The Prince by Niccole Machiavelli Book Review

Topics: Florence, House of Medici, Pope Leo X Pages: 7 (2855 words) Published: December 11, 2009
Machiavelli's The Prince is undoubtedly his most famous work, the book that gave "Machiavellian" to the English language as a synonym for "deceitful." During his service in the Florentine government, he had had the opportunity to deal diplomatically with kings and princes from all parts of Europe. The early 15th century the time of Niccole Machiavelli, Italy was anarchy of states. It was divided into thirty principalities each ruled by a prince. It was a turbulent time of conflict and contradiction new ideas and new technology are rocking like a great earthquake. It was a time where there were murders in Cathedrals and orgies in the Vatican. It was the time of Michael Angelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Columbus, Henry VIII, Protestant Reformation era. The idea that Man is the master of his fate was just developing. Basically it was not the time of peace advice on politics and war was needed. It was the time where religion and politics went along with each other. In 1512, Pope Julius II attacked Florence, because of events going on in Pisa. After the war, Soderini was removed from office and the prominent Medici family took control of Florence. Machiavelli was removed from his offices when this happened. In early 1513, an anti-Medici conspiracy was found and Machiavelli was accused of being an accomplice. He claimed innocence throughout prison and eventually he was released though restrictions were imposed upon him. Machiavelli then went to live outside of Florence at the house he had inherited from his father. During this time Machiavelli wrote The Prince (Il Principe) and another famous work, Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy He wrote The Prince as a dedication book to Lorenzo de’ Medici, the ruler of Florence. The Prince was not published until seven years after Machiavelli's death, and was not really intended as a public work. Machiavelli's reputation has been largely created from reading his book without reference to its historical context. The Prince is an extended analysis of how to acquire and maintain political power. It includes 26 chapters and an opening dedication to Lorenzo de Medici. The book's 26 chapters can be divided into four sections: Chapters 1–11 discuss the different types of principalities or states, Chapters 12–14 discuss the different types of armies and the proper conduct of a prince as military leader, Chapters 15–23 discuss the character and behavior of the prince, and Chapters 24–26 discuss Italy's desperate political situation. The final chapter is a plea for the Medici family to supply the prince who will lead Italy into unification. Machiavelli starts the book off explaining the different kinds of states, republics and principalities. He then goes on to explain the types of principalities, heredity, mixed, and what he calls "new". New principalities are principalities that have just been created and their leaders are not hereditary. Mixed principalities are like those of the Pope or the sultan, he explains, for they have been established for a long time (like a hereditary principality), but the leadership does not pass from father to son (like a new principality). Next, Machiavelli explains how to rule the different principalities and what challenges are presented to the ruler in each case. He says that hereditary leaders have an easier time than new princes because the people are already accustomed to their hereditary leaders and accept their power, but a new prince has to work hard to be accepted by his people. There are four ways a new prince can acquire a principality: by one's own arms, by the arms of others, by evil means, and by civil means. A principality that is won by a prince by his own arms is most secure. The first is the best way in his opinion because land acquired that way is the easiest to hang on to after you have conquered it, because you will still have your loyal militia, not mercenaries, and your own virtues to rule the principality wisely. Machiavelli lists great...
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