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Machiavelli's The Prince

Uploaded by cevster on Mar 20, 2004

The Prince
By Niccolo Machiavelli

Content Summary:

The Prince, written in the early sixteenth century, had an impact greater than the author, Niccolo Machiavelli, could probably imagined. It begins by relating how new and hereditary principalities are to be governed and how to deal with citizens in new principalities. One of his reoccurring ideas is the thought of keeping the people happy and on the sovereign’s side, as kingdom cannot be kept without the support of the people. He believed it was better to keep them happy or have them dead so as not to rebel against the prince. He asserts that princes should move to the area they wish to rule, rather than stay in a distant country, in order to solve problems more quickly and efficiently. The next section relates to how to keep rule of areas conquered by various means. His ideas of conduct vary greatly by how rule was obtained. He believed that cities gained by one’s own ability or arms should have great difficulty in establishing sovereignty and laws, but once through that stage should have no trouble keeping it. Those who become princes by good fortune have the exact opposite position; they will rise to the top with ease, but will have great trouble in staying there. With the new prince, the people will accuse him of not having the right to be prince unless he shows himself to be a man of great worth in laying down the foundations of his rule when he first comes to power. He regards princes who gain their power by wickedness by saying that they will be destroyed unless their wicked deeds cease and they are only carried out in time of need. In the art of war, the prince should be capable and willing to take on enemies, but should not be eager to have war. Peace displeases soldiers and pleases the people; war displeases the people and pleases the soldiers. The book goes on to say that mercenaries and auxiliary armies should be avoided, as they will cause you to lose control and power if you do win and make you more likely to lose. He firmly believes that there should be a balance between love and fear for the prince: love to keep them loyal, and fear to keep them in line. He thought that if it was possible, be loved, if it was not possible,...

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Uploaded by:   cevster

Date:   03/20/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   3 pages (721 words)

Views:   13109

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