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How Western Civilization is shaped by what historians call 'others', - Essay Example

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How Western Civilization is shaped by what historians call others [Author] [Institution] Set in early sixteenth century, ‘The Prince’, Machiavelli’s book drastically differed from existing political philosophies and literature as it focused on realism, rather than idealism…
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How Western Civilization is shaped by what historians call others,
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How Western Civilization is shaped by what historians call 'others',

Download file to see previous pages... Conquering new regions necessitated the formulation of new ways to hold the vast empires together. Machiavelli expounded upon how the rulers should incorporate the newly acquitted territories comprising of people belonging to distinct regions, usually having high expectations from the new ruler. According to Machiavelli’s views, newly acquired territories and foreign states can be regarded as the ‘other’. Machiavelli states that these states can be divided between principalities and republics and in ‘The Prince’, he elaborates on principalities. According to him, principalities can be divided between hereditary principalities and new principalities, with the former being the ones formerly ruled by the ruler’s ancestors, while the new being the new ones acquired or added to current state by the ruler.1He further states that it is easier to rule hereditary principalities because the society is already accustomed to the rule. However, in case of a new principality, the ruler has to be shrewd so that the people do not revolt against him, when he fails to fulfill all their expectations as a new ruler. Machiavelli proposes that a ruler should suppress such a revolt and then punish the conspirators severely in order to set an example and inhibit future revolts2. Machiavelli regards the upholding of a new principality as more difficult because if a ruler is unable to fully conform to their expectation, then people take up arms against him. It is much easier to rule a new principality, if people share the same language, culture and customs. The prince could assassinate the old ruler’s family and introduce new taxes and if he ensure that society’s prevalent customs and norms are upheld, people will not revolt. In new territories with strong linguistic and cultural differences, a ruler must live there to ensure the local rulers don’t revolt and foster close ties with the subjects. He could also form colonies which would be cheaper than to have a widespread military existence, which may induce a revolt as well. However, it would negatively affect the poor and distant populations, but because they are unable to revolt, they should be crushed. Consequently, most people would ally with the prince and the rest will fear him. To support his argument, he gives the example of Louis X113. In order to maintain his presence in a foreign region, a prince must not only subjugate the people, but remain the strongest one and ensure no neighboring power takes over. He must suppress the strong powers and by default the weaker ones would ally with him and his will remain the most dominant state in the region. Princes must also be wary of new problems that could turn into a serious issue and must undertake preemptive measures.4 In newly acquired territories that were previously free, it is better for a prince to completely destroy, so that no threat of revolt remains, as otherwise traditional ties due to shared history of freedom will propel them to revolt5. However, in a territory that was previously ruled by a prince, once the old ruler is killed, there is no threat of revolt as people are accustomed to blindly obey the ruler. In addition, a new ruler must strive to depend on his own prowess, rather than passively relying on fortune. Such a ruler is more successful in maintain order and introducing a new set of rules, as he uses force and accomplishes his goals6. According to Machiavelli, a prince chosen by nobles or people must strive to foster ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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