The Prince, By Machiavelli Essay

1921 words - 8 pages

“It is much safer to be feared than loved.” This quotation was just a specimen of the harsh and very practical political annotation of the legendary historian, Niccolò Machiavelli – philosopher, patriot, diplomat, advisor and statesman. He was born as the son of a poor lawyer in 1498, but he never let boundaries restrict him. He still received an excellent humanist education from the University of Florence and was soon after appointed as the Second Chancellor of the Republic of Florence.2 His political importance to Florence would soon give him the opportunity to write what is disputed as one of the most significant works in history, The Prince.
For fourteen years Machiavelli engaged in a bustle of diplomatic activity on behalf of his country, Florence. He was at the prime of his life while “traveling to major centers in Italy, as well as to the royal court of France and to the imperial curia of Maximilian.”3 Contrariwise, he was about to face the most prevalent trial in his existence. He soon fell as a direct target to the administrative modification when the republican government disintegrated to an external revolution to reinstate the wealthy Medici Family.4 Yesterday’s men soon became today’s enemies. The Medici’s wrongly accused Machiavelli of conspiracy and had him thrown into prison for several weeks, in what he later called a “dainty hospice.”5 While imprisoned, he was crudely tortured. After his release, he soon moved outside of Florence and began writing The Prince in such a haste which was directly meant to be presented to the Medici family.6 Imagine, in the scorching summer, exactly 500 years ago, a 44 year old man at this time, whose arms and shoulders were still sore from the strappado, 7 sat down to write what he hoped would be his calling card to get himself another job. This literature pronounced how to run a territory without regard for customary philosophies and about right and wrong in his opinion based on his personal experience.8 His works have since then placed a huge impression on how all philosophers view and interpret Western thought through political theory.
Niccolò Machiavelli was an activist of analyzing power. He believed firmly in his theories and he wanted to persuade everyone else of them as well. To comment on the common relationship that was seen between moral goodness and legitimate authority of those who held power, Machiavelli said that authority and power were essentially coequal.9 He believed that whomever had power obtained the right to command; but goodness does not ensure power. This implied that the only genuine apprehension of the administrative power was the attainment and preservation of powers which indirectly guided the maintenance of the state. That, to him, should have been the objective of all leaders. Machiavelli believed that one should do whatever it took, during the given circumstance, to keep his people in favor of him and to maintain the state. Thus, all leaders should have both a...

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