Machiavelli

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Machiavelli Machiavelli was born in Florence, in 1496. His father was a lawyer, and his family lived modestly, but was not rich. Florence in the 15th century was an independent city, owing political allegiance to no one. It was a center of learning and of considerable artistic creativity. In the 15th members of the Medici family ruled it. The Medici family was temporarily expelled from Florence in 1494, and was replaced by a friar named Savonarola who carried on with campaigns against corruption. In 1497 he was excommunicated by the pope, and later executed. A month after his execution Machiavelli was appointed as secretary to the Second Chancery. His duties involved mire than merely keeping the records. He was called to handle the municipal problems and was frequently asked to participate in diplomatic negotiations with foreign powers. He held this position for 15 years. In 1512, the Medici family came back into power in Florence. With the return of the Medici’s Machiavelli lost his post in the Florentine government and accused of conspiring to overthrow the government, and consequently he was thrown in prison and tortured. After his imprisonment, and until his death, he wrote prolifically for 14 years. At this time he saw politics as survival of the fittest. In the Prince, his most famous work, Machiavelli believes that rulers should be shrewd, calculating and manipulating, in order to get to a particular goal. The book however, is not true to his real political beliefs, b/c he wrote the book in an attempt to get a job, ironically, it wasn’t published until after his death. Machiavelli did have practical knowledge of statecraft. His assessments of the strengths and weakness of these leaders were significant part of hi... ... middle of paper ... ...orence at the time was to have a leader with absolute power. But he states that even in a monarchy, popular support is still needed by the ruler. A prince should be both loved and feared. However, if a prince has to choose between the two he should chose fear. Love is no essential, but fear is a response to external circumstances that can’t be controlled. However, although fear is an effecting way to rule, he admits that it is not the best way to gain popular support. Machiavelli’s significance or at least originality can be clearly seen when contrasted with classical thinkers. Machiavelli’s picture of humans and society are drawn when humanity, confronts abnormal, emergencies, crises, and necessity. Selfishness, fear, conflict are now obvious, according to Machiavelli. These qualities predominate and are therefore the natural real features constituting humanity.

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