The prince by sir niccolo machiavelli 2 - Book Report/Review Example

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[Name of Student] [Name of Instructor] [Course] [Date] A Book Review of The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli Il Principe or The Prince is a political treatise by Niccolo Machiavelli that was circulated sometime around 1513 in Florence, Italy and published in 1532…
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Download file to see previous pages The book has been largely viewed as teaching rulers to be tyrants and advocating autocracy. However, some believe that Machiavelli himself was in support of a republic government and was merely reporting his observations on the way power works. Salman Rushdie, in a talk on The Prince in San Francisco, remarks how “Machiavelli was not Machiavellian.” Rushdie argues that Machiavelli was only the messenger figure and an observer of how politics worked rather than an advisor or instigator on how politics ought to be. He goes on to cite evidence from Machiavelli’s personal life that reveal his more jovial, social side and indicate that the writer himself was not as evil as later years have made him out to be. But the reputation of ruthless politics follows the man and his work even now, after nearly five centuries from when it was first published. Machiavelli starts out by explaining the terms he employs. Principalities and republics, mixed principalities, new prince and so on. Once the introductions are made, chapters 4 to 14 carry the bulk of the philosophical content of this treatise. This section has advice on how to annex states, how and when to display power, ways of tackling insurgency, issues that a new prince needs to keep in mind, making and building alliances, among others. The next few chapters, from 15 to 23, deal with the character of the prince. Machiavelli describes the ideal ruler and his characteristics. The last section of the treatise ties these comments into a current issue that Italy was facing at the time, that of political disunity. Machiavelli reaches out with a plea to Lorenzo de’ Medici to recover Italy and argues that only he was capable of making any progressive changes in the system by learning from the mistakes of his predecessors. Machiavelli was born on 3 May 1469. In 1512, the Medici family was restored to power and Florence again came under rule after being a republic for some time. Later the same year, Machiavelli was removed from his government post and tortured as it was suspected that he was a conspirator against the Medicis. He was put in prison and later exiled. When he wrote The Prince, approximately in the year1513, he was in exile. This was the period when his best work in the political field was composed. Machiavelli died sometime later, when he was 58, in the year 1527. Personally, what I found novel in this book was that there was no emphasis on the reader having to be a good person. Moral character of the ruler is not a priority for Machiavelli, it appears. Another interesting aspect is how Machiavelli analyses contemporary political events to substantiate his claims. For instance: King Louis was brought into Italy by the ambition of the Venetians, who desired to obtain half the state of Lombardy by his intervention. […] he was forced to accept those friendships which he could get, and he would have succeeded very quickly in his design if in other matters he had not made some mistakes. The king, however, having acquired Lombardy, regained at once the authority which Charles had lost […] Then could the Venetians realize the rashness of the course taken by them, which, in order that they might secure two towns in Lombardy, had made the king master of two-thirds of Italy. Machiavelli uses the example of King Louis’s rise to power in Italy as the preferred mode of behavior. He cites how the folly of the Venetians led to Louis actually gaining more power than was expected. This passage ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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The prince by sir niccolo machiavelli 3
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