27 september 2019: Symposium Navies, states and ideologies, 1500-1815

Early modern navies were not just real entities, with ships, dockyards, officers, sailors and bureaucracies, but also cultural constructs. Because navies were manifestations of the state, and required the permanent investment of a significant percentage of the nation’s fiscal resources, it was only natural that the composition, financing and organization of the fleet, and the strategies underlying its operations, were ideologized for political and commercial purposes. Regimes used art, architecture, monuments, printed news and magnificent ships to associate themselves with sea power, emphasizing how a strong fleet served the nation’s interests. Individual politicians, as well as officers, used similar propagandistic tools to underline their own social-political relevance. Painters, engravers, poets and writers eagerly catered for these political agendas, while at the same time feeding the public’s appetite for naval stories. Thus, sea power was constantly ideologized within the overarching context of national identities. These ideologies created a shared sense of purpose, which explains why nations were prepared to sacrifice so much to sustain their naval capacity.

This politico-cultural approach of sea power is new, at least in the Netherlands. For this reason, the Netherlands Institute of Military History and Museum Vlaardingen have decided to jointly organize a symposium. Four distinguished historians will explain how these naval ideologies came to be, what their socio-political functions were, and how they tied in with national identities. Alan James (King’s College London) is a specialist on the fleet of the Sunking Louis XIV. David Davies is the greatest expert on the Royal Navy in the second half of the seventeenth century. Gijs Rommelse (University of Leicester) focused on Dutch naval ideology. Professor Andrew Lambert (King’s College London) has been called ‘one of the most eminent naval historians of our age’. Drawing from his latest book, he will lecture on his fascinating concept of ‘seapower states’.

Wanneer: 27 September 2019, 13.30-17.30

Waar: Museum Vlaardingen, Westhavenkade 54, 3131 AG Vlaardingen

Deelname: € 7,50


13.30: Inloop

14.00: Léanne Selles (directeur Museum Vlaardingen) – Welkom

14.10: Professor Michel van Groesen (chair)– Introduction

14.20: Dr. David Davies, 'Myths and broadsides in the naval ideology of the Later Stuart Age: or, how to make Christopher Columbus an Englishman'

14.55: Dr. Alan James, ‘Imagining a Royal Navy in France: the imperial ambitions of Louis XIV’.

15.30: Dr. Gijs Rommelse, ‘National flags as key components in Dutch naval ideology, 1600-1800’

16.05: Koffie en thee

16.20: Professor Andrew Lambert, ‘Seapower states as culture and identity’

17.00: Vragen en discussie

17.30: Borrel

U kunt zich aanmelden via het aanmeldformulier. Na aanmelding ontvangt u per email het verzoek € 7,50 over te maken. Hiermee bekostigen wij de koffie en thee, en de borrel. Na ontvangst van dit bedrag noteren wij u graag op de gastenlijst.

Het symposium wordt mede mogelijk gemaakt door het Delta Hotel in Vlaardingen. Voorafgaand aan het symposium kunt u gebruikmaken van een speciaal luncharrangement in het Delta Hotel (Vanaf 12.00 uur, Maasboulevard 15, 3133 AK Vlaardingen). Via het inschrijfformulier kunt u zich hiervoor aanmelden.