divide and rule
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Related to divide and rule: Divide and conquer
divide and rule (or conquer)the policy of maintaining supremacy over your opponents by encouraging dissent between them, thereby preventing them from uniting against you.
This is a maxim associated with a number of rulers, and is found in Latin as divide et impera and in German as entzwei und gebiete . Since the early 17th century, English writers have often wrongly attributed it to the Italian political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli ( 1469–1527 ).