Machiavelli Essay

1824 words - 7 pages

THE PRINCE I believe Machiavelli is telling us how to turn a common man into a grand ruler while explaining what mistakes would cause failure and how to avoid making those mistakes.According to Machiavelli beginning in chapter 1, a dominion is either obtained through hereditary means or through less desirable means. A new ruler would feel he has to make a name for himself and therefore hereditary rulers who rule with compassion, will see their subjects fight to keep them on the throne. Now, if an outside force dethrones him, it will be easier to regain his title because of the cruelties experienced at the hands of those who overthrew the throne against his people. With this cruelty, the people will come to know what they have lost and will aggressively fight to restore him to the throne.Chapter 3 explains the mixed principality comes to be when a peoples overthrow their own ruler to join an established neighboring regime with the hope of improving their own lives. The old cliché comes to mind, "˜the pasture always looks greener on the other side." They will not find their lives have improved because this new force will inevitably bring harm to the new principality, costing them the goodwill of their new neighbors. Unfortunately the new ruler cannot use force against them because of his sense of obligation towards them. The ruler will find it easier to conquer the people the second time with force because they can call it a rebellion and squash it, making the land easier to retain. Machiavelli notates that if the customs are the same between the current and soon conquered holding, all someone has to do is eliminate the ruling family and change nothing concerning the laws or the taxes. Yet, on the other hand, if the laws, language, and customs are different, the prince has three choices (pg. 46) regarding the ruling of the land. He can either live there - making it easier to learn of and squash any signs of rebellion, instilling fear or love, thus keeping potential enemies away for fear of war; he may choose to use a large force made up of soldiers, although this is a more expensive alternative and would be unfavorable by the citizens of the new principality; or he can colonize (pg. 37) which would be less expensive and those who are dispossessed in order to house the new inhabitants will not be a large enough group to fight back. The Romans prove that colonizing, reducing strong and threatening powers while protecting lesser powers without increasing their power and forbidding foreign powers on neighboring soil really works. Just look at the Roman Empire, I don't believe luck had anything to do with their growth.He goes on to tell us that land ruled by a single ruler will find it easier to gain and maintain control of the land than those with a central leader. This would cause more resistance, one's absolute ruling would be threatened and the people would have more choices to follow (too many chiefs and not enough Indians?)....

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