::History of the Royal Navy

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The official history of the Royal Navy began with the formal establishment of the Royal Navy as the national naval force of the Kingdom of England in 1660, following the Restoration of King Charles II to the throne. However, for more than a thousand years before that there had been English naval forces varying in type and organization. In 1707 it became the naval force of the Kingdom of Great Britain after the Union between England and Scotland which merged the English navy with the much smaller Royal Scots Navy, although the two had begun operating together from the time of the Union of the Crowns in 1603.

Before the creation of the Royal Navy, the English navy had no defined moment of formation; it started out as a motley assortment of "King's ships" during the Middle Ages assembled only as needed and then dispersed, began to take shape as a standing navy during the 16th century, and became a regular establishment during the tumults of the 17th century. The Navy grew considerably during the global struggle with France that started in 1690 and culminated in the Napoleonic Wars, a time when the practice of fighting under sail was developed to its highest point.

The ensuing century of general peace saw considerable technological development, with sail yielding to steam and cannon supplanted by large shell-firing guns, and ending with the race to construct bigger and better battleships. That race, however, was ultimately a dead end, as aircraft carriers and submarines came to the fore and, after the successes of World War II, the Royal Navy yielded its formerly preeminent place to the United States Navy. The Royal Navy has remained one of the world's most capable navies, however, and currently operates a large fleet of modern ships.


History of the Royal Navy sections
Intro  Earliest origins 550\u20131603  The development of the single British navy   Wars with France, Spain and America, 1690\u20131815    Pax Britannica, 1815\u20131895    Age of the battleship, 1895\u20131919   World Wars, 1914\u20131945   The Navy from 1945   English navy/Royal Navy timeline and battles  See also   Notes    Further reading   External links  

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{{#invoke:Sidebar|sidebar}}

The official history of the Royal Navy began with the formal establishment of the Royal Navy as the national naval force of the Kingdom of England in 1660, following the Restoration of King Charles II to the throne. However, for more than a thousand years before that there had been English naval forces varying in type and organization. In 1707 it became the naval force of the Kingdom of Great Britain after the Union between England and Scotland which merged the English navy with the much smaller Royal Scots Navy, although the two had begun operating together from the time of the Union of the Crowns in 1603.

Before the creation of the Royal Navy, the English navy had no defined moment of formation; it started out as a motley assortment of "King's ships" during the Middle Ages assembled only as needed and then dispersed, began to take shape as a standing navy during the 16th century, and became a regular establishment during the tumults of the 17th century. The Navy grew considerably during the global struggle with France that started in 1690 and culminated in the Napoleonic Wars, a time when the practice of fighting under sail was developed to its highest point.

The ensuing century of general peace saw considerable technological development, with sail yielding to steam and cannon supplanted by large shell-firing guns, and ending with the race to construct bigger and better battleships. That race, however, was ultimately a dead end, as aircraft carriers and submarines came to the fore and, after the successes of World War II, the Royal Navy yielded its formerly preeminent place to the United States Navy. The Royal Navy has remained one of the world's most capable navies, however, and currently operates a large fleet of modern ships.


History of the Royal Navy sections
Intro  Earliest origins 550\u20131603  The development of the single British navy   Wars with France, Spain and America, 1690\u20131815    Pax Britannica, 1815\u20131895    Age of the battleship, 1895\u20131919   World Wars, 1914\u20131945   The Navy from 1945   English navy/Royal Navy timeline and battles  See also   Notes    Further reading   External links  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Earliest origins 550\u20131603
<<>>