The Prince by Machiavelli Essay

The Prince by Machiavelli Essay

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Possibly the most controversial book ever written, The Prince by Machiavelli, focuses on how a Prince or leader should rule. Many of the techniques that are stated in the text have caused many debates ever since it’s publication. When Machiavelli composed the Prince, his contemporaries were shocked at the ideas and themes presented. The Prince introduced a whole new way of thinking that was almost completely contrary to present beliefs. For that reason, in 1559 the Pope banned the printing of the Prince and the rest of Machiavelli’s writings. What makes the Prince so controversial? The ideas presented in the book, such as the end justifies the means, makes it so controversial. Machiavelli’s influence can be seen through out history and literature. Because of his massive influence, Machiavelli acquired the word Machiavellian, meaning anyone characterized by the political principles and methods that Machiavelli recommended in The Prince. There are many examples of past and present Machiavellian leaders, such as King Henry VIII, Joseph Stalin, and Adolf Hitler. Machiavelli’s The Prince makes an easy guide for any dictator or leader to rule and sustain power.
Machiavelli was born on May 3, 1469 in Florence, Italy. Fortunately, Machiavelli had a excellent education as a child. Paolo da Ronciglione, a renown Latin teacher, taught Machiavelli. He then attended the University of Florence and received an excellent education there. Later Machiavelli pursued a career within the government, first he became a clerk, and then an ambassador. Soon after, Machiavelli became Chancellor of Florence and engaged in tons of diplomatic activity which also allowed him to travel frequently. It also placed him in charge of Florentine military, making ...


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...mber suppressed any threats to the throne; it was so powerful that it could convict other courts of crimes. Enemies to the Star Chamber were convicted without a jury and rarely saw any evidence against them for the acts they supposedly committed. The Star Chamber also tortured enemies to reach confessions; these techniques caused many innocent people to confess to doing something they had not done. Henry’s use of the Star Chamber instilled great fear into the people, which caused a dramatic decrease of opposition. Thomas Jefferson once said “ When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” Therefore during King Henry’s reign the people were in tyranny because they feared their government. As a result, in any Machiavellian society, like the one during King Henry VIII reign, the people are under tyranny.

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