Essay about Niccolo Machiavellis The Prince

1. Look up Machiavelli. What were the circumstances surrounding his writing of The Prince, i. e. why did he write it? Niccolo Machiavelli was a diplomat for 14 years in Italy’s Florentine Republic during the Medici family’s exile. The young Niccolo Machiavelli became a diplomat after the temporary fall of Florence’s ruling Medici family in 1494. During this time he earned a reputation for deviousness. When the Medici family returned to power in 1512, he was found to be involved in an unsuccessful attempt to organize a Florentine militia against the return of the Medici family to power.

Machiavelli was dismissed, tortured, jailed and banished from an active role in political life. It was during this time that he wrote The Prince. The Prince is a handbook for politicians on the use of ruthless, self-serving cunning, inspiring the term “Machiavellian”. This is the closet that he could now get to being back in the political scene of which he was denied. It is suggested that he wrote The Prince out of resentment and bitterness to those he felt helped to banish him from the political life. He was also established as the “father of modern political theory. ” 2. How should a prince prepare for war?

Why in that manner? A prince must spend all his time studying the art of war. He needs to study and prepare during times of no conflict and peace in order to be prepared during wartime. A prince needs to train constantly. Train mentally by studying past leaders and ruler’s strategies. He needs to understand history. He needs to train physically by training his body. Any who studies and masters the art of war can be a great ruler, not just those born to it. It is very important for a prince to remember that should he not study he greatly increases his odds to lose his state. A prince ought to have no other aim or thought, nor select anything else for his study, than war and its rules and discipline.

This is the sole art that belongs to him who rules, and it is of such force that it not only supports those who are born princes, but it often enables men to rise from a private station to that rank. ” “But to exercise his mind, the prince should read histories, and study there the actions of great men, to see how they have conducted themselves in war, to examine the causes of their victories and defeats, so as to avoid the latter and imitate the former. (The Prince XIV) 3. Should a prince be a lion or a fox? Why? A prince must learn to be both a lion and a fox. A fox is defenseless against wolves so it must learn how to frighten off wolves and a lion is defenseless against traps so it must learn how to recognize the traps.

A prince needs to learn how to deal with people. He needs to learn when to break promises if they no longer suite his goals or put him at a disadvantage. He cannot rely on men because they can be deceitful. A prince, therefore, being forced knowingly to adopt the beast, ought to choose the fox and the lion; because the lion cannot defend himself against traps and the fox cannot defend himself against wolves. Therefore, it is necessary to be a fox to discover the traps and a lion to frighten the wolves. Those who rely simply on the lion do not understand what they are doing. Therefore a wise lord cannot, nor ought he, keep faith when such promises may be turned against him, and when the reasons that caused him to promise no longer exist.

If men were entirely good this principle would not hold, but because they are bad, and will not keep faith with you, you too are not bound to observe it with them. There will never be a shortage of good reasons to excuse going back on your word. Endless modern examples of this could be given, showing how many agreements have been broken by princes, and how he who has known best how to employ the fox has succeeded best” (The Prince XVIII) 4. What is the advantage or disadvantage of a prince acting liberally? Why? By acting liberally a prince can ruin his kingdom.

He will end up depleting his resources in order to maintain his generosity and then when he has to raise taxes, placing the burden on the people, to maintain the monetary resources to continuing being generous, the people will hate him. Generosity will lead to failure in maintaining the state. However if a prince is not generous, he is then considered a miser. A prince needs to be balanced and not worry about having a reputation of being mean. He needs to be thrifty and conscious and doing so will have enough money to take care of his country without overtaxing his people.

Commencing then with the first of the characteristics mentioned above, it would be nice to have the reputation of being generous. Nevertheless generosity exercised in a way that does not bring you the 25 reputation for it, injures you. If one shows generosity honestly and as it should be shown, it may not become known, and you will not avoid the criticism of its opposite, meanness. Therefore, anyone wishing to maintain the reputation of being generous has to keep on being more and more generous. As a result a prince thus inclined will consume all his property in such acts.

In the end, he will have to unnecessarily exploit his people, and tax them, and do everything he can to get money. This will soon make him disliked by his subjects, and becoming poor he will be little valued by anyone. Thus, with his generosity, having offended many and rewarded few, he is affected by the very first trouble. Recognizing this himself, and wishing to draw back from it, he runs at once into the criticism of being mean. Therefore, a prince, not being able to exercise this virtue of generosity in such a way that it is recognized, except to his cost, if he is wise, ought not to fear the reputation of being mean” (The Prince XVI) .

What is the goal of ruling? Why is this the goal? The goal of ruling is to get, keep and extend your power. The best way to do this is to study and the implementation of the use of military forces. A successful ruler must be able to do what no other person wants to do or is willing to do in order to achieve those goals. The welfare of the people, principles and the idea of right and wrong are only a means to an end, because the ultimate goal is power and doing whatever it takes to get, keep and extend it. Changing forms of Renaissance art to the changes in European society

The Renaissance was an age of growth in Europe. It is a time when new, powerful city states emerged. Due to the plague and the preceding economic depression, the new middle class had more and more money to spend. Trade routes in Italy, Venice and Genoa were established with the Orient and flourished. Florence became the center of wool, silk and jewelry art, and was home to the fabulous wealth of the cultured and artconscious Medici family. These trade routes assisted the spread of ideas and thus contributed to the growth of the movement across the Continent.

This change was also encompassing Northern Europe. With the increase of wealth, there was a large growth of commissions of large public and private art projects. The renaissance had many wonderful artists, writers and thinkers during this time. Literary revival Renaissance was determined to move away from the religion-dominated Middle Ages and to turn its attention to the plight of the individual man in society. Ancient Greek and Roman art was being studied and now human beings were included in artwork, it was no longer just depictions of holy topics.

With the increasing sophistication of society, characterized by political stability, economic growth and cosmopolitans, the two of the main themes of renaissance art were Individual expression and world experience. Libraries culture of antique worlds, allowing education to blossom. The Renaissance brought great social and cultural change to Europe. It was feed off the people’s attempt to imitate ancient Rome and Greece. The breakaway from medieval Europe’s culture and conformity, allowed new and inventive ideas to spread and influence Europe and help to decrease the dominance by the Catholic Church.