Machiavelli married Marietta Corsini in Political-military alliances continually changed, featuring condottieri mercenary leaderswho changed sides without warning, and the rise and fall of many short-lived governments.
Summary[ edit ] Each part of The Prince has been commented on over centuries. The work has a recognizable structure, for the most part indicated by the author himself.
It can be summarized as follows: In the first sentence Machiavelli uses the word " state " Italian stato which could also mean " status " in order to neutrally cover "all forms of organization of supreme political power, whether republican or princely".
The way in which the word state came to acquire this modern type of meaning during the Renaissance has been the subject of many academic discussions, with this sentence and similar ones in the works of Machiavelli being considered particularly important.
More importantly, and less traditionally, he distinguishes new princedoms from hereditary established princedoms. For such a prince, "unless extraordinary vices cause him to be hated, it is reasonable to expect that his subjects will be naturally well disposed towards him".
Normally, these types of works were addressed only to hereditary princes. He thinks Machiavelli may have been influenced by Tacitus as well as his own experience, but finds no clear predecessor for this.
This categorization of regime types is also "un-Aristotelian"  and apparently simpler than the traditional one found for example in Aristotle 's Politicswhich divides regimes into those ruled by a single monarch, an oligarchyor by the people, in a democracy. Xenophonon the other hand, made exactly the same distinction between types of rulers in the beginning of his Education of Cyrus where he says that, concerning the knowledge of how to rule human beings, Cyrus the Greathis exemplary prince, was very different "from all other kings, both those who have inherited their thrones from their fathers and those who have gained their crowns by their own efforts".
More generally, Machiavelli emphasizes that one should have regard not only for present problems but also for the future ones. Machiavelli explained that in his time the Near East was again ruled by an empire, the Ottoman Empirewith similar characteristics to that of Darius — seen from the viewpoint of a potential conqueror.
In some cases the old king of the conquered kingdom depended on his lords. These are easy to enter but difficult to hold. When the kingdom revolves around the king, with everyone else his servant, then it is difficult to enter but easy to hold.
The solution is to eliminate the old bloodline of the prince. Machiavelli used the Persian empire of Darius IIIconquered by Alexander the Greatto illustrate this point and then noted that the Medici, if they think about it, will find this historical example similar to the "kingdom of the Turk" Ottoman Empire in their time — making this a potentially easier conquest to hold than France would be.
Conquered Free States, with their own laws and orders Chapter 5 [ edit ] Gilbert Gilbert supposed the need to discuss conquering free republics is linked to Machiavelli's project to unite Italy, which contained some free republics. As he also notes, the chapter in any case makes it clear that holding such a state is highly difficult for a prince.
Machiavelli gives three options: Ruin them, as Rome destroyed Carthageand also as Machiavelli says the Romans eventually had to do in Greece, even though they had wanted to avoid it. Go to live there or install colonies, if you are a prince of a republic.
Let them keep their own orders but install a puppet regime. Totally New States Chapters 6—9 [ edit ] Conquests by virtue Chapter 6 [ edit ] Machiavelli described Moses as a conquering prince, who founded new modes and orders by force of arms, which he used willingly to kill many of his own people.
The Bible describes the reasons behind his success differently. Princes who rise to power through their own skill and resources their "virtue" rather than luck tend to have a hard time rising to the top, but once they reach the top they are very secure in their position.
This is because they effectively crush their opponents and earn great respect from everyone else. Because they are strong and more self-sufficient, they have to make fewer compromises with their allies. Machiavelli writes that reforming an existing order is one of the most dangerous and difficult things a prince can do.
Part of the reason is that people are naturally resistant to change and reform. Those who benefited from the old order will resist change very fiercely. By contrast, those who can benefit from the new order will be less fierce in their support, because the new order is unfamiliar and they are not certain it will live up to its promises.
Moreover, it is impossible for the prince to satisfy everybody's expectations. Inevitably, he will disappoint some of his followers.
Therefore, a prince must have the means to force his supporters to keep supporting him even when they start having second thoughts, otherwise he will lose his power. Only armed prophets, like Moses, succeed in bringing lasting change.
Machiavelli claims that Moses killed uncountable numbers of his own people in order to enforce his will. Machiavelli was not the first thinker to notice this pattern. But Machiavelli went much further than any other author in his emphasis on this aim, and Gilbert associates Machiavelli's emphasis upon such drastic aims with the level of corruption to be found in Italy.
He does not command the loyalty of the armies and officials that maintain his authority, and these can be withdrawn from him at a whim. Having risen the easy way, it is not even certain such a prince has the skill and strength to stand on his own feet.One of the great insights of The Prince is that to be an effective ruler you must learn how to orchestrate the semiotics of power, so as to place yourself in a position where you don’t actually have to use power to achieve your aims.
By this, Machiavelli is referring to both the effective and non-effective uses of force.
Machiavelli states that "Good use is when is when they [acts of cruelty] are . Mar 12, · Niccolo Machiavelli, the father of realpolitik, and Thomas Hobbes, political philosophy’s founder, have transcended time as two of the most influential political theorists history has ever seen.
Machiavelli's political views are, however, far too complex to be summed up in a few quick sentences. You are much better served by reading The Prince and . The Prince Questions and Answers. According to Machiavelli, the most effective leaders governed not according to some abstract notion of morality, but more pragmatically.
willing to use. The major difference between Machiavelli and the Socratics, according to Strauss, is Machiavelli's materialism, and therefore his rejection of both a teleological view of nature and of the view that philosophy is higher than politics. Machiavelli's use of the words virt The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli in different formats and languages;Notable work: The Prince.