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Assess The Historical Significance Of Machiavelli's Writing Of 'the Prince" During The Renaissance Period

1344 words - 5 pages

Assess the historical significance of Machiavelli's writing of 'The Prince" during the Renaissance periodThe Renaissance period was one of great achievement in the fields of architecture, painting, sculpture and literature. 'Machiavelli, a writer of literature emerged and came to favor in Florence during the rule of Savonarola in Italy.' In his work the Prince, a handbook for rulers, I will discuss its significance during this turbulent period in history. In doing this I will draw on some references from the Prince and explain their meaning and implications during the period of 1513 in Italy. This essay will then conclude with a summary and an evaluation of the historical significance of The Prince from an amoral and objective perspective during the Renaissance period.Machiavelli was born in Florence, Italy at a time when the country was in political upheaval. Italy was divided between four dominant city-states, and each of these was continually at the mercy of the stronger foreign governments of Europe. He was once a roving ambassador and diplomat for the Florentine Republic and thus spent time with many of the major Italian leaders of the day. During the period from 1469 to 1492 when Florence was under the control of Lorenzo de Medici the economy expanded significantly and the lower class enjoyed a greater level of comfort and protection. 'In 1512 the Medici overthrew the Florentine republic, returning to power with the help of the papal army and that of Spain. Following the discovery of a plot, of which he was innocent, against the Medici patriarchs, Machiavelli was forced into exile on his country estate.' It was later Machiavelli wrote the Prince, a guidebook for a ruler that would eventually unite Italy to drive out foreign threats. It illustrated the ways in which al leader follows the guidelines of what he believed to be a good political life as a leader. This book gives a general overview of human behaviour, hoping that future princes can establish peace and security in their kingdoms, using this basic knowledge. Machiavelli discusses power with the people, dictatorial power, and power with people, shared power. The examples he used were written for the environment that rulers of the day were living in. During that period in Italy necessary steps were needed to overpower neighbouring enemies. In writing the Prince, Machiavelli realised how necessary it was to dwell on stratagems of power and military organization that will effectively maintain a state.The Prince deals with how principalities should be ruled and preserved. Machiavelli notes that is easier to govern a hereditary state than a new principality for two main reasons. First those under the rule of such states are familiar with the prince's family and are therefore accustomed to their rule. The natural prince only has to keep past institutions intact, while adapting them to current events. Second, the natural disposition of subjects in a hereditary state is to love and accept...

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