MACHIAVELLI VS. KING GEORGE III During colonial times, King George III was a tyrant ruler. He was unstable and constantly inflicted hardship upon the people of the American Colonies. King George III thought that imposing more demands on the colonists would allow him to reach his goals such as bringing in more money for the British government. Machiavelli, on the other hand, thought that a ruler needed his subjects to be on his side so that there would be less resistance. King George III did not follow Machiavelli's manual for being a good prince.
Machiavelli's main lesson was 'a prince must always seem to be generous, merciful, faithful, spirited, and humane." If a prince does not have those characteristics, his people will lose all support for him. King George III did not make sure people from the American Colonies saw him as a good King. King George III did not go out of his way to cover up his wrong doings. Instead, everyone knew he did not really care about the American Colonists. They knew he only cared about the land, and acquiring the largest empire. The King continually broke his own laws, contrary to Machiavelli's principles.
Machiavelli once said, "a prince should always be able to come up with a reason for war." King George III didn't have a reason. He kept sending armies into the American Colonies. He transported large armies of foreign mercenaries to kill people and confiscate their land. By doing this, King George was only sabotaging himself.
Machiavelli spoke of a balance between good and evil. 'In actual fact, a prince may not have all of the admirable qualities listed, but it is necessary that he should seem to have them. Indeed I will venture to say that when you have them and exercise them all of the time, they are harmful to you; when you just seem to have them, they are useful. It is good to appear merciful, truthful, humane, sincere, and religious; it is good to be so in reality. But you must keep your mind so disposed that, in case of need, you can turn to the exact contrary'.
Although the quote is fairly self-explanatory, the theme is that appearance is most important. A ruler must know how to mask his evil when he needs to be good and make his good shine through even more. Needless to say, if King George III had read The Prince, and had followed Machiavelli's guidelines, he would have been more successful, but then the United States might have never come to be.