Niccolo Machiavelli 's The Prince Essay

Niccolo Machiavelli 's The Prince Essay

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Niccoló Machiavelli (1469-1527), Italian political thinker and historical figure best remembered for his masterpiece, The Prince (written in 1513, but published posthumously in 1532). Machiavelli is considered one of the great early analyzers of political power.


As a thinker Machiavelli belonged to an entire school of Florentine intellectuals concerned with an examination of political and historical problems. His important writings were composed after 1512 when he was accused of conspiracy in 1513. The Medici family had returned to power and had ended the Florentine Republic. Lorenzo de ' Medici fired Machiavelli who had held the office of Secretary under the previous government. He was suspected of plotting against the Medici, jailed, even tortured, and exiled. Machiavelli found himself unemployed after years of patriotic service, and spent most of his remaining years in producing his major works. He achieved some fame as a historian and playwright, but with The Prince he hoped to regain political favor. It tells how to gain, maintain, and centralize power. Machiavelli desperately wanted to return to politics. One of his goals in writing The Prince was to win the favor of Lorenzo de’ Medici, then-governor of Florence and the person to whom the book is dedicated; Machiavelli hoped to land an advisory position within the Florentine government. But Medici received the book indifferently, and Machiavelli did not receive an invitation to serve as an official. The public’s reaction to The Prince was also indifferent at first. But slowly, as word spread, the book began to be criticized as immoral, evil, and wicked.
The most revolutionary aspect of The Prince is its separation of politics and ethics. Classical politica...


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...human nature’s negative side, its vices, dark passions and hidden effects, reaching a deep level of skepticism, on which he built his Machiavellianism. One thing is clear, though: “Machiavelli did not invent shrewdness, treason or political crime. But he deduced a theoretical principle out of the political practice, a universally valid norm and he conjured a decisive proof for the secularization of thinking”.[1] Machiavellianism as a practical political attitude is a despicable and dangerous phenomenon
“Machiavelli brings about a radical change in the European political thought; new concepts emerge, new perspectives arise with the evolution of modern political reality”[2]We must therefore admit that without his honest, blunt and realistic spirit, we might have remained in the false paradise of illusions and utopia, without ever knowing the true face of politics.

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