Divide and conquer is a military and political tactic used to defeat your enemies and create a situation in which rule comes easier. The term is derived from the latin, divide et impera. It more literally translates to defeat in detail, although I’ve more commonly heard it referred to as divide and conquer.
I like this description of it’s use that I found on the Internet:
- breaking up power alliances into smaller chunks that are easier to subdue/manage
- preventing small power groups from linking up and becoming more powerful