DUNKIRK AND TANGIER
IT has come to be the received opinion that Cromwell's influence on English history was almost wholly negative. He broke down much that cumbered the ground, but of the structure he strove to raise on the ruins practically nothing, it is said, survived him. In all that concerns society, government, and religion, there is so much to support the judgment that it will probably stand, yet it is far from giving the whole truth. If it were applied to foreign affairs, so far from being just, it would involve a serious omission. In all that concerned the British attitude to the outside world he changed much and left much behind him. He found his country impotent and neglected in the councils of Europe, and taught her how to speak with a commanding voice. He gave her, in the first place, the instrument --a perfected navy in the true modern sense--a navy of war ships wholly independent of merchant auxiliaries--a thing which had never yet been seen in modern times. It was a stride as great as that which Drake and his fellows made when they perfected a sailing navy, and the results for England were no less invigorating. But Cromwell gave still more. He gave the sentiment for using the instrument. For he bequeathed to the restored monarchy
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Publication information: Book title: England in the Mediterranean:A Study of the Rise and Influence of British Power within the Straits 1603-1713. Volume: 2. Contributors: Julian S. Corbett - Author. Publisher: Longmans Green. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1904. Page number: 1.