The Power of Machiavelli’s The Prince

The Power of Machiavelli’s The Prince

Length: 858 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓


The Power of Machiavelli’s The Prince  

 

Nowadays, it is politically impossible to commit to paper a “training guide” for leaders. There are innumerable detractors to any possible stance or strategy a leader might adopt. As a result of this, all “training” must take place behind closed doors, far from the prying eyes and ears of the news media or the public. But this has not always been the case.

Niccolò Machiavelli was brave enough to give the leaders of his day a how-to guide. In this work, The Qualities of a Prince, we are given a point-by-point description of what a leader should do to effectively lead his country. Machiavelli explains that, because leadership is (obviously) a position of command, “[war] is the only profession which benefits one who commands. ”  (p. 33) He goes on to say that, in order to ensure peace, a leader must always be ready for war. He cites a multitude of past, present and even fictitious examples of military leaders who lead peaceful countries. He was writing, however, for the leaders of a heavily taxed, war torn area. His Italy was under constant attack from both French and Spanish soldiers, and at the same time under attack from the inside (the Medici family, Italy's current ruling family) by high taxes that funded the wars. His Qualities is considered by some to be the best manual for pulling a country out of a bad situation much like the one Italy was in. This work was not necessarily meant for a country that is already at peace. The ruthlessness of the leader described in Qualities would almost surely cause dissent among the people of the peaceful country.
                    Machiavelli chose many important points to bring up in his discussion on the necessity of military prowess. A leader must “…learn the nature of the terrain” (p. 36) that he is meant to protect. Machiavelli probably discusses this because the Medicis were not aware of the advantage that the French and Spanish were gaining by conquering the northern, mountainous regions of Italy. Militarily, higher ground is a much sought after advantage. The leaders of the land could in no
way get to know land that was no longer their own, and so, could no longer see the advantages or disadvantages of the land. What they must now do, is gain all knowledge of the land left to them, so as not to loose it.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Power of Machiavelli’s The Prince." 123HelpMe.com. 11 Dec 2018
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=7260>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Obtaining and Maintaining Political Power in Machiavelli's The Prince

- In 1513, Niccoló Machiavelli wrote a political treatise supplying various method of ways a prince can obtain and maintain his political power. This work of literary art caused tons of controversy and was later forbidden by Pope Clement VIII due to it going against the normal traditional ethics at the time According to Machiavelli, a prince should only be concerned about power and ways leading to the success of their political actions. Modern scholars feel as though the book was not written as a actual guide of how to rule, but more of a satirical work of art on how not to rule over a country....   [tags: ethics, satire, army]

Research Papers
686 words (2 pages)

Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince Essay

- 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]

Research Papers
1051 words (3 pages)

Essay about The Prince by Machiavelli

- 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....   [tags: mantaining political power]

Research Papers
2640 words (7.5 pages)

Political Philosophy in Machiavelli’s The Prince and Discourses on Livy

- ... 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 seemed to feel that the prince should be subduing his subjects most of the time....   [tags: power, leaders, rule]

Research Papers
721 words (2.1 pages)

Applications of The Prince, by Machiavelli in the Characters of MacBeth by William Shakespeare

- ... Achieving power and how one is expected to behave once the power is achieved are two that are utilized in the play. {Extraordinary means are both taken to ensure the accomplishment of their goals}How Duncan and MacBeth both utilize their power follow the set of guidelines Machiavelli warns to avoid. Before MacBeth became king, he retained two titles, Thane of Glamis and Cawdor. Here, he had the adequate balance of clemency and cruelty. However, after the killing of Duncan, he became excessively cruel in nature....   [tags: power, cruelty, security]

Research Papers
574 words (1.6 pages)

Essay on Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince

- More than 480 years ago, Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince was published. It established a system of governance influential still today. His ideas were available before thinkers such as Rousseau and Locke. Men who believed that government derived its just powers from the consent of the governed. Machiavelli, unlike Rousseau and Locke, did not suggest government of the people, but government were power was centralized and secure in the hands of an elite few. His ideas, for example, led to the rise of France as a world power under the leadership of Louis XIV, arguable one of the most successful monarchs in European history....   [tags: governance, power, leaders]

Research Papers
1002 words (2.9 pages)

Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince and The Discourses Essays

-      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....   [tags: Machiavelli Prince Religion Religious Essays]

Research Papers
2286 words (6.5 pages)

Machiavelli’s The Prince and the Modern Executive Essay

- The Prince and the Modern Executive     Few question The Prince’s place in the canon of western literature. That it marks a turning point in our collective history, the origin of the study of politics as a science (Pollock 43), is alone enough to warrant its classification as a "Great Book. Its author, Niccolo Machiavelli, a contemporary of Copernicus, is generally accepted as an early contributor to the scientific revolution, because he looked at power and the nature of sovereignty through the eyes of a scientist, focused completely on the goal without regard for religion and morals and ethics....   [tags: Machiavelli The Prince Essays]

Research Papers
1959 words (5.6 pages)

Essay on Cassirer, Nietzsche and Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince

- 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]

Research Papers
1164 words (3.3 pages)

Separating Political Conduct and Personal Morality in Niccolò Machiavelli's, The Prince

- Separating Political Conduct and Personal Morality in Niccolò Machiavelli's, The Prince Niccolò Machiavelli wrote, in his novel The Prince, that strong central political leadership was more important than anything else, including religion and moral behavior. Machiavelli, writing during a period of dramatic change known as the Italian Renaissance, displayed attitudes towards many issues, mostly political, which supported his belief that strong government was the most important element in society....   [tags: Machiavelli Prince Essays Papers]

Research Papers
2147 words (6.1 pages)

Related Searches


                    This is wonderful, and I will not be the one to say that knowledge of terrain is unimportant. But, it stands to reason that the lay of the land will do a country little good if there is no need to defend it. Machiavelli's logic is perfect for the situation of the time. It would do little good to know defense if peace runs as rampant as war did. If we prepared peace, there would be no need to know defense.
                   There is also the statement that, to know peace, you must prepare war. Machiavelli states this, again, as he lives through a ravaged northern Italy and a failing economy. If the Medicis had, in some way, shape or form prepared just the slightest for these wars, there would be (certainly) less of a problem. Rather, the Medicis focused on a strong economy, (meaning they made more money) thinking nothing of war. When war came, they were forced to raise taxes for defense
purposes. Machiavelli addresses the Medici's faults in leadership by stating what should be done.
                    The Cold War is a prime example of preparation for war's failure. The United States and the USSR were running a huge arms race against each other. Rather than prosper, as Machiavelli's statement describes, the US fell into debt and the economy went into recession. The USSR has yet to get out of the economic strife that the preparation for war left it in. The Cold War had its beginnings at the end of World War II. There was no longer a war, the erring nations had been subdued (especially Japan) and the world was at peace. There were no hostile actions between the US and Russia, only threats, indirect threats, at that. Had war been looming over either country, the preparation would have caused prosperity DURING THE WARTIME. There was peace throughout the globe, and Machiavelli's statements are not valid for world leaders facing possible peace.
                    Written for a wartime setting, The Qualities of a Prince discusses ideals for leadership of a warring nation, how to get out of the war. Machiavelli is writing for a very specific audience, the unfit rulers, the Medicis. His work is more a piece that shows their ineptness by showing what should be done. The actions it describes are not meant for a country facing peace, though admittedly if war reared its ugly head again, it would be beneficial to be ready for it. To know peace during a war, you must be ready to fight the fight. To know peace during peacetime, you must prepare peace.


 Works Cited

 Jacobus, Lee  A World of Ideas: Essential Readings for College Writers, Fifth Edition, 1988
Return to 123HelpMe.com