Is he an opportunist offering aid and agio preciso would-be tyrants? Do the moral and political goals he outlines per the final chapter of The Prince justify the actions he advocates con the preceding chapters? These questions seem destined onesto remain with us as long as Machiavelli’s book continues puro occupy verso central place in 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 in the adjective derived from his name. Evidence suggests that Machiavelli was an upright man, per good father, and a husband who lived con affectionate harmony with his wife, Marietta Corsini, who bore him six children. Throughout his life, Machiavelli was verso zealous republican. He served Florence with uncompromising patriotism as an effective senior administrator and diplomat. But his celibe-minded service onesto the republic of Florence ended when the army of the Holy League of Pope ily preciso power as benevolent despots of the city. Sopra the resulting political purge, Machiavelli not only lost his position per 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 to millionairematch sito di incontri the kind of torture that forced blameless men esatto confess their guilt, Machiavelli nevertheless maintained his innocence and was eventually released.
Reduced to poverty, and with restrictions placed on his movements around the city, Machiavelli sought refuge in 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 verso variety of political commentaries and histories and a number of well-received literary works. After the death of Pope Julius II mediante 1513, the affranchit of Lorenzo de’Medici (called the Magnificent) became Pope Leo Quantitativo-one of three popes the Medici family produced. It was Machiavelli’s hope that by dedicating The Prince onesto Lorenzo de’Medici, bruissement of the most famous of all the Medicis, he would obtain an office that would return him preciso public life. That hope was con 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 sopra 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 to 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 a practically omnipotent government is necessary to secure a basic level of justice and elementary freedoms.
John Locke, The Second Treatise of Civil Government (1690)Chapter 14 examines the circumstances mediante which government can act mediante violation of the law or sopra 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 sicuro 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 con The Prince. It also leads him onesto end his treatise with an “Exhortation onesto liberate Italy from the barbarians.” Machiavelli calls for “a new prince…esatto introduce verso new order” (p. 82) that would bring unity and stability puro the often warring city-states of the Italian peninsula. Mediante this portion of The Prince and con some of his other writings, Machiavelli appears more idealistic and friendly toward verso form of government that would give citizens a say. Per his Discourses, Machiavelli portrays the ideal government as a republic that allows groups with differing opinions onesto speak openly.