Military strategy takes place as much on broad national and international stages as on battlefields. In a brilliant reimagining of the impetus and scope of eighteenth-century warfare, historian Jeremy Black takes us far and wide, from the battlefields and global maneuvers in North America and Europe to the military machinations and plotting of such Asian powers as China, Japan, Burma, Vietnam, and Siam. Europeans coined the term "strategy" only two centuries ago, but strategy as a concept has been practiced globally throughout history. Taking issue with traditional military historians, Black argues persuasively that strategy was as much political as battlefield tactics and that plotting power did not always involve outright warfare but also global considerations of alliance building, trade agreements, and intimidation.
List of Abbreviations
1. The Struggle for Power
2. The Reach for World Empire: Britain, 1700-83
3. The Strategy of the Ancien Régime: France 1700-89
4. The Flow of Ideas
5. The Strategy of Continental Empires
6. The Strategy of the "Barbarians"
7. The Rise of Republican Strategies, 1775-1800
8. Imperial Imaginings, 1783-1800
10. Postscript: Strategy and Military History
Selected Further Reading
Over the last fifty years, strategy and strategic culture have become embedded in the discourse of political scientists and historians of diplomacy and warfare. While the debate goes on, surprisingly little attention has been paid to how contemporaries in previous centuries carried out the functions that are now incorporated in these two powerful terms. Now Jeremy Black has provided a refreshing new look at how meanings behind these terms were understood and employed in the eighteenth century. With his vast knowledge and insights of the period, he is able to take us on a wide-ranging exploration that provides stimulating food for thought for historians of all periods.
author of The Emergence of Britain's Global Naval Supremacy: The War of 1739-1748
This is both an overview of eighteenth-century warfare and an interpretation of how war was made; a polemical contribution to a debate on the nature of strategy; and a contribution to global history.
author of Napoleon: Life, Legacy, and Image: A Biography