Ruling the Waves? The Role of the Navy 1815-1870

Introduction
After the Napoleonic Wars, the British Empire became the world’s leading power, controlling one quarter of the world’s population and one third of the land area. It enforced a Pax Britannica, encouraged trade, and battled rampant piracy. Modest advances in medicine and the understanding of human anatomy and disease prevention were also applicable to the 1800s, and were partly responsible for rapidly accelerating population growth in the western world. The introduction of railroads provided the first major advancement in land transportation for centuries, and their placement and application radically altered the ways people could live and rapidly and reliably obtain necessary commodities, fueling major urbanization movements in countries across the globe. Numerous cities worldwide surpassed populations of a million or more during this century.

The Navy’s policing role
Slavery was greatly reduced around the world. Following a successful slave revolt in Haiti, Britain forced the Barbary pirates to halt their practice of kidnapping and enslaving Europeans, banned slavery throughout its domain, and charged its navy with ending the global slave trade. Britain abolished slavery in 1834 in all its domains.
Between 1793 and 1815 the Royal Navy lost 344 vessels due to non-combat causes: 75 by foundering, 254 shipwrecked and 15 from accidental burnings or explosions. In the same period it lost 103,660 seamen: 84,440 by disease and accidents, 12,680 by shipwreck or foundering, and 6,540 by enemy action.
During the 19th century the Royal Navy (1) enforced a ban on the slave trade, (2) acted to suppress piracy, and (3) continued to map the world. To this day, Admiralty charts are maintained by the Royal Navy. (4) Royal Navy vessels on surveying missions carried out extensive scientific work. Charles Darwin travelled around the world on HMS Beagle, making scientific observations which led him to the theory of evolution.

The navy as a Rapid Response unit
Here are some of the wars of the period Which of these are significant for the Navy (or British Empire development)?
• 1814-1816 The Gurkha War
• 1814-1816 Ashanti Invasion of the Gold Coast
• 1814-1824 San Martin’s War
• 1814-1826 Chilean War of Independence
• 1815 Second Barbary War
• 1815-1817 Second Serbian Uprising
• 1817-1864 Caucasian War
• 1817-1818 Third Anglo-Maratha War
• 1817-1819 Zulu Civil War
• 1817-1858 Seminole Wars
o 1817-1818 First Seminole War
o 1835-1842 Second Seminole War
o 1855-1858 Third Seminole War
• 1818-1819 5th Cape Frontier War
• 1818-1828 Zulu Wars of Conquest
1820 – 1829
• 1820-1823 Spanish Civil War, 1820–1823
• 1821-1831 Greek War of Independence
• 1821-1823 Turko-Persian War
• 1821-1837 Padri War in Indonesia
• 1822-1844 Haitian Invasion of the Dominican Republic
• 1823-1826 First Burmese War
• 1824 Peruvian War of Independence
• 1825-1828 Russo-Persian War, 1825–1828
• 1825-1828 Argentina-Brazil War, Brazil against Argentina Confederation and Uruguayan partisans.
• 1825-1830 Java War
• 1828-1829 Gran Colombia-Peru War
• 1828-1834 Liberal Wars
• 1828-1829 Russo-Turkish War, 1828–1829
1830 – 1839
• 1830 July Revolution in France
• 1830-1831 Polish-Russian war following November Uprising
• 1830-1839 Belgian Revolution and the Ten days campaign
• 1831-1834 Siamese-Vietnamese War
• 1832 Black Hawk War
• 1832-1841 Egyptian–Ottoman War
• 1833-1840 First Carlist War
• 1834-1836 6th Cape Frontier War
• 1835 Toledo War
• 1835-1836 Texas Revolution
• 1835-1845 War of Tatters
• 1836-1839 War of the Confederation
• 1837-1838 Patriot War
• 1837-1838 Rebellions of 1837 in Canada
o 1837-1838 Lower Canada Rebellion
o 1837-1838 Upper Canada Rebellion
• 1838 Zulu–Boer War
• 1838 Pastry War
• 1838-1839 Aroostook War
• 1839 Honey War
• 1839-1842 First Anglo-Afghan War
• 1839-1842 First Opium War
1840 – 1849
• 1841-1845 Siamese-Vietnamese War
• 1843-1872 New Zealand Wars
• 1843-1849 Dominican War of Independence
• 1845-1846 First Anglo-Sikh War
• 1846 7th Cape Frontier War
• 1846-1849 Second Carlist War
• 1848-1849 Second Anglo-Sikh War
• 1848-1851 First Schleswig War (aka First Danish-German War, aka Three Years’ War)
1850 – 1859
• 1851-1853 8th Cape Frontier War
• 1852 Second Burmese War
• 1853-1856 Crimean War
• 1856-1857 Campaign of 1856-1857
• 1856-1860 Second Opium War
• 1856-1857 Anglo-Persian War
• 1857-1858 Indian Mutiny
• 1857-1858 Utah War
• 1857-1901 Caste War of Yucatán
• 1859 Austro-Sardinian War
1860 – 1869
• 1860-1873 Russian Conquests of Central Asia
• 1860-1861 Second Maori War
• 1861-1865 American Civil War
• 1863 Anglo-Satsuma War
• 1863-1865 January Uprising in Poland.
• 1863-1868 Japanese Civil War
• 1863-1866 Third Maori War
• 1864 Second Schleswig War (aka Second Danish-German War)
• 1864-1868 Snake War
• 1864-1870 War of the Triple Alliance (aka Paraguay War)
• 1865-1866 Chincha Islands War (Spain against Chile and Peru)
• 1866 Austro-Prussian War (aka Seven Weeks War)
• 1866-1868 Red Cloud’s War
• 1868-1869 Boshin War in Japan
• 1868-1878 Ten Years’ War
1870 – 1879
• 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War

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