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The famous work of Niccolo Machiavelli The Prince was published in 1532. The book analyzes the politics, and the author observes that the ways of human behavior in the field of politics today are the same as they were years ago. He states that power and its manipulation are present at the level of government. Practical approach is combined with theoretical one here. Answering the question “how”, Machiavelli also tries to explain “why” this or that phenomenon is present in the state.
The primary objective of the book is giving advice for leaders, which will help them to strengthen the state and their own power. Machiavelli saw the power of a ruler in knowledge and ability to take into account and comprehend not only current events, but also experience of similar historical situations. One of such situations is the second Macedonian war, with which Machiavelli compares the first series of Italian wars.
From the first lines, Machiavelli begins to tell about the possible kinds of states, selecting republics or autocratic states. The most interesting idea in this chapter is that the state is gained by one’s own weapon or stranger’s one, favor of fate or valor. Then, the writer thinks over the methods which sovereigns can use to manage states and keep their leadership. The political scientist suggests a contradictory idea that keeping power is easier for a hereditary sovereign than for a new one.
He establishes a fact that a conqueror oppresses new citizens, as a rule. Machiavelli proposes for a sovereign to transmigrate to another state or form colonies that will merge with the state of conqueror.
The author gives examples of neighboring states, underlining rulers’ mistakes and their consequences. He examines three methods for preventing conquests, but having considered the examples it can be concluded that the only right decisions are either to proceed conquering or settle. A story about Gierone Syracuse can serve as an instance of effective tactics. A wise sovereign should make the aristocracy and people need him, for only then they will be faithful to the ruler. Otherwise, he can be dethroned in hard times.
The last chapter is an original instruction for the sovereign that makes him understand if he can defend his state by his own forces or needs outside help in case of armed attack. The end of the book is devoted to the analysis of examples of sovereigns of Italy having been deprived of their states as well as the reasons and possible results of these events.
Machiavelli understands that a prince has no right to be romantic; he must estimate a situation in the state soberly and act according to circumstances. Of course, many of his pieces of advice are inapplicable in the modern world. Nevertheless, the author enriched the world of political science. His book is a strong practical guide that summarizes the experience of the past and gives original and useful recommendations.
At the same time, Machiavelli tries to explain political events and their impact on the life of state. The writer’s art of persuasion is clear and obvious. Enormous merit of his work is in separating political life from religious one. For the first time, policy was described as an autonomous discipline. Laws emphasized by Machiavelli are useful as well as necessary in any government system. Moreover, these laws are set to limit certain behaviors. They are a part of the mechanism of achieving government goals.
Tractate of Niccolo Machiavelli The Prince has made a significant contribution to philosophical and political ideas. It established principles of “machiveallism” that assumed a right for rulers to apply any methods and facilities in race for power, including unethical norms. It becomes “a bible” for political figures and rulers of all grades as a short course of political science. The plot of the book is up to date, and many strategies from it are used by our government. Some of Machiavelli’s methods, especially reliance on appropriate laws in a state, are applied in the modern society. Therefore, leaders repeat many mistakes that are described by Machiavelli, and of which he tries to warn future generations.
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