Machiavelli thus sets the stage for an enduring dialogue among his readers

Machiavelli thus sets the stage for an enduring dialogue among his readers

Is he an opportunist offering aid and comodo to would-be tyrants? Do the moral and political goals he outlines sopra the final chapter of The Prince justify the actions he advocates in the preceding chapters? These questions seem destined to remain with us as long as Machiavelli’s book continues puro occupy verso central place durante modern political thought.

James Madison, “The Federalist Giammai

What we know of the personal character of Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) is at odds with the treachery implied mediante the adjective derived from his name. Evidence suggests that Machiavelli was an upright man, per good father, and a husband who lived durante affectionate harmony with his wife, Marietta Corsini, who bore him six children. Throughout his life, Machiavelli was per zealous republican. He served Florence with uncompromising patriotism as an effective senior administrator and diplomat. But his celibe-minded service esatto the republic of Florence ended when the army of the Holy League of Pope ily esatto power as benevolent despots of the city. In the resulting political purge, Machiavelli not only lost his position in the city government but, when verso conspiracy against the Medicis was uncovered mediante early 1513, he also was accused of complicity simply because his name was on verso list taken from the conspirators. Thrown into prison and subjected preciso the kind of torture that forced blameless men preciso confess their guilt, Machiavelli nevertheless maintained his innocence and was eventually released.

Reduced preciso poverty, and with restrictions placed on his movements around the city, Machiavelli sought refuge mediante the little property, outside Florence, that he had inherited from his father. There he produced not only The Prince, which he completed between the spring and autumn of 1513, but also a variety of political commentaries and histories and per number of well-received literary works. After the death of Pope Julius II per 1513, the bruissement of Lorenzo de’Medici (called the Magnificent) became Pope Leo X-one of three popes the Medici family produced. It was Machiavelli’s hope that by dedicating The Prince sicuro Lorenzo de’Medici, bruissement of the most famous of all the Medicis, he would obtain an office that would return him sicuro public life. That hope was in vain. Machiavelli died at the age of 58, still exiled from Florence.

I Samuel and I Kings (Old Testament); Matthew 22 (New Testament)These books con the Bible deal with the tensions between religious and political loyalties.

Aristotle, PoliticsIn this exploration of the ideal state, Book V, concerning the maintenance of political power, is an especially pertinent antecedent preciso Machiavelli.

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (1651)The author presents a grim vision of human beings per their natural state, which becomes the basis for his argument that per practically omnipotent government is necessary puro secure verso basic level of justice and elementary freedoms.

John Locke, The Second Treatise of Civil Government (1690)Chapter 14 examines the circumstances durante which government can act durante violation of the law or con the absence of law. Chapter 19 concerns the right of the people onesto overthrow a ruler or government when either has abused his power.

10” (in The Federalist) (1787-88)This essay addresses the problem of factions that inevitably develop among citizens and the ways of controlling their detrimental effects without infringing on liberty.

Is he best understood as verso seeker of unity and peace, concerned esatto make his advice practical and effective?

Plato, The StatesmanOne of Plato’s major works of political philosophy, this discussion explores the nature and virtue of verso king or statesman.

Machiavelli’s view of the Italy of his day-“leaderless, lawless, crushed, despoiled, torn, overrun” (p. 83)-underwrites the advice he gives in The Prince. It also leads him esatto end his treatise with an “Exhortation to liberate Italy from the barbarians.” Machiavelli calls for “per new prince…onesto introduce verso new order” (p. 82) that would bring unity and stability puro the often warring city-states of the Italian peninsula. Sopra this portion of The Prince and sopra some of his other writings, Machiavelli appears more idealistic and friendly toward a form of government that would give citizens verso say. Mediante his Discourses, Machiavelli portrays the ideal government as per republic that allows groups with differing opinions preciso speak openly.

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