Giovanni Botero's Della Ragion di Stato (The Reason of State): Bk.I.i. Reason Of State Defined

Giovanni Botero (c. 1544 – 1617)
Roman Catholic Priest

1. Reason of State defined 

State is a stable rule over a people and Reason of State is the knowledge of the means by which such a dominion may be founded, preserved and extended. Yet, although in the widest sense the term includes all these, it is concerned most nearly with preservation, and more nearly with extension than with foundation; for Reason of State assumes a ruler and a State (the one as artificer, the other as his material) whereas they are not assumed – indeed they are preceded – by foundation entirely and in part by extension. But the art of foundation and of extension is the same because the beginnings and the continuations are of the same nature. And although all that is done to these purposes is said to be done for Reaons of State, yet this is said rather of such actions as cannot be considered in the light of ordinary reason.

1. Reason Of State Defined
2. The Classification Of Dominion