The sentiment is Mahanite; yet such words did not emit from the mouth of Alfred Thayer Mahan. Rather, they came from Benjamin Franklin Tracy, Secretary of the Navy from 1889 to 1893-the public official who elevated to official policy the thoughts expressed somewhat later by the feisty naval intellectual.1 They reinforce the caution lest we attach sole influence to Mahan in the renaissance of American naval power in the late 19th century, There were other principals--in and out of uniform and especially a series of civilian Secretaries-who also postulated the doctrine of seapower and national grandeur upon mare liberum.
Cooling, B. Franklin
"The Making of a Navalist: Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Franklin Tracy and Seapower,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 25
, Article 7.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol25/iss7/7