USM Open Source History Text: The World at War: World History 1914-1945

Pre-Petroleum Era

In the pre-petroleum era, naval power depended on coal power. At the beginning of the 20th century, political and economic power depended on control of the seas and the principal sea-based trading routes. While freedom of the seas is a core principle of post-1945 liberal order, naval and commercial power on the seas is still vitally important. Indeed, the vast majority of the world economy's goods are still transported by sea to market.

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