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Machiavelli's "The Prince": This Paper Was Written To Summarize "The Prince" By Machiavelli And To Pull The Deeper Meanings Out Of It. We Also Had To Compare It To Previous Literature In Its Genre.

1104 words - 4 pages

Niccolo Machiavelli's book, "The Prince", examines the statecraft that should be employed by prince's who wish to keep their principalities or kingdom. Many of Machiavelli's suggestions are very practical and rooted more in establishing a united state rather than the betterment of the people. In this Machiavelli differs from his predecessors of the middle age who wrote mainly for the betterment of man's nature rather than a unified, powerful state.Machiavelli's view of people take's a large part in shaping his views about how one should run a principality. He tends to pigeonhole people according to their status when gauging how they will respond to certain measures. Machiavelli hardly allows for any inconsistencies within certain groups. One is either for or against the prince and therefore either for or against the state. He allows for very little grey area in the feelings of people for the state. One of the only times in which Machiavelli allows for ambivalence towards the state is under new principality that is gained through armed seizure where those who benefit from the new state have only "lukewarm support" for the state and "generally incredulous."The general population is portrayed as a rather malleable, unintelligent section of society. Machiavelli has his prince treat them much like a herd of cattle. All one has to do is let them be and occasionally guide them when they go astray. Machiavelli counsels his prince to go and live among conquered people so that he can see trouble from the start and fix the problem before it can be serious.Machiavelli also advises removing people from conquered territories and transplanting into their spots people who are surely loyal to the prince. According to Machiavelli they cannot become a problem because they are scattered and poor. This prevents organization of those who disapprove of the prince but could provide a nice ready made martyr for any cause wishing to depose the prince. Common people are also portrayed as being blindly loyal because "when men receive favors from someone they expected to do them ill, they are under a greater obligation to their benefactor." Thus people are reduced to mainly materialistic beings only concerned with who gives them the best deal.Machiavelli shows little concern for the moral or material betterment of the people. There is no concern about getting rid of their sinfulness or making them better citizens. They seem to be only considered as tools for manipulation that help a prince in establishing or keeping power over a principality. With this treatment of the people Machiavelli is valuing political unity and power over a more traditional utopia where the ruler tries to help his people come closer to perfection ad move away from a sinful life.Machiavelli also lumps all rulers together as being ambitious and only out to better their prospects without any concern for their people. He encourages them to exploit the people's weaknesses with above mentioned strategies....

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