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Biography Of Niccolo Machiavelli Essay

1749 words - 7 pages

Biography of Niccolo Machiavelli

Niccolo Machiavelli was born in Florence, Italy on May 3rd 1469. As an
Italian historian, statesman, political philosopher, and a diplomat
during the renaissance, Machiavelli was a man who lived his life for
politics and patriotism. As a patriotic Florentine, he was a firm
believer in that Florence was the most important state, and should
have a strong government, as Italy was divided into states where much
political upheaval was occurring, particularly between the four
dominant states; Florence, Milan, Naples and Venice. In this essay,
the main features of the Machiavellian state, the major concepts of
fortune and virtue within Machiavelli's theory of the state, and also
the significance of the theory for individuals in society will all be
discussed and analysed to the fullest extent.

Machiavelli was given a position of authority-service secretary-in
1498, after a banking family-the Medici's-were exiled from Florence
due to the political upheaval within the state. During this time,
three major events in Machiavelli's life were the inspiration for him
to write "The Prince", a book about personal and national tragedy. The
first of the major events was the military scandal in 1499, in which
the Florentine army unsuccessfully attempted to capture the city of
Pisa due to the army leader Vitelli calling off the attack. After this
humiliation, he was looked upon as a traitor, and was ruthlessly
executed as a result. From this, Machiavelli derived that mercenary
troops cannot and must not be trusted to have the power to make
important decisions especially if it has a detrimental effect on the
government. He also believed that states should be self sufficient,
that they should run within themselves and be protected by their own
army, not humiliated. It was during his exile in San Casciano, when he
was desperate to get back into government, that he wrote his principle
works: the Discourse on Livy, the Prince, the History of Florence, and
two plays. Many of these works, such as The Prince, were written for
the express purpose of getting a job in the Medici government.

The second major event was the diplomatic mission to France in 1500
where Machiavelli tried to persuade Louis xii, who provided the troops
for the assault on Pisa and that the failure of the assault on Pisa
was nothing to do with Florence but the bad managing of his troops.
Machiavelli left with nothing achieved, and instead of having the
welcome and leaving he thought he deserved he got insults of neglect
and hearing the Florentines dismissed as 'signor nothing.' After this
trip he came to the conclusion that you have to be clever and ruthless
if you want to create a state that has a strong force, he had to spend
money and be cultured.

In 1502 his third mission he met with Cesare...

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