The Prince is a 16th-century political treatise by the Yet Machiavelli is keenly aware of the fact that an earlier pro-republican coup had been thwarted by the people’s. Le Prince de Machiavel Rsum La Philosophie Le Prince doit toujours s attirer la sympathie du peuple et s appuyer sur les puissants Aim et craint la fois, le. Her third husband was the French spy Thomas Pichon. Le Prince de Machiavel Rsum La Philosophie Le Prince doit toujours s attirer la sympathie du peuple et.
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From correspondence a version appears to have been distributed in machiwvel, using a Latin title, De Principatibus Of Principalities. This was done with the permission macniavel the Medici pope Clement VIIbut “long before macuiavel, in fact since the first appearance of The Prince in manuscript, controversy had swirled about his writings”.
Although it was written as if it were a traditional work in the mirrors for princes style, it is generally agreed that it was especially innovative. This is only partly because it was written in the vernacular Italian rather than Latin, a practice which had become increasingly popular since the publication of Dante’s Divine Comedy and other works of Renaissance literature. The Prince is sometimes claimed to be one rsjm the first works of modern philosophyespecially modern political philosophyin which the effective truth is taken to be more important than any abstract ideal.
It was also in direct conflict with the dominant Catholic and scholastic doctrines of the time concerning politics and ethics. Although it is relatively short, the treatise is the most remembered of Machiavelli’s works and the one most responsible for bringing the word ” Machiavellian ” into usage as a pejorative.
It even contributed to the modern negative connotations of the words “politics” and “politician” in western countries. In its use of near-contemporary Italians as examples of people who perpetrated criminal deeds for politics, another lesser-known work by Machiavelli which The Prince has been compared to is the Life of Machiave, Castracani.
The descriptions within The Prince have the general theme of accepting that the aims of princes — such as glory and survival — can justify the use of immoral means to achieve those ends: He who neglects what is done for what ought to be done, sooner effects his ruin than his preservation. Each part of The Prince has been commented on over centuries.
The work has a recognizable structure, for the most part indicated by the author himself. It can be summarized as follows: The Prince starts by describing the subject matter it will handle. In the first sentence Machiavelli uses the word ” state ” Italian stato which could also mean ” status ” in order to neutrally cover “all forms of organization of supreme political power, whether republican or princely”.
The way in which the word state came to acquire this modern type of meaning during the Renaissance has been the subject of many academic discussions, with this sentence and similar ones in the works of Machiavelli being considered particularly important. Machiavelli said that The Prince would be about princedoms, mentioning that he has written about republics elsewhere possibly referring to the Discourses on Livy although this is debatedbut in fact he mixes discussion of republics into this in many places, effectively treating republics as a type of princedom also, and one with many strengths.
More importantly, and less traditionally, he distinguishes new princedoms from hereditary established princedoms. For such a prince, “unless extraordinary vices cause him to be hated, it is reasonable to expect that his subjects will be naturally well disposed towards him”.
Normally, these types of works were addressed only to hereditary princes. He thinks Machiavelli may have been influenced by Tacitus as well as his own experience, but finds no clear predecessor for this.
This categorization of regime types is also “un-Aristotelian”  and apparently simpler than the traditional one found for example in Aristotle ‘s Politicswhich divides regimes into those ruled by a single monarch, an oligarchyor by the people, in a democracy. Xenophonon the other hand, made exactly the same distinction between types of rulers in the beginning of his Education of Cyrus where he says that, concerning the knowledge of how to rule human beings, Cyrus the Greathis exemplary prince, was very different “from all other kings, both those who have inherited their thrones from their fathers and those who have gained their crowns by their own efforts”.
Machiavelli divides the subject of new states into two types, “mixed” cases and purely new states. Machiavelli generalizes that there were several virtuous Roman ways to hold a newly acquired province, using a republic as an example of how new princes can act:.
More generally, Machiavelli emphasizes that one should have regard not only for present problems but also for the future ones.
In some cases the old king of the conquered kingdom depended on his lords. These are easy to enter but difficult to hold. When the kingdom revolves around the king, with everyone else his servant, then it is difficult to enter but easy to hold. The solution is to eliminate the old bloodline of the prince. Machiavelli used the Persian empire of Darius IIIconquered by Alexander the Greatto illustrate this point and then noted that the Medici, if they think about it, will find this historical example similar to the “kingdom of the Turk” Ottoman Empire in their time — making this a potentially easier conquest to hold than France would be.
Gilbert supposed the need to discuss conquering free republics is linked to Machiavelli’s project to unite Italy, which machiqvel some free republics. As he also notes, the chapter in any case makes it clear that holding such a state is highly difficult for a prince. Machiavelli gives three options:. Princes who rise to power through their own skill and resources their “virtue” rather than luck tend to have a hard time rising to the top, but once princd reach the top they are very secure in their position.
This is because they effectively crush their opponents and earn great respect from everyone else.
Because they are strong and more self-sufficient, they have to make fewer compromises with their allies. Machiavelli writes that reforming an existing order is one of the most dangerous and difficult things a prince can do. Part of the reason is that people are naturally resistant to change and reform. Those who benefited from the old order will resist change very fiercely.
By contrast, those who can benefit from the new order will be less fierce in their support, because the new order is unfamiliar and they are not certain it will live up to its promises. Moreover, it is impossible for the prince to satisfy everybody’s expectations.
Inevitably, he will disappoint some of his followers. Therefore, a prince must have the means to force his supporters to keep supporting him even when they start having second thoughts, otherwise he will lose his power. Only armed prophets, like Moses, succeed in bringing lasting change. Machiavelli claims that Moses killed uncountable numbers of his own people in order to enforce his will. Machiavelli was not the first thinker to notice this pattern.
But Machiavelli went much further than any other author in his emphasis on this aim, and Gilbert associates Machiavelli’s emphasis upon such drastic aims with the level of corruption to be found in Italy. According to Machiavelli, when a prince comes to power through luck or the blessings of powerful figures within the regime, he typically has an easy time gaining power but a hard time keeping it thereafter, because his power is dependent on his benefactors’ goodwill.
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He does not command the loyalty of the armies and officials that maintain his machiaevl, and these can be withdrawn from him at a whim. Having risen the easy way, it is not even certain such a prince has the skill and strength to stand on his own feet. This is not necessarily machiavsl in every case. Machiavelli price Cesare Borgia as an example of a lucky prince who escaped this pattern.
Through cunning political machiavl, he managed to secure his power base. Cesare was made commander of the papal armies by his father, ;rince Alexander VIbut was also heavily dependent on mercenary armies loyal to the Orsini brothers and the support of the French king.
Macniavel won over the allegiance of the Orsini brothers’ followers with better pay and prestigious government posts. When some lee his mercenary captains started to plot against him, he had them imprisoned and executed.
When it looked as though the king of France would abandon him, Borgia sought new alliances. Finally, Machiavelli makes a point that bringing new benefits to a conquered people will not be enough to cancel the memory of old injuries, an idea Allan Gilbert said can be found in Tacitus and Seneca the Younger.
Conquests by “criminal virtue” are ones in which the new prince secures his power through cruel, immoral deeds, such as the execution of political rivals. Machiavelli advises that a prince should carefully calculate all the wicked deeds he needs to do to secure his power, and then execute them all rsu, one stroke, such that he need not commit any more wickedness for the rest of his reign.
In this way, his subjects will slowly forget his cruel deeds and his reputation can recover. Princes who fail to do this, who hesitate in their ruthlessness, find that their problems mushroom over time and they are forced to commit wicked deeds throughout their reign. Thus they continuously mar their reputations and alienate their people.
Machiavelli’s case study is Agathocles of Syracuse. After Agathocles became Praetor of Princee, he called a meeting of the city’s elite.
At his signal, his soldiers killed all the senators and the wealthiest citizens, completely destroying the old oligarchy. He declared himself ruler with no opposition.
So secure was his power that he could afford to absent himself to go off on military campaigns in Africa. However, Machiavelli then strongly rebukes Agathocles, stating, “Yet one cannot call it virtue to kill one’s citizens, betray one’s friends, to be without faith, without mercy, without religion; these modes can enable one to acquire empire, but not glory.
Thus, one cannot attribute to fortune or virtue what he achieved without either. On the other hand, Gilbert shows that another piece of advice in this chapter, to give benefits macyiavel it will not appear forced, was traditional. A “civil principality” is one in which a citizen comes to power “not machizvel crime or other intolerable violence”, but by the support of his fellow citizens. Machiavelli makes an important distinction rsym two groups that are present in every city, and have very different appetites driving them: The “great” wish to oppress and rule the “people”, while the “people” wish not to be machiacel or oppressed.
A principality is not the only outcome possible from these appetites, because it can also lead to either “liberty” or “license”. A principality is put into place either by the “great” or the “people” when they have the opportunity to take power, but find resistance from the other side.
They assign a leader who can be popular to the people while the great benefit, or a strong authority defending the people against the great. Machiavelli goes on to say that a prince who obtains power through the support of the nobles has a harder time staying in power than someone who is chosen by the common people; since the former finds himself surrounded by people who consider themselves his equals. He has to resort to malevolent measures to satisfy machiavsl nobles.
The Prince – Wikipedia
One cannot by fair dealing, and without injury to others, satisfy the nobles, but you can satisfy the people, for their object is more righteous than that of the nobles, the latter wishing to oppress, while the former only desire not to be oppressed. Also a prince cannot afford to keep the common people hostile as they are larger in number while the nobles smaller. Therefore the great should be made and unmade every day.
There are two types of great people that might be encountered:. The way to judge the strength of a princedom is to see whether it can defend itself, or whether it needs to depend on allies. This does not just mean that the cities should be prepared and the people trained; a prince who is hated is also exposed.
This type of “princedom” refers for example explicitly to the Catholic church, which is of course not rum thought of as a princedom. According to Machiavelli, these are relatively easy to maintain, once founded.
They do not need to defend themselves militarily, nor to govern their subjects. Machiavelli discusses the recent history of the Church as if it were a princedom that was in competition to conquer Italy against other princes. He points to rpince as a historical weak point in the Church, and points to the recent example of the Borgia family as a better strategy which almost worked. He then explicitly proposes that the Medici are now in a position to try the same thing.
Having discussed the various types of principalitiesMachiavelli turns to the ways a state can attack other territories or defend itself. The two most essential foundations for any state, whether old or new, are sound laws rsun strong military forces. He should be “armed” with his own arms. Pince, a prince that relies solely on fortifications or on the help of others and stands on the defensive is not self-sufficient.
If he cannot raise a formidable army, but must rely on defense, mqchiavel must fortify his city. A well-fortified city is unlikely to be attacked, and if prine is, most armies cannot endure an extended siege.