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.
"Strategy as Jeremy Black conceives it is a much more general term than is suggested by many military definitions: it cannot be confined to operations on the battlefield, but must be extended to include political and diplomatic maneuvers and the impact of public opinion. This, he believes, is essential to understanding the nature of warfare, since armies cannot be treated in isolation from the rest of public life...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. I am sure that it will not elicit universal agreement; but, equally, it cannot be ignored." Alan Forrest, author of Napoleon: Life, Legacy, and Image: A Biography
Preface List of Abbreviations Introduction 1. The Struggle for Power 2. The Reach for World Empire: Britain, 1700-83 3. The Strategy of the Ancien Regime: 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 9. Conclusions 10. Postscript: Strategy and Military History Selected Further Reading Index