Venice and Britain

My computer went down on Thursday last – the perils of living in a technological society, eh?

I’ve been reading a book about the history of Venice. It’s a subject which fascinates me – perhaps because it’s a sort of miniature version of British history. Sea power was the life-blood of Venice – without it it was lost. The same was true for Britain. You wouldn’t guess it from the way it’s taught in many history classrooms, but Britain’s history simply makes no sense without understanding that it was the fact that we are an island which made us the first democracy, the first industrial power, the builder of a ridiculously large empire. The ubiquity of the English language around the world is a direct result of the fact that it first developed on an island.

Does anyone know of a comparative study of sea power in world history?
Did I say that we were the first democracy? Of course we weren’t. That was ancient Athens. Another sea power.

By Peter Britton