Essay writing, free sample essay topics, research papers
You are welcome to search the collection of free essays and term papers. Thousands of essay topics are available. Order unique, original custom papers from our essay writing service.
Sample essay topic, essay writing: Machiavelli And The Prince - 1984 words
NOTE: Essay you see on this page is free essay, available to anyone. We strongly do not recommend using any direct quotes from these essays for credit - you will most probably be caught for copying/pasting off the Internet, as it is very easy to trace where the essay has been taken from by a plagiarism detection program. You are welcome to use these samples for your research, but if you want to be sure that your essay is 100% original and one of a kind, we highly recommend to order a custom essay from us.
Angel DiPietroProfessor Roberto SabbadiniSocial Life in Medieval and Early Modern Italy Nicolo Macchiavelli and The Prince At the end of the 14th century, Italy was still politically organized by city-states. Emerging as one of the most influential writers of the Renaissance, Niccolo Machiavelli was a political analyst,whose aim was to free italy from foreign rule, as well as to unite and strengthen the Italian citystates. Machiavelli believed Italy could not be united unless its leader was ruthless. In 1513, he wrote his best-known work, The Prince, in which he describes the ways that a prince may gain andmaintain his power. Machiavellie advises his rulers to be kind only of it suited their purposes. Otherwise, he warned, it is better to be feared than loved.
Machiavelli is considered one of the great early modern analyzers of political power. Born in Florence in 1469 and living until 1527, Niccolo Machiavelli experienced what we now consider the height of the Italian Renaissance-a period that produced some of Italy's greatest achievements in the arts and sciences, but that also produced horrible scandals and the establishment of foreign domination over the peninsula (Microsoft Encarta 99). He grew up during the reign of the Medici family, and he learned to read and write in Latin while he studied the classics. Humanistic ideals were popular in Florentine government, and although Machiavelli's family was neither rich nor aristocratic, they were supporters of the city's leading humanists. Machiavelli showed a keen interest in the world around him, and from this interest he demonstrated a remarkable ability to learn
By the age of seven he had begun his formal education, and by age twelve he had graduated from primary school and was enrolled in private classes. He was later accepted into the University of Florence where he studied humanities, literature, and sciences. In 1498, the year that Florence became a republic, Machiavelli was awarded a position in the government as a clerk. He rose quickly through governmental ranks and soon he became head of the second chancery. This position involved him in very important duties dealing with Florence's domestic, foreign, and military affairs. As head of the second chancery, Machiavelli was also soon assigned the further job of secretary to the Ten of War, the committee responsible for Florence's diplomatic relations. This meant that in addition to his routine office duties, Machiavelli sometimes traveled abroad to act as spokesman for the Ten.
During the next fourteen years, Machiavelli was sent on numerous diplomatic missions to France, Switzerland, and Germany. His observations abroad resulted in many of the ideas that form the basis for the major statements found in his political works. While in France, Machiavelli observed the effect of having one prince ruling a united country and in 1512 he wrote his most famous treatise The Prince. Remembering how the French benefitted from having one principality ruled by one prince, Machiavelli intended The Prince to serve as a guide to centralize Italy under one principality, as well as how to gain, maintain political power. Most importantly, The Prince suggests how to rule effectively and what kind of prince is best. Dedicated to Lorenzo DiMedici, The Prince provides a blueprint for how to take control of other lands and how to maintain power over them. The Prince is different because Machaivelli avoids purely theoretical issues and focues on how things actually are, rather than speculating on how they might be.
Drawing examples from his personal experiences and observations rather than from his imagination, Machiavelli aimed to write something useful for Lorenzo. In many ways Machiavelli's advice disregards all moral and ethical rules in that he often supports evil over good to obtain and maintain political power. Machiavelli believed that although sometimes people could do admirable things, in general all people are ungrateful, greedy, and only concerned with their own well-being and self-advantages. He wrote, Men are always wicked at bottom unless they are made good by some compulsion. This view was based on observation but it also derived from the medieval Christian tradition that all men were corrupted due to Original Sin.
Machiavelli did not suggest that human weaknesses made government impossible, but rather that government must take account of man's real nature and use his real qualities for its purposes. Based on this view of human nature, Machiavelli believed that a prince must gain the trust of his people, and when he considers how a prince should go about gaining this trust he asks, "Is it better to be loved or feared?". Since Machiavelli believed that man is "ungrateful, fickle, lying and deceiving, fearful of danger, and greedy"he concluded that it is more beneficial for a prince to be feared over loved. He writes:"Therefore a prince, so long as he keeps his subjects united and loyal, ought not to mind the reproach of cruelty; because with a few examples he will be more merciful than those who, through too much mercy, allow disorders to arise, from which follow murders or robberies; for these are wont to injure the whole people, whilst those executions which originate with a prince offend the individual only" (Machiavelli, The Prince).Ideally it would be best to possess both qualities, but Machiavelli observed that usually man can only possess one; and if only one can be acquired it would be better to be feared, but not hated. Machiavelli concludes this because he believes that people are less likely to turn on the prince in times of grief when the fear of punishment is instilled in them.
The prince is also more likely to be obeyed and less likely to lose loyalty from his masses if he is feared rather than loved. Machiavelli advocated that a prince should inspire fear in such a way that if he does not win love, he avoids hatred. He warned the prince that it is important not to be hated, otherwise the people will seek revenge. He warns that, "..hatred is acquired through good works as well as by nasty ones.." and he suggests that the best class of people that it would be beneficial to be kind to are the peasants, aristocracy, and the soldiers. He advises that the prince should listen to the needs and wants of these classes because they will offer the best protection in times of war and will best keep you in power if you do what they need and want.
In order to maintain a good reputation Machiavelli suggests that, "..above all a prince must scheme to give himself the fame of a great man of excellent judgement in every action. A prince is also esteemed when he is a true friend and a true enemy, that is to say, when he comes out in favor of ones against another without hesitation." (Machiavelli, The Prince). Most importantly to avoid being hated, Machiavelli says that a prince must abstain from taking the property of his citizens and subjects. If it is necessary for the prince to proceed against the life of someone, he must have proper justification for doing so, but above all he must keep his hands off the property of others. This may see illogical, since he places greater emphasis on how a prince should not take a person's land than on how a prince should not take a person's life; but Machiavelli believed that men are more quickly to forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony.
In regards to the qualities a prince should have, Machiavelli said that the ruler must be able to imitate both the fox and the lion. To imitate the fox would be to act rationally and humanely. To imitate the lion would be to act forcefully and instill intimidation, like an animal behave. Machiavelli believed that the ruler should possess both natures of man and beast because he believed that the bravery and strength of the lion would not be enough to enable the ruler to escape traps set by his enemies; therefore the slyness of the fox is also needed. To reinforce his view that a prince should know how to employ the natures of both man and beast, Machiavelli cites the example of Achilles, who is said to have been raised by Chiron, the centaur, half man and half beast: "You must know there are two methods of fighting, the one by law, the other by force; the first method is of men, the second of beasts; but because the first is frequently not sufficient, one must have recourse to the second. Therefore it is necessary for a prince to understand how to use the methods of the beast and the man .
. . A prince . . . ought to choose the fox and the lion; because the lion cannot defend himself against traps and the fox cannot defend himself against wolves. Therefore, it is necessary to be a fox to discover the traps and a lion to terrify the wolves.
Those who rely simply on the lion do not understand this." (Machiavelli, The Prince).Machiavelli also wrote in The Prince that in order to assert political success a prince must have a strong force of character, which he called virtu. Virtu did not mean moral goodness, but rather it meant strength, ability, courage, and vitality. If a prince possessed these qualities than he would demonstrate strong virtu, which would also benefit the political success of the state itself. Another important principle that Machiavelli advocated was that political ends justify all means. He asserted that it is good for the ruler to appear virtuous, and also to be virtuous, but that the ruler who intends to be successful must be prepared to do bad things on occasion, when political realities demand such actions.
He writes that political requirements may override moral considerations. He recommends employing any means possible as exemplified in some of the more violent passages like: "And having taken this for his opportunity, he had him placed in the square in Cesena, one morning , in two pieces with a piece of wood and a bloody knife beside him. The ferocity of which spectacle left those peoples as once satisfied and stupefied" (Machiavelli, The Prince). According to Machiavelli it is not necessary , for a prince to possess the generally admired qualities, but it's essential that he seem to have them. To have them all and to practice them constantly can be destructive.
To appear to have them, however, is very useful. He should not swerve from good if possible, but he should know how to resort to evil if necessity demands it. Niccolo Machiavelli was one of the most influential writers and political analysts of the Renaissance. The main underlying theme of The Prince is that all means may be used in order to maintain authority. The Prince offers political instruction about conquering local competitors and maintaining control over them.
It does not say what the ideal prince and principality is, but it explains what actions and qualities have enabled a prince to best rule a certain principality. I think that although many of Machiavelli's thoughts are at time immoral and unethical, that his positions on how a prince should rule and what qualities he should possess are relative to his particular view of human nature. Machiavelli believed that naturally man is greedy and concerned only with himself, therefore I agree with Machiavelli's view that it is better for a prince to be feared than loved because I agree that people will be less likely to go against the ruler when they are fearful of the consequences. Machiavelli was perhaps 350 years ahead of his time with his vision of a united Italy and his unique thoughts have changed the face of political science forever.Works CitedoMachiavelli, Niccolo, Ed. Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr.
The Prince, The University of Chicago Press.,1985.o"Machiavelli, Niccolo," Encyclopedia Britannica CD 98 (c)1994-1998 Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.o"Machiavelli, Niccolo," Microsoft Encarta 99 Encyclopedia (c)1993-1998 Microsoft Corp.
Research paper and essay writing, free essay topics, sample works Machiavelli And The Prince
Essay help, free essay samples:
Kennedy Assassination, Summary Of Orwells Animal Farm, Division Of Labor, Helmet Law, Medical Miracles On The Horizon, Astrology, Snow Of Kilimanjaro, The Firm, Grapes Of Wrath, How To Cheat On Your Spouse, Total Quality Management, Million Youth March, African And Native American Slavery, Creative Story: Everything Ends, Experimental Psychology, Black Like Me, and much more...
All rights reserved © 2004-2013 essaypride.com, links