Machiavelli Essays

Machiavelli Essays-45
setting up a government composed of a few men who will keep it friendly to you." Once a prince takes control of a city, he must not forget it, for it can easily be lost.

The region was not one nation as it is today, rather a collection of several city-states, which contained internal fighting between powerful families, fighting with each other.

This era differed from the preceding middle ages in many respects, the pope's power was weakened, money controlled power instead of noble birth, and there was a revival of ancient Greek and Roman literature, architecture and art by a new breed of people, the humanists.

In , Machiavelli writes, "Nor will any reasonable man blame him for taking any action, however extraordinary, which may be of service in the organizing of a kingdom or the constituting of a republic...

Reprehensible actions may be justified by their effects." It was not the means that were taken to accomplish something, or whether they were moral, that was the issue of importance; instead it was the end result that mattered.

In the year 1513, the year The Prince was written, Pope Alexander VI, the Borgia pope, was sitting on the throne.

He used the papacy to promote the careers of his children, caused a French invasion of Italy, and focused on nothing but his quest for more power.He witnessed the corrupt popes of Rome attempting to gain power just as the wealthy families did.These events and people left impressions on him that would become recommendations for strong, ruthless, central government in his writings.These attitudes and ideas were very appropriate for the time because they stressed strong, centralized power, the only kind of leadership that seemed to be working throughout Europe, and which was the element Italy was lacking.Machiavelli understood that obtaining such a government could not be done without separating political conduct and personal morality, and suggested that the separation be made.It is laws that make a state and its ruler what they are.As was mentioned earlier, Machiavelli lived in an era and location that allowed him to witness corruption in the Christian church in its height, causing him to view the pope as just another prince on a quest for increased power.the willingness of men to change one lord for another, believing thus to improve their lot." To avoid against rebellions, the prince must be very harsh, disarm the populace, and always be cautious.It is easier for a prince to hold control after he has already subdued one rebellion, for he can use it as an excuse to establish himself more solidly, by strengthening his power.With a pope as corrupt as Alexander VI sitting on the throne, one living in the early sixteenth century must have had difficulty seeing the importance of avoiding evil and morality.The church didn't avoid it, so why should everyone else?


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