Obtaining And Maintaining Political Power In Machiavelli's The Prince

841 words - 4 pages

In 1513, Niccoló Machiavelli wrote a political treatise supplying various method of ways a prince can obtain and maintain his political power. This work of literary art caused tons of controversy and was later forbidden by Pope Clement VIII due to it going against the normal traditional ethics at the time According to Machiavelli, a prince should only be concerned about power and ways leading to the success of their political actions. Modern scholars feel as though the book was not written as a actual guide of how to rule, but more of a satirical work of art on how not to rule over a country. Originally Machiavelli only wrote the letter in hopes of working as an advisor to the Medici family who at the time were ruling over Florence, Italy.
In Chapter 13 of Machiavelli’s The Prince begins with him talking about the military and how mercenaries are much different from auxiliaries. The comparison states that auxiliaries are much more of a danger to the country than a mercenary because auxiliaries come with ulterior motives. Mercenaries are professional soldiers who are hired and paid to serve in a foreign army while an auxiliary is an army is an army employed by a prince in a time of need. Machiavelli warns the dangers of auxiliaries because no matter the outcome of the war, the country receiving the help from the army will have some sort of horrible fate. In the case the country wins the war they are at risk of being captive to the auxiliaries leaving there to a negative consequence no matter what. By Machiavelli telling of the dangers of receiving help from such a negative force he allow his distrust in them to be shown. As a way of trying to get the reader to understand, Machiavelli uses historical examples of people who previously encountered negative experiences with the hired armies. Pope Julius II sought the help of auxiliaries after he noticed how horribly his mercenaries did during his Ferrara campaign and fortunately for him, he didn’t fall prisoner to the French or the auxiliaries because they failed to receive a victory for Pope Julius II. Pope Julius was one of the lucky few who managed not to fall victim of such a dangerous fate, but countries such as Greece and the Florentines put themselves in very a very compromising position after seeking out the help of the French and the Turks. The chapter then explains the importance of not depending on...

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