John Locke is the most influential character in American history, thought, and practice. Without the influence of his writings, America would not have the same foundation of unalienable Rights, stable governance, and quality of life. However, Locke remains widely unknown and unstudied by the newer generations of Americans. His most influential work, the Second Treatises of Government, laid the ground, both theoretically and institutionally, for the American system of government that has been enjoyed for over two centuries. His influence on the American way of thinking is made evident when examining the text of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.
Machiavelli’s The Prince shows how to gain political power in anyway possible. He is almost completely pragmatic in the book with little regard to morals. He states at the outset of the book that he is not dealing with republics but with princes and the best ways for them to rule over the people (1). Machiavelli believes that one of the most needed traits in a prince is that he be both feared and loved. He knew this was hard to accomplish and said that if a prince had to choose between being loved or feared he should choose fear. Machiavelli describes men as “Thankless, fickle, false, studious to avoid danger, greedy of gain, devoted to you while you able to confer benefits upon them… but in your hour of need they turn against you”(43-44). This low view of man that Machiavelli expressed impacted the way he felt a prince should rule. He seem...
In virtually every Western nation, people elect other people to play crucial roles for our countries. These crucial roles can include creating new laws and even starting a war with another country if it was necessary. In the past, though, leaders such as, Niccolo Machiavelli ran many areas. In “The Qualities of the Prince,” Machiavelli defines and defends those qualities, chief among them an awareness of the state he rules and the potential enemies that surround him. When ruling, Machiavelli warns his Prince not to misuse his power, and to have high confidence in himself. While Machiavelli’s sixteenth-century Italian Prince might have profited from such qualities, would they help a modern day politician win a presidential election in the U.S.?
To describe human history as volatile would be akin to saying that the sun is warm. The quest for power and how to keep it is what has defined human civilization; altruism, as it applies to empire, just does not exist. No one has quite realized this better than Niccolo Machiavelli. Citing much of Roman political culture, which he believed was the most superior form of government that had existed, and infusing his "knowledge of the deeds of great men, which [he had] acquired through a long experience of modern events and a constant study of the past", Machiavelli collected the footnotes of history and applied his observations to events in his world (Machiavelli 31). What resulted was a theory that was ahead of its time and remained so for centuries.
At the time Nicolo Machiavelli wrote The Prince, Spain was under the rule of Ferdinand II of Aragon. Machiavelli praised Ferdinand as an example to Prince De’ Medici, due to his successful implementation of the guidelines in the book. He was a king both loved and feared, he kept a good military even in times of peace, and his prowess was exceptional. In Machiavelli’s eyes, Ferdinand’s “achievements and designs [had] always been great” (The Prince, p. 78) and he had accomplished “great and…extraordinary” deeds throughout his rule (p. 77). But for every virtue a prince has, he must have a vice. In terms of moral compass, was Ferdinand truly as great a ruler as Machiavelli depicted him to be?
Have you ever heard of the Enlightenment era in history? It was a significant period in time where people started to have new ideas in technology, science, politics, and philosophy. The Enlightenment also brought about a lot of memorable thinkers who still continue to influence us today. Among those thinkers included the very wise John Locke and Thomas Jefferson. John Locke was an excellent Enlightenment philosopher who actually influenced Thomas Jefferson’s writings for the Declaration of Independence. Their writings helped to create the unity in America, and justify the break from Great Britain. As a result, together these two famous philosophers helped our country become independent with the Declaration
Machiavelli’s the Prince is a 16th-century extended analysis of how to acquire and maintain political power. While many are cynical of Machiavelli’s intention when writing The Prince, the works of earlier writers seem to indicate that his piece was indeed a reflection on how a ruler ought to govern. The dedication declares Machiavelli's intention to discuss in plain language the conduct of great men and the principles of princely government. He states that he does so in hope of pleasing and enlightening the Medici family and offers it as a “some token of his devotion.” (Skinner) Italy was struggling with its limits on power and Machiavelli responded accordingly. His advice corresponds with his time and appears to be given in a genuine way. In his instruction he discusses morality, the importance of the public welfare, and the use of violence in order to explain how to best run a state. Machiavelli’s view of politics dealt with political upheaval, beginning with being overly concerned with public security and the well being of the community, while his predecessors worried more about morals effecting politics. Ultimately, his objective was to provide an avenue in which he could instruct rulers how to successfully rule through pragmatism. Although he is severely criticized by many people, he writes for the unification of Italian principalities and he has a strict political cause
In conclusion, Locke influenced the Founders of the United States heavily. The rights of man in the preservation of their property, lives and liberty have been guaranteed because of these ideas. Hume, though a skeptic, I believe would not be as skeptical now because there is now history of a government by the consent of the governed. Rousseau’s ideas have been vanquished by Locke’s ideas.
Niccolo Machiavelli lived in Florence, Italy in the 1400’s. The country of Italy was divided into city-states that had their own leaders, but all pledged alliance to their king. In time in which great leaders were needed in order to help the development of a city-state and country, Machiavelli had a theory that man needed a leader to control them. In his book The Prince, he speaks of the perfect leader.
Throughout the years many rulers and princes have strived to be the best. The book some believe set the standards for a prince is Niccolo Machiavelli's "The Morals of a Prince." Machiavelli states "Hence it is necessary for a prince wishing to hold his own to know how to do wrong, and to make use of it or not according to necessity" proving that he believes it vital for a prince to know wrong in order to thrive and flourish (Machiavelli 331). Machiavelli undoubtedly has key points that reveal his feelings about being a successful, wrong prince. However, at times his ideology can be rather harsh.
Machiavelli’s The Prince was written more than 500 years ago and it is “one of the most influential and controversial books published in Western literature.” (Article A) It was about Machiavelli’s political philosophies and the basic principles of what he believes a politician or “prince” should be. The three main ideas of the Prince were “Liberality and Stinginess”, “Cruelty and Mercy: Is It Better to Be Loved Than Feared, or the Reverse?”, and “How a Prince Should Keep Their Promises” and for the most part many of his concepts should or are already instilled in our government.
Niccoló Machiavelli claims in “The Qualities of the Prince” that a prince must have certain qualities that will allow him to seize and maintain his power as a ruler. Machiavelli asserts that these qualities will guarantee the ruler to be able to govern his subjects effectively. According to him, a prince must study the art of war, must understand generosity and to what extent he must be generous to be effective, must choose to either be loved or feared, and be able to keep his word to his citizens according to the situation. These qualities can still apply in today’s politics, and will be useful for a modern time politician as long as they are used carefully.
Niccolò Machiavelli thoroughly discusses the importance of religion in the formation and maintenance of political authority in his famous works, The Prince and The Discourses. In his writing on religion, he states that religion is beneficiary in the formation of political authority and political leaders must support and endorse religion in order to maintain power. However, Machiavelli also critiques corrupt religious institutions that become involved in politics and in turn, cause corruption in the citizenry and divisions among the state. In the following essay, I will examine Machiavelli’s analysis of religion and discuss the relationship between religion and politics in Machiavelli’s thought.
Machiavelli's views have been misinterpreted since his book was first written, people take him in the wrong way, and are offended by what he says. Careless readers take him in a completely wrong way, such as they think that he believes that the end justifies the means, that a leader should lie to the people, and that a ruler has to rule with force. In actuality, Machiavelli means no such thing, he says that there are times when the common good outweighs the means, and the morality of a rulers actions. He also says that you cannot be loved by everyone, so try to be loved and feared at the same time, but of the two, choose to be feared. The Prince is considered to be one of the most important of nonfiction literature written in the history of mankind. It gave an accurate and truthful description of the method of governing.
Although, Machiavelli argues that an ideal ruler must be cruel, feared and unjust in order to maintain power in his paper, "The Prince", this is not necessary true. An ideal ruler must be assertive, just and filled with integrity to maintain power, prestige, and the loyalty of those he governs.