Date of Award

Summer 1999

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Annette Finley-Croswhite

Committee Member

Chandra de Silva

Committee Member

Kathy Pearson

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H47 L678


Henri IV won the throne of France as a feat of arms in a time of great social, religious, economic and military transformation. Militarily, Henri has generally been regarded as a gallant, opportunistic and lucky cavalry commander whose remarkable sense of timing and flexible personal principles enabled him to play a major role in the ending of the Wars of Religion in France. Current debate over the "Military Revolution" of the sixteenth century and the "Revolution in Military Affairs" of the twentieth has renewed interest in both the characters and the techniques of warfare in transformation.

New approaches to military methodology therefore stimulate renewed interest in both the time and the techniques of Henri IV and makes this a particularly relevant moment to subject him to a re-assessment as a military commander. Viewed from the empathetic vantage point provided by comparable transformational periods, it becomes clear that Henri's military achievement rested not so much upon luck and opportunism as upon his outstanding ability as a military commander in a time of both civil war and asymmetrical warfare against Europe's only superpower, Spain.

Henri IV executed highly successful and sophisticated campaigns with weapons derived from emerging technology and tactics, techniques and procedures that were continually evolving. He was the model of the sixteenth-century practitioner of the holistic technique of battle, campaign, deterrence and information dominance that capitalized on the combination of the two major traditions of warfare in France: the chivalric tradition of leadership and arms and the more scientific method of the condottiere.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).