Machiavelli's "The Prince". Essay

1398 words - 6 pages

Machiavelli's, The Prince, is a straightforward, no-nonsense book on the application of power during the sixteenth century (Teuber Par. 1 Intro). Published in 1513, it was an attempt Machiavelli made to hastily re-enter politics (Machiavelli Pg. 3).Machiavelli was born May 3, 1469, in Florence, to a well-known middle-class family. Not a lot is known about his early life, but it is known that as a young man he learned Latin and that he much enjoyed reading ancient classics. His family members, had, by tradition, filled dependable positions in local government, and in 1498 Machiavelli's first involvement in politics was with the unstable Florentine. He helped unseat the dominant political and religious figure in Florence, Girolamo Savonarola (Teuber Par. 1 Bio.)The same year, he was appointed as chancellor and secretary to the Ten of Liberty and Peace of the republic. Machiavelli had a chance to participate in both diplomatic missions to foreign governments and in domestic politics. Over the next fourteen years, he was able to closely scrutinize the internal workings of government and to convene with prominent individuals. Among them, he met Cesare Borgia, who had a major profile in leadership for The Prince. By 1502, he had rapidly gained a political reputation and was a respected assistant to the republican head of state, Piero Soderini (Teuber Par. 1 Bio).In 1512, having been exiled since 1494, the Medici family seized the opportunity to replace and overthrow Soderini and the republican government with their own autocratic regime. Machiavelli was finally banished to his home in Percussina, after being removed from office, imprisoned, and tortured for his distinguished republican opinions. Around 1518, he changed his writing style to drama in La mandragola, which firmly established the human nature given to self-centeredness. The play was popular in much of Italy for several years. His next attempt was a military paper published in 1521 called The Art of War. This was Machiavelli's only historical work published. Having dedicated The Prince directly to Medici, Machiavelli had made several attempts to gain his favor. Finally, in 1520, he was appointed official historian of Florence and was, as a result, commended with minor governmental duties (Teuber Par. 2 Bio).In 1527, the Medici family was once again exiled, and Machiavelli's hopes for advancement under the revitalized republic were frustrated, for the new government was apprehensive of his ties to the Medici. Saddened by his country's internal strife, the disappointed Machiavelli fell seriously ill and died on June 20, 1527 in Florence. (Teuber Par. 2 Bio)A major event of Machiavelli's time was the Renaissance. The Renaissance lasted throughout the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. ("Renaissance" Encarta® Online Par. I Intro)There were new forms of political organization and behavior, both in Italy and in the north. These accompanied by new attitudes toward politics. As Machiavelli states,...

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