred upon a man who never participated in combat operations during his sixty-year naval career, this volume depicts the routine peacetime operations of the mid-Victorian Royal Navy, operations that have received short shrift in naval histories, even though they have constituted the bulk of the service’s mission during the past two centuries.  Not surprisingly, the Navy operated in support of the liberal state and its agenda, as many of the documents in this collection make clear. Following the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, both Britain and the United States moved quickly to exploit new trade opportunities and for the next seventy years it was the Royal Navy that enforced the Doctrine, to the benefit of British commercial interests, but also to those of the United States and of any other country engaged in legitimate trade in the hemisphere. The service took the lead in combating piracy and the slave trade, and upheld the rule of law across global trade routes. The documents that comprise this volume therefore deal with topics of interest to scholars of international relations, Anglo-American affairs, the U.S. Civil War and the slave trade. Other aspects addressed include naval medicine, steam-era logistics and other elements of the Royal Navy’s modernization pertaining to its materiel, personnel, and administration.

This collection is drawn principally from two sources: the Milne Papers deposited in the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, and the Admiralty Papers in the Public Records Office.

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About John Beeler

John Beeler was born on 1 August 1916 at Franklin, Ohio. He obtained both BA and MA at the Ohio University, and his PhD at Cornell University. He served in the US Navy in both World War II and the Korean War. He is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

His publications include
• Warfare in England, 1066 – 1189 (Cornell University Press, 1966).
• The Milne Papers 2 volumes (Navy Records Society, 2004 and 2015).