empire of the seas

programme information


4 x 60'

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Episode Information

For four centuries, the Navy made Britain the most powerful nation on earth – the true ruler of the waves. But its impact goes way beyond battles on the high seas. This is the story of how the Royal Navy shaped the politics, culture, and economy of Britain, leaving its imprint on everything from our landscape, to our democracy and even our very identity. At its peak, it became the driving force behind the spread of a system of trade and values which would change the world forever. And then it lost it all… In four action-packed episodes, and with unique access to the modern fleet, passionate historian and sailor Dan Snow tells the epic story of Britain’s history through the prism of her greatest institution. Dan ditches the traditional forensic examination of battle tactics to present a surprising, fresh and revelatory perspective on naval history that you’ve never seen before. Travelling across oceans and around the world, he re-injects the romance into Britain’s seafaring past, uncovering fascinating vignettes of audacious endeavour and hidden human stories behind the set-piece battles.

Episode Titles

How the Navy Made Britian Free (1511 - 1694) How the Navy Made Us Rich (1694 - 1759) How the Navy Forgded an Empire (1759 - 1805)
How the Navy Changed the World (1805 - 1916)

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