Accessibility navigation

Strategy before Clausewitz: linking warfare and statecraft, 1400-1830

Heuser, B. (2017) Strategy before Clausewitz: linking warfare and statecraft, 1400-1830. Routledge, Abingdon. ISBN 9781138290907

Text - Accepted Version
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.


The theorising and practice of Strategy in a modern sense did not begin only with Napoleon and Clausewitz. The case studies of this book show that strategic thinking existed well before then, despite the lack of a commonly agreed word for it, if we define strategy with Kimberly Kagan as involving a ‘the setting of a state’s objectives and of priorities among those objectives’, and the allocation of limited resources in pursuit of them. The book uses a variety of approaches. The Introduction explores the strategic thinking of three monarchs whose biographers have claimed to have identified this in their warfare: Edward III of England, Philip II of Spain, and Louis XIV of France. Then the focus is on strategy-making in the Anglo-Spanish War of 1585-1604, the first in which action spanned the globe. Meanwhile, many contemporaries saw no Military Revolution taking place, but sought to emulate the Ancients. A further diachronic chapter tracks the evolution of a single strategic concept – that of the rule of the sea – from Antiquity to the present. And several chapters are dedicated to the works of individual strategic thinkers, some of whom were also practitioners. These are Christine de Pizan, Lazarus Schwendi, Matthew Sutcliffe, Raimondo Montecuccoli, and Count Guibert, ending with the debts that Carl von Clausewitz owed to previous authors.

Item Type:Book
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Politics and International Relations
ID Code:69193


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation