Niccolo Machiavelli: How to Lead the Way

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Niccolo Machiavelli was one of the most influential writers of the Renaissance. He started to write “The Prince” in July of 1513 and finished it in 1514. The Prince was written during a time of political turbulence, as a practical guide to help Lorenzo de’ Medici stay in power, and also as a guide for a ruler or future ruler, showing what a ruler needs to do to maintain political power while withstanding attacks by foreign powers. He also stated, “I too would like to commend myself to Your Magnificence with some token of my readiness to serve you” (Machiavelli). Machiavelli lived in Florence, Italy, at this time politically organized by city states. Machiavelli wanted to free Italy from foreign rule. As well as, unite and strengthen the Italian city states. Today we know Machiavelli as, “one of the founders of philosophy of history and one of the first to create a political science based on the studying of historical actions.”(Dr. Mike).

Machiavelli is chief interest of his “professional life was foreign policy, and… the subject bulks large in The Prince.”(Adams). Humanistic ideals were the ruling intellectual force of the time. Machiavelli’s family was not either rich or poor, but they were supporters of the city’s leading humanists. Born in Florence in 1469 and living until 1527, Niccolo Machiavelli experienced the height of the Italian Renaissance-a period that produced horrible scandals and the establishment of foreign domination.

In 1498, the year that Florence became a republic, Machiavelli was awarded a position in the government as a clerk. He rose quickly through governmental ranks and soon he became head of the second chancery.

“This position involved very important duties dealing with Florence's domestic, for...

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...ause they feel much closer to the government and have direct contact with the prince.

Machiavelli also wrote that in order to assert political success, a prince must have a strong force of character, which he called virtu. In the book, virtu does not deal with morality or prayer. Instead, it deals with the actions of the mind and body like strength, power, courage, and resources. If a prince had all of these qualities, he would be considered to have strong virtu.

Works Cited

Barnett, Vincent. "Niccolo Machiavelli -- The Cunning Critic Of Political Reason." History Review 56 (2006): 6-9. History Reference Center. Web. 24 Feb. 2012.

Bickers, John. October 19, 2010. Web. 22 Feb. 2012.

Dr. Mike A. 1998. Web. 21 Feb. 2012.

Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince. Trans. Robert M. Adams. Toronto: George J. McLeod, 1977. Print.
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