Global: Summer Reading Notes
By Niccolo Machiavelli
1) Why did Machiavelli write The Prince?
Machiavelli wrote The Prince because he wanted to impress Lorenzo de Medici, who was the current ruler, and prove that he was knowledgeable and a useful advisor to him. He also wrote it as a mirror for Princes to read and understand how to be effective in power.
2) Name three recurring themes in The Prince?
1) One recurring theme in The Prince was that successful war is the foundation upon which all states are built. 2) Another is that it is better for a prince to be feared then hated or loved. 3) The last is free will and the cause of a prince’s success or failure is caused by his own free will.
3) Describe the Role of armies according to Machiavelli.
According to Machiavelli the role of armies id to defend the kingdom and to expand into new territories but he warns that it is not good enough to just have a strong army, strong protection and an ability to maintain morale among the troops and citizens is important.
4) Why does Machiavelli say that it is better for a prince “to be both loved and feared”? Is it possible for a prince to be both? Explain. Machiavelli says this because when a Prince is feared people will respect him and do what he says and they will love him and praise him. It is also possible to be both feared and loved but it is very difficult and only great rulers are able to create the balance.
5) In Chapter 20, what three bits of advice does Machiavelli give the prince? In Chapter 20, Machiavelli says to the prince that when trying to create peace and trust in a kingdom, not during wartime, you should never disarm the citizens unless the prince annex’s a state and then to disarm the subjects until there is peace there is the best choice. Also a prince can build a fortress to curb rebellion or destroy them to maintain control in newly acquired states. Both of these are not a bad thing for a prince to do depending on the circumstances that they are in because a fortress will not be able to protect a prince who is hated by his subjects but also no fortress with leave the kingdom open for attack. But the issue is not whether a prince should build a fortress but that a prince should not put all his faith in it. The last thing Machiavelli says to the prince is that many princes because great by defeating opposition and one way that a prince can enhance their stature is to foster opposition that can be easily overcome.
6) According to Machiavelli in Chapter 21, what must a prince do to be esteemed? According to Machiavelli, for a prince to be esteemed he must have great enterprises, create noble examples, becoming an ally of one side in a conflict, and encourage his citizens to excel in their occupation and live their lives in peace.
7) List and describe the ten characteristics of a Machiavellian ruler. 1. War-wise: a prince must be able to handle war not only to gain land but also to defend and stabilize his own kingdom. 2. Noble: a prince must be noble and kind hearted to be both feared and loved. 3. Kind-hearted: a prince must be both kind-hearted and noble to be both loved and feared. 4. Aware of his surroundings: a prince must be able to see any developing problems or advantages of other kingdoms. 5. Good Fortune: Machiavelli says that this is a key characteristic for a good prince because a prince cannot build, repair or destroy anything if he doesn’t have good fortune. 6. Observant of the men around him: a good prince keeps an eye on his servants, subjects, and friends and an even closer watch on his enemies. 7. Overall Wisdom: a prince must be wise in general.
8. Avoidant of hatred or despise: a prince can’t lead a kingdom of people that hate him. 9. Keep the faith in others at a minimum: Trust is good but can be broken over the smallest amount of greed. 10. Bravery...