The Prince By NMachiavelli Essay Research Paper

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The Prince By N.Machiavelli Essay, Research Paper The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli provides an analysis on how to govern and maintain power in a principality. In the first five chapters, he defines the three ways a monarch can acquire his dominion: either he inherits it, whether he creates a new one, or annexes territories, and further discusses how to govern them. Machiavelli states that hereditary principalities are less problematic than the mixed ones since newly acquired dominion tend to be more rebellious. The ruler must therefore colonize them and allow citizen to keep their laws or annihilate the governmental structure. In order to illustrate his point, he analyses the success of Alexander the Great conquest in Iran. He then considers five possible ways to acquire

power and become a prince (Ch. VI-XI). First, a private citizen can become a ruler due to his own qualities or virtues, like Cyrus or Romulus. A second way to become a ruler is through other?s power or favor. Hence a man like Cesare Borgia gained power due to his father support, but lost it when the latter died. For Machiavelli, getting power so quickly can be dangerous since the new monarch might lack knowledge on how to govern. In the third case, he uses the example of Agathocles of Sicily to illustrate power gained through murders. In his opinion, the conqueror must decide if his crimes will help him establish power and then commit them all at once so that he can later reestablish the confidence of his subjects. The fourth method is called civil principality, people basically

choose the ruler, and this enables him to maintain power. The last possibility is to be elected pope and Machiavelli provides a brief overview of the religious order. Next, he explores (Ch. XII- XIV) which arms are best to defend a principality and states that a ruler can chose to use ?his own, or mercenaries, or auxiliaries or a mixture of all three.? From Chapter XV throughout Chapter XIX, Machiavelli proposes to describe how a prince should behave and tells the truth about surviving as a monarch, rather than recommending moral ideals. He describes the virtues commonly assimilated with a prince and concludes that some “virtues” will lead to a prince’s destruction, whereas some “vices” will enable him to survive. He describes the advantages of being generous or greedy,

merciful or severe, deceitful or honest. Machiavelli concludes that a prince should avoid being hated and must exhibit five virtues in particular: mercy, honesty, humanness, uprightness, and religiousness. Chapter XX states whether a prince should or not guard his dominion with a fortress and he uses the example of the Florentines. He further analyses (Ch. XXI-XXIV) how a monarch should chose his allies, ministers and protect himself from flatterers. In order to insure advisers? honesty a ruler has to make them dependent and avoid complete freedom of debate to maintain his authority. To illustrate these points he analyses how Italian monarchs lost their territories. The last aspect Machiavelli focuses on is luck, or fortune, and he believes that ?we are successful when our ways

are suited to time and circumstances, and unsuccessful when they are not? (85). Finally, Machiavelli (Ch. XXVI) applies his analysis to Italy?s current situation and asks himself whether the country would be ready for a new monarch. The most controversial aspects of The Prince reside in Machiavelli?s intentions in dedicating it to the Medicis. Indeed, they had ruled (on and off) during thirty years in the Florentine Republic, which was assaulted by the French ?barbarians.? The text provides a rather tangible and practical analysis of power, which is not necessarily cynical. The first assumption is that Machiavelli simply wanted to gain the ruling family?s favors, which intention then is merely straightforward. However, the irony comes from the fact that in dedicating his treatise