The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli provides an analysis on how to govern and maintain power in a principality. In the first five chapters, he defines the three ways a monarch can acquire his dominion: either he inherits it, whether he creates a new one, or annexes territories, and further discusses how to govern them. Machiavelli states that hereditary principalities are less problematic than the mixed ones since newly acquired dominion tend to be more rebellious. The ruler must therefore colonize them and allow citizen to keep their laws or annihilate the governmental structure. In order to illustrate his point, he analyses the success of Alexander the Great conquest in Iran.
He then considers five possible ways to acquire power and become a prince (Ch. VI-XI). First, a private citizen can become a ruler due to his own qualities or virtues, like Cyrus or Romulus. A second way to become a ruler is through other’s power or favor. Hence a man like Cesare Borgia gained power due to his father support, but lost it when the latter died. For Machiavelli, getting power so quickly can be dangerous since the new monarch might lack knowledge on how to govern. In the third case, he uses the example of Agathocles of Sicily to illustrate power gained through murders. In his opinion, the conqueror must decide if his crimes will help him establish power and then commit them all at once so that he can later reestablish the confidence of his subjects. The fourth method is called civil principality, people basically choose the ruler, and this enables him to maintain power. The last possibility is to be elected pope and Machiavelli provides a brief overview of the religious order.
Next, he explores (Ch. XII- XIV) which arms are best to defend a principality and states that a ruler can chose to use “his own, or mercenaries, or auxiliaries or a mixture of all three.”
From Chapter XV throughout Chapter XIX, Machiavelli proposes to describe how a prince should behave and tells the truth about surviving as a monarch, rather than recommending moral ideals. He describes the virtues commonly assimilated with a prince and concludes that some "virtues" will lead to a prince's destruction, whereas some "vices" will enable him to survive. He describes the advantages of being generous or greedy, merciful or severe, deceitful or honest. Machiavelli...
... middle of paper ...
...d not suffer from bad consequences on the long run. On the other hand, the Exxon-Valdez oil-spill case is an example of deceptive PR. Indeed, not much was done for the Alaskan community and the corporation ended up being perceived in a very negative way by the general public. These two crisis communication cases show that people and mechanisms of power have things in common with Machiavelli’s times, but society has become less tolerant of evil strategies. Rulers or corporations still have the means to deceive, but people are no longer subject to an authority considered divine. Therefore, the ones who govern are exposed to feedback and can hardly avoid the consequences of their acts.
A counter example, of course, would be the one of President Clinton as he voluntarily lied in court about his relation with Monica Lewinsky. He put on the face of virtue to deceive his citizens and in so doing manipulated the perception they had of him. In fact, Clinton’s communication specialists probably advised him to use this strategy, which follow the Machiavellian precepts. Although power might not exactly be the same anymore, principles on human natures are constant throughout time.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, The archetype man for politics in history. He was born on May 1469 and died June 1527. He is an Italian philosopher, thinker and writer. He was considered by many as one of the origin founders of political science in modern age. He was a diplomatic person, besides being a political philosopher, and musician. In Florentine Republic he used to be a civil servant. Then In 1498, he was elected as Secretary to the second Chancery of the Republic of Florence by the Great council.... [tags: the prince]
517 words (1.5 pages)
- Machiavelli is “a crystal-clear realist who understands the limits and uses of power.” -- Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jared Diamond (2013) Written almost 500 years ago, Niccolo Machiavelli’s “The Prince” brings forward a new definition of virtue. Machiavelli’s definition argued against the concept brought forward by the Catholic Church. Machiavelli did not impose any thoughts of his own, rather he wrote from his experience and whatever philosophy that lead to actions which essentially produced effective outcomes in the political scene of Italy and in other countries.... [tags: The Prince]
2155 words (6.2 pages)
- Chapter nineteen of The Prince deals with the idea that princes should complete actions that would make his subjects believe that he is outstanding. The concept behind this idea is the striking intended image that they want their subjects to see and make their decisions based on that intended image in order to keep power. As stated in chapter eighteen, “Everyone sees what you appear to be, few really know who you are…” (95). As long as the prince is able to make his subjects believe that he is outstanding then he will be able to keep his power.... [tags: Prince, Political philosophy, The Prince]
1835 words (5.2 pages)
- ... Threw out the story it gives you an outline of choosing your role as a prince you can live and server in a good way, such as being at peach with your kingdom or city seeing how "A wise prince should follow similar methods and never remain idle in peaceful times" by rebuilding or reaching out to the people it could sever great adversity. So if fortune changes the kingdom will still be behind you no matter what comes in the near days to come. At the same time your army will neglect you if they feel like it's too much peace in the area and not enough war.... [tags: friendship, citizens, title, prince]
515 words (1.5 pages)
- Cassirer, Nietzsche and Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince When the word "Renaissance" is mentioned, an image of love for antiquity learning and fine arts usually springs to one's mind. Yet this perception, however legitimate it may be in many areas of Renaissance human achievements, shatters in the face of Niccolò Machiavelli's masterpiece The Prince. Unlike his contemporary Baldassare Castiglione who exemplified subtlety, Machiavelli was ruthlessly practical, nonchalantly callous, and admirably seamless in his logics about the bloody art of political power.... [tags: Prince]
1164 words (3.3 pages)
- The Message in The Prince The Prince, written by Niccolo Machiavelli, is one of the first examinations of politics and science from a purely scientific and rational perspective. Machiavelli theorizes that the state is only created if the people cooperate and work to maintain it. The state is also one of man?s greatest endeavors, and the state takes precedence over everything else. The state should be one?s primary focus, and maintaining the sovereignty of the state one?s most vital concern. The state is founded on the power of its military.... [tags: Machiavelli Prince]
1177 words (3.4 pages)
- Ethics in Machiavelli's The Prince Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) was an Italian statesman and political philosopher. He was employed on diplomatic missions as defence secretary of the Florentine republic, and was tortured when the Medici returned to power in 1512. When he retired from public life he wrote his most famous work, The Prince (1532), which describes the means by which a leader may gain and maintain power. The Prince has had a long and chequered history and the number of controversies that it has generated is indeed surprising.... [tags: Machiavelli The Prince]
1513 words (4.3 pages)
- The Morals of a Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli 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.... [tags: The Prince Niccolo Machiavelli]
435 words (1.2 pages)
- Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince examines the nature of power and his views of power are still somewhat in existence today. I'll discuss this in this essay, emphasizing the following theses. Machiavelli discusses power over the people, dictatorial power, and power with people, shared power. While it is possible for power with to attain greater prevalence in society, it will not completely eliminate power over. In The Prince, Machiavelli discusses two distinct groups of people, the political elite, including nobles and other princes, and the general public.... [tags: Machiaveli Prince Power Essays]
1051 words (3 pages)
- 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. I believe that man, by nature, is neither good nor evil. When a child comes out of its mother, one cannot tell whether or not that child will be a serial killer or win the Nobel Peace prize.... [tags: Machiavelli The Prince Essays]
653 words (1.9 pages)