preview

Machiavelli's Political Philosophy

Better Essays
Niccolo Machiavelli was born on May 3, 1469 in Florence, Italy. Machiavelli was believed to be one of the most contentious political philosophers of his time. Machiavelli began working in the Florence government at a young age, employed as a "Florentine secretary." Throughout his employment with the government of Florence, Machiavelli started to notice the power that one person had over an entire country. In 1513 Machiavelli wrote what would become one of his most well-known works “The Prince,” in which Machiavelli voices his political concepts of ruling a country. “The Prince,” explains the political struggles of being ruled by callous leaders and power battles. “The Prince is considered a guide book to how leaders can gain and keep the power…show more content…
Hereditary principalities are those in which rule is inherited, it is a basis for a firm government. There is much to be said about people’s longing for change: “And in the antiquity and continuity of the government,” he writes, “people forget not only the reasons for innovations but their very existence, because every new change provides a footing to build on another.” Mixed principalities are territories that are annexed to the ruler 's existing territories. New principalities may be acquired by several methods: by one 's own power, by the power of others, by criminal acts or extreme cruelty, or by the will of the people (civic principalities). Ecclesiastical principalities namely the Papal States belonging to the Catholic…show more content…
The Prince is based around the need for bold, prompt plans, the need of action, and the handling of politics as a science, full of rules and conditions. Machiavelli explains that “a prince must be both human and beast, and as beast he must be both lion and fox. He must embrace the flaws of humanity; he must rely on both thought and action; he must look to the past as he heads toward the future.” I enjoyed how Machiavelli simplified things in order to better understand them. There were two quotes that I rather enjoyed, Machiavelli wrote, “Then virtue boldly shall engage/And swiftly vanquish barbarous rage/Proving that ancient and heroic pride/In true Italian hearts has never died.” A bold statement that explains one’s patriotism to its country. “There is no figure presently in sight,” he writes, “in whom [Italy] can better place her trust than your illustrious house, which, with its fortune and its merits, favored by God and the Church of which it is now the head, can take the lead in this process of redemption.” A powerful statement that explains that as long as God and the Church are in the forefront no weapon formed can withstand that kind of
Get Access