Florence a man unknown to either Erasmus or More, Niccolo. Machiavelli, out applications of Machiavelli's ideas in The Discourses and The Prince and ignore Machiavelli's analysis of what he calls the "sociological" jungle that preceded. Keywords: ethics, morality, politics, Machiavellianism, Niccolo Machiavelli. 1. . One can, of course, analyze theoretical passages from the Prince, pointing. This paper uses the concept of power to analyze Machiavelli's The Prince and Of course, this conclusion seems highly paradoxical since Niccolò Machiavelli.
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An Analysis of Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince By Ben Worthy with Riley Quinn WAYS IN TO THE TEXT Key Points • Niccolò Machiavelli (–) was an. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli. To the great Lorenzo Di Piero De Medici. Those who try to obtain the favourable attention of a prince are accustomed to come. feudal times, notes Padgett, politics was “essentially the politics of feuding In this opening letter that is a preface to the Prince, Machiavelli writes to the young.
When Machiavelli was young, the city was dominated by a rich family: the Medicis. For the next 19 years, the city was governed as a republic. Machiavelli was 25 and working as a civil servant employed by the Florentine government when this happened. At the age of 29, he was made head of the second chancery, giving him responsibility for overseeing foreign affairs in the territories that Florence controlled. It was an important role, because the republic was threatened both by other city-states and by aggressive European powers like France.
His ideas have had a huge impact and are still debated today. What Does The Prince Say? Basing his discussion on historical and contemporary political leaders, he asks probing questions. How should rulers rule? What is the nature of power?
Will a prince who is generous, trusting and honest actually manage to take power? Ethical princes would have both success in this world and paradise in the next. Machiavelli is not so sure.
He uses the evidence of history to prove that princes who can lie, cheat and murder have a tendency to succeed. The man displaying necessita will kill his enemies without hesitation after they become enemies.
The third factor is fortuna. Machiavelli believed that politics was the realm of action, not the realm of morals. Political fortune favors those who act proactively and decisively to advance themselves. Machiavelli argues that morality, or behaving in a moral way, hinders a ruler. If everyone acted morally, morals would not be a disadvantage.
But in a world where people are willing to be ruthless, a moral prince would make himself, and his state, vulnerable. His morals might make him hesitate to act—and this could cost him everything. Yet Machiavelli does not say that princes should forget morality completely. Instead, he argues that successful princes should pretend to be moral. Machiavelli writes that reforming an existing order is one of the most dangerous and difficult things a prince can do.
Part of the reason is that people are naturally resistant to change and reform. Those who benefited from the old order will resist change very fiercely. By contrast, those who can benefit from the new order will be less fierce in their support, because the new order is unfamiliar and they are not certain it will live up to its promises.
Moreover, it is impossible for the prince to satisfy everybody's expectations.
Inevitably, he will disappoint some of his followers. Therefore, a prince must have the means to force his supporters to keep supporting him even when they start having second thoughts, otherwise he will lose his power. Only armed prophets, like Moses, succeed in bringing lasting change. Machiavelli claims that Moses killed uncountable numbers of his own people in order to enforce his will. Machiavelli was not the first thinker to notice this pattern.
Allan Gilbert wrote: "In wishing new laws and yet seeing danger in them Machiavelli was not himself an innovator,"  because this idea was traditional and could be found in Aristotle 's writings. But Machiavelli went much further than any other author in his emphasis on this aim, and Gilbert associates Machiavelli's emphasis upon such drastic aims with the level of corruption to be found in Italy. He does not command the loyalty of the armies and officials that maintain his authority, and these can be withdrawn from him at a whim.
Having risen the easy way, it is not even certain such a prince has the skill and strength to stand on his own feet. This is not necessarily true in every case. Machiavelli cites Cesare Borgia as an example of a lucky prince who escaped this pattern. Through cunning political maneuvers, he managed to secure his power base. Cesare was made commander of the papal armies by his father, Pope Alexander VI , but was also heavily dependent on mercenary armies loyal to the Orsini brothers and the support of the French king.
Borgia won over the allegiance of the Orsini brothers' followers with better pay and prestigious government posts. To pacify the Romagna, he sent in his henchman, Remirro de Orco, to commit acts of violence. When Remirro started to become hated for his actions, Borgia responded by ordering him to be "cut in two" to show the people that the cruelty was not from him, although it was. When it looked as though the king of France would abandon him, Borgia sought new alliances.
Finally, Machiavelli makes a point that bringing new benefits to a conquered people will not be enough to cancel the memory of old injuries, an idea Allan Gilbert said can be found in Tacitus and Seneca the Younger.
Machiavelli's offers two rulers to imitate, Agathocles of Syracuse , and Oliverotto Euffreducci. After Agathocles became Praetor of Syracuse, he called a meeting of the city's elite. At his signal, his soldiers killed all the senators and the wealthiest citizens, completely destroying the old oligarchy. He declared himself ruler with no opposition.
So secure was his power that he could afford to absent himself to go off on military campaigns in Africa. Machiavelli then states that the behavior of Agathocles is not simply virtue, as he says, "Yet one cannot call it virtue to kill one's citizens, betray one's friends, to be without faith, without mercy, without religion; these modes can enable one to acquire empire, but not glory.
Thus, one cannot attribute to fortune or virtue what he achieved without either. After he laid siege to the city and terrified the citizenry, he had then set himself to be ruler of the city.
However, in an ironic twist, Oliverotto was killed the same way his opponents were, as Cesare Borgia had him strangled after he invited Oliverotto to a friendly setting. Machiavelli advises that a prince should carefully calculate all the wicked deeds he needs to do to secure his power, and then execute them all in one stroke, such that he need not commit any more wickedness for the rest of his reign.
In this way, his subjects will slowly forget his cruel deeds and his reputation can recover. Princes who fail to do this, who hesitate in their ruthlessness, find that their problems mushroom over time and they are forced to commit wicked deeds throughout their reign.
Thus they continuously mar their reputations and alienate their people. Gilbert —55 remarks that this chapter is even less traditional than those it follows, not only in its treatment of criminal behavior, but also in the advice to take power from people at a stroke, noting that precisely the opposite had been advised by Aristotle in his Politics 5.
On the other hand, Gilbert shows that another piece of advice in this chapter, to give benefits when it will not appear forced, was traditional. Becoming a prince by the selection of one's fellow citizens Chapter 9 [ edit ] A "civil principality" is one in which a citizen comes to power "not through crime or other intolerable violence", but by the support of his fellow citizens. Machiavelli makes an important distinction between two groups that are present in every city, and have very different appetites driving them: the "great" and the "people".
The "great" wish to oppress and rule the "people", while the "people" wish not to be ruled or oppressed. A principality is not the only outcome possible from these appetites, because it can also lead to either "liberty" or "license".
A principality is put into place either by the "great" or the "people" when they have the opportunity to take power, but find resistance from the other side. They assign a leader who can be popular to the people while the great benefit, or a strong authority defending the people against the great. Machiavelli goes on to say that a prince who obtains power through the support of the nobles has a harder time staying in power than someone who is chosen by the common people; since the former finds himself surrounded by people who consider themselves his equals.
He has to resort to malevolent measures to satisfy the nobles. One cannot by fair dealing, and without injury to others, satisfy the nobles, but you can satisfy the people, for their object is more righteous than that of the nobles, the latter wishing to oppress, while the former only desire not to be oppressed. Also a prince cannot afford to keep the common people hostile as they are larger in number while the nobles smaller. Therefore the great should be made and unmade every day.
There are two types of great people that might be encountered: Those who are bound to the prince. Concerning these it is important to distinguish between two types of obligated great people, those who are rapacious and those who are not.
It is the latter who can and should be honoured. Those who are not bound to the new prince. Once again these need to be divided into two types: those with a weak spirit a prince can make use of them if they are of good counsel and those who shun being bound because of their own ambition these should be watched and feared as enemies.
How to win over people depends on circumstances. Machiavelli advises: Do not get frightened in adversity. One should make sure that the people need the prince, especially if a time of need should come.
How to judge the strength of principalities Chapter 10 [ edit ] The way to judge the strength of a princedom is to see whether it can defend itself, or whether it needs to depend on allies. This does not just mean that the cities should be prepared and the people trained; a prince who is hated is also exposed.
Ecclesiastical principates Chapter 11 [ edit ] Leo X : a pope, but also a member of the Medici family. Machiavelli suggested they should treat the church as a princedom, as the Borgia family had, in order to conquer Italy, and found new modes and orders. This type of "princedom" refers for example explicitly to the Catholic church, which is of course not traditionally thought of as a princedom. According to Machiavelli, these are relatively easy to maintain, once founded.
They do not need to defend themselves militarily, nor to govern their subjects. Machiavelli discusses the recent history of the Church as if it were a princedom that was in competition to conquer Italy against other princes. He points to factionalism as a historical weak point in the Church, and points to the recent example of the Borgia family as a better strategy which almost worked. He then explicitly proposes that the Medici are now in a position to try the same thing.
Defense and military Chapter 12—14 [ edit ] Having discussed the various types of principalities , Machiavelli turns to the ways a state can attack other territories or defend itself. The two most essential foundations for any state, whether old or new, are sound laws and strong military forces. He should be "armed" with his own arms. However, a prince that relies solely on fortifications or on the help of others and stands on the defensive is not self-sufficient.
If he cannot raise a formidable army, but must rely on defense, he must fortify his city. A well-fortified city is unlikely to be attacked, and if it is, most armies cannot endure an extended siege. However, during a siege a virtuous prince will keep the morale of his subjects high while removing all dissenters. Thus, as long as the city is properly defended and has enough supplies, a wise prince can withstand any siege.
Machiavelli stands strongly against the use of mercenaries , and in this he was innovative, and he also had personal experience in Florence. He believes they are useless to a ruler because they are undisciplined, cowardly, and without any loyalty, being motivated only by money.
Machiavelli also warns against using auxiliary forces, troops borrowed from an ally, because if they win, the employer is under their favor and if they lose, he is ruined. Auxiliary forces are more dangerous than mercenary forces because they are united and controlled by capable leaders who may turn against the employer.
The main concern for a prince should be war, or the preparation thereof, not books. Through war a hereditary prince maintains his power or a private citizen rises to power. Machiavelli advises that a prince must frequently hunt in order to keep his body fit and learn the landscape surrounding his kingdom.
Through this, he can best learn how to protect his territory and advance upon others. Transition from Ch. Punish offenders 2. Expose suspects 3. Do your friends in anyway. Conquered territory, Mr. Conquered once or twice explicit eventually. Develops Ch. Human beings have moral obligations. Archetype- violation of moral principles benefits both sides, beneficial to territory. Weaken powers- keep attached; 2. Middle Romans- Political ills are a consumptive fever.
Difficult to diagnose. Former harder to conquer, easier to hold Unity. Moses- bring people back to first principals; Religion in politics, armed prophets. If you depend on the arms of others, security is unsure; Existing order of modes- replace it with the new usurpers of the old order will support you more to bring about the new order.
Kindlier measures. Cruel in the beginning, but ended up living happily ever after. Observe first mode can reconcile at the end. Thus, use cruelty in the beginning, then turn to kindlier measures.