Machiavelli's The Prince Essay

Machiavelli's The Prince Essay

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The Prince
Niccolo Machiavelli, Italian statesman and author and prominent figure of the Renaissance, was born on May 3rd, 1469. His father was Bernardo di Niccoli, who belonged to an impoverished part of an old Florentine family, and there is little recorded about his youth.
It was in the independent city-state of Florence that he began an active career as a politician as a young man, becoming part of important diplomatic missions throughout Europe. He met with some of the most famous figures of his time and all history, such as Pope Alexander IV, and his son Cesare Borgia, as well as King Louis VII of France and Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. He had spent more than a decade in public service when the republic he worked for collapsed.
In 1512, the Medici regained power, and although Machiavelli hoped to retain his career under the new government, he was dismissed on November 7th. Not long after his dismissal, he was put in jail and tortured under accusations of conspiracy against the Medici. After his release, he retired to a place just outside of Florence and dedicated himself to literature.
He created several important, mostly politically based writings during the Renaissance, most famous of which is The Prince. Originally written in hopes of winning favor and regaining his job with the Medici government, he dedicated it to Lorenzo II de' Medici, the current ruler of Florence. It did not, however, get him his government position back, and there is actually no prove that Lorenzo ever even read it. If examined at all, it was received as unimportant by the government. It caused little fuss with the public when it was first published, but later became known as an immoral and cruel interpretation of an ideal ruler. It was r...


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... roughly. Although the metaphor seems harsh in our times, it was not at all shocking in its own day and received no outward criticism.
Although it was a little slow to get started, I enjoyed reading "The Prince" after the first few chapters. Thinking about it in terms of what to write for this paper, and the research that I did to help me understand the context of the writings, helped answer a lot of curious questions I never understood about the Renaissance period and how its rulers developed.




Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince. New York, NY: W. W. Norton and Complany, Inc., 1997
Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince and The Discourses, New York, NY: Modern Library,1950
Mckay, John P, Bennet D. Hill, and John Buckler. A History of Western Society. Boston, MA: Houghton Miffline Company, 2006
Mansfield, Harvey Claflin. Machiavelli's Virtue. Chicago, OH, 1998

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