Qualities Of A Good Ruler Based On Niccolo Machiavelli's "The Prince."

1038 words - 4 pages

In history, the main reason why a nation prospers is because of its leader. The best written piece I have come across on this topic is Niccolo Machiavelli's book, "The Prince". A leader should be intelligent, strong, caring and devoted to his subjects. Although people have different opinions in the qualities of a good ruler, all believe that a leader should help his nation grow and thrive.In his book, "The Prince", Niccolo Machiavelli states his opinions on what makes a good ruler. He believed that a leader should not think about his luxuries as much as gaining knowledge about commanding and leading. This takes a lot of training and hard work, but by doing this he will maintain the reign of his family rule.A great example of a ruler who was too caught up in luxuries and weakened his empire because of selfishness is Louis XIV. He tried to gain as much power as possible at the expense of his subjects. He taxed the poor to support his wars. He lived in a palace so large that one would need days to explore all its beauties. However, when he died, his subjects celebrated like never before as nothing can be more humiliating than that.One of the most important qualities Machiavelli stated a ruler should have is knowledge of warfare. Without the ability to defend his nation, a ruler will not be for long. It also makes the people feel uneasy and unsafe, which leads to conspiracies against him and challenges against his power. Machiavelli believed that a ruler should always exercise his practice in warfare, especially during peacetime.Machiavelli advised that a ruler should study the history of other great leaders to learn how they won and lost battles, and try to avoid their mistakes. Machiavelli says that a prince in warfare should be like a fox and a lion; a fox to show tactic and cunningness during battle, while a lion to show great strength and bring fear to his aggressors.Some internal qualities of a ruler are generosity, leadership, intelligence and a kind heart. On the other hand, Machiavelli thought that the sovereign should take whatever action that he felt to make sure that order and stability was maintained; therefore, he advocates the use of evil to acquire a principality.He mentioned how cruelty was used in Romania by Cesare Borgia to achieve order and obedience. Borgia was able to do this because he used his own men and not mercenaries. Machiavelli felt that by using mercenaries, it would have lead to the prince's downfall. He thought mercenaries were "disunited, ambitious, without discipline, and unfaithful", and therefore, would ruin the prince, as well as his country.Machiavelli theorized that it is better to be feared than loved, and he showed this example through Hannibal. Hannibal was able to lead an army of different races through other countries without problems because he was cruel and people feared him. So, Machiavelli felt that the fear of punishment was a better way to maintain power than getting people's goodwill and love. The...

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