Is he an opportunist offering aid and comfort onesto would-be tyrants? Do the moral and political goals he outlines mediante the final chapter of The Prince justify the actions he advocates mediante the preceding chapters? These questions seem destined preciso remain with us as long as Machiavelli’s book continues esatto occupy per 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 in the adjective derived from his name. Evidence suggests that Machiavelli was an upright man, verso good father, and verso 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 puro the republic of Florence ended when the army of the Holy League of Pope ily esatto power as benevolent despots of the city. Mediante the resulting political purge, Machiavelli not only lost his position durante the city government but, when verso conspiracy against the Medicis was uncovered durante early 1513, he also was accused of complicity simply because his name was on per list taken from the conspirators. Thrown into prison and subjected sicuro the kind of torture that forced blameless men puro confess their guilt, Machiavelli nevertheless maintained his innocence and was eventually released.
Reduced puro 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 verso number of well-received literary works. After the death of Pope Julius II mediante 1513, the bourdonnement 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 preciso public life. That hope was per 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 to Machiavelli.
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (1651)The author presents per grim vision of human beings sopra 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 per visitatori mytranssexualdate which government can act con violation of the law or per the absence of law. Chapter 19 concerns the right of the people to overthrow verso ruler or government when either has abused his power.
10” (mediante 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 per seeker of unity and peace, concerned preciso make his advice practical and effective?
Plato, The StatesmanOne of Plato’s major works of political philosophy, this tete-a-tete explores the nature and virtue of a 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 to end his treatise with an “Exhortation preciso liberate Italy from the barbarians.” Machiavelli calls for “verso new prince…sicuro introduce a new order” (p. 82) that would bring unity and stability esatto the often warring city-states of the Italian peninsula. Sopra this portion of The Prince and per some of his other writings, Machiavelli appears more idealistic and friendly toward per form of government that would give citizens a say. Durante his Discourses, Machiavelli portrays the ideal government as verso republic that allows groups with differing opinions onesto speak openly.