Thinking outside the gundeck: maritime history, the royal navy, and the outbreak of British civil war, 1625-1642
Blakemore, Richard J.
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Maritime history seems to be suffering an identity crisis, rising in popularity but unsure of its place within historical scholarship and divided in approach. Seafarers, as a consequence, have remained marginal within mainstream history. This article argues that only by integrating the study of maritime topics into wider historical debates can maritime history overcome these doubts, taking as a case study the role of seafarers and the navy in British politics during 1625−42. First examining previous interpretations offered by scholars, largely based on a conception of seafarers as politically and socially isolated from developments ashore, the article then reassesses the available evidence for popular political activity within the maritime community. It argues that seafarers were deeply involved in the political and religious divisions that drove Britain into civil war in 1642; and, more broadly, that scholars should recognize the importance of both local and global approaches to maritime history – that they should think outside the gundeck.
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Thinking outside the gundeck: maritime history, the royal navy and the outbreak of British civil war, 1625–1642, Historical Research, vol. 87 no. 236 (2014), pp. 251-274, which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1468-2281.12049/full. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Vol. 87, No. 236, pp. 251-274