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Saber and Scroll

Abstract

US Navy Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan’s and Theodore Roosevelt’s close relationship and regular correspondence after 1890 and Roosevelt’s growing support for an ocean-going Navy as Assistant Secretary of the Navy and President led some naval historians and Roosevelt biographers to believe that Mahan heavily influenced Roosevelt in the development of his ideas about sea power and an ocean-going navy. However, Mahan’s influence on Roosevelt was not as extensive as these authors have claimed as Roosevelt, by the early 1890s, already had well-formed ideas about the importance of seapower, the need for the United States to have a great navy, and its use on the world’s oceans.

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