Guidelines for Contributors 
Information for prospective authors wishing to contribute to the RUSI Journal and other RUSI publications

Read more
Advertise with the RUSI Journal 
The RUSI Journal reaches an international and influential audience of defence and international security professionals.

To advertise, email Tim Dumas

Download the media pack and rate card
Purchase articles

Not a member of RUSI? To purchase individual RUSI Journal articles from this issue, or from our archive, click here.

TandF Online

End of the continental century

RUSI Journal, Jun 1998, Vol. 143, No. 3 By Robert Fry

It is natural at the end of the century to look back at trends and developments
over tIre last hundred years. That this process should coincide n,ith a dramatic
period of strategic change highlights the similarities between the end of this
century and the last. Looking at the changes in strategic climate, Brigadier Robert Fry here points out the increasing polarisation of maritime and continental strategies at the end of the 19th century epitomised in the works of Alfred Thayer Mahan and Sir Halford Mackinder. While Mahan's work was characterised by a retrospective description of already defunct maritime power, Mackinder was far more forward looking in his understanding of the increasing importance off technological developments in land warfare. Thus as one wrote the obituary to the `Columbian era', the other introduced the 'Continental Cer '. With the triumph of liberal democracy as perhaps the cro,vning development of the latter part of this century, and the attendant dominace of market economics, the strategic landscape has changed yet again to one of globalisation and interdependence, requiring expeditiory forces and secure home defences rather than the continental strategies of yesteryear. This then, Brigadier Fry concludes, is the end of the Continental Century, requiring a maritime national strategy to meet the challenges of new Columbian age.

Continue reading


If you are a member or registered user, please login and access this and other articles

Request password reminder

Become a Member

To access this article, become a member of RUSI and benefit from a wide range of other membership benefits

RUSI Annual Report
RUSI crest 2
Access the 2014-2015 Annual Report for the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies
RUSI Library of Military History
Library Home Card
A unique collection of national historical and cultural importance.
New Benefits
Membership badge
A greater range of membership packages announced
Podcast badge
Follow RUSI through Twitter, Facebook and RSS feeds