The Prince By: NiccoloMachiavelli
KEEP IN MIND… • Who is the audience? For whom is the advice for? • To what extent should this advice apply to average people? • To what extent should this advice apply to aspiring leaders? • How much of this applies to today’s Post-modern world?
Dedication • Who is the book written for? Why? Lorenzo Di Piedro De’ Medici Advice on being an effective prince • Why would he do this? Job application??? • Who is the intended audience? Rulers – NOT fellow scholars or average people
Chapter 1 • What are the two types of Governments? Republics or Princedoms • What are the 2 types of Princedoms? Hereditary (old) or Newly acquire • WHY is Machiavelli ‘defining’ these? He is establishing ‘premise’
Chapter 2 • What is the main topic of Chapter 2? Hereditary Princedoms (1st type) • Why is this type easier to maintain than New Princedoms? Tradition established – people used to it • Example of Hereditary Princedom? Duke of Ferrara
Chapter 3 • What is the main topic? Mixed Principalities: Old ruler taking new land • Why can’t this new ruler avoid giving offense to newly conquered land? Troops quartered in land or other complaints related to change • Why is it easier to take land or put down revolt a second time? Easier to punish wrongdoers & people more willing to accept the ‘old ways’
What role does language play regarding the ease of taking territory? Same language makes rule easier – different language is tough • Does Machiavelli have a point here? How might some people apply this to the USA today? • Explain what Machiavelli means by: “he who is the cause of another’s greatness is himself undone” Do not help someone become powerful because they are likely to turn on you
Chapter IV • What are the two ways in which all Princedoms are governed? Prince-Servant & Prince-Nobility • Which is easier to maintain? Why? Prince-Servant because servants depend on Prince & are unlikely to turn • How can this be applied to modern day?
Chapter V • What are the 3 methods to hold newly acquired territory? Destroy to totally; reside in person; suffer to live under its old laws exacting tribute • Which method would Machiavelli suggest if the old territory previously lived under a Prince? Live in person: people used to a Prince • Which method would Machiavelli suggest if the territory used to be a Republic? Why? Destroy it: People more likely to rebel
Chapters VI - XI • Territories can be gained either by ability or by luck. Which is harder to acquire? Which is harder to maintain? Why? Hard to acquire: Ability – difficult to make new laws & institutions to secure power Hard to maintain: Luck – little hindrance in gaining acquisition, but since much of success is due to relying on others’ favour and fortunes, stability of power base is lost
Who does Machiavelli use as the example of a ‘luck’ ruler? What is Machiavelli’s opinion of him? Cesare Borgia (Duke Valentino) Machiavelli praises Cesare! He loves the guy! Cesare is the rare private person who has natural ability to rule & he did everything he could to secure his power • What is better? Power through Merit or through Fortune? Why? • Merit – hard to acquire – easy to maintain
If a ruler acquires power through infamy (cruelty) when should all injuries take place? Why? All at once when power is acquired because once over, ruler can work on image whereas if he drags out the injury, he will always look over his shoulder due to continued hatred • How might this apply to a newly appointed leader/president/CEO, etc in today’s society?
When discussing a Civil Princedom, Machiavelli uses the term “fortunate astuteness”. What does he mean? Some merit & some good fortune • The Prince, in this case, partially arises from aid by Nobles OR the people. Why not both at once? Nobles and the people are naturally opposed: nobles desire dominance (oppression) over people & the people do not wish to be dominated (oppressed)
Why is it difficult to work with the Nobles? They see themselves as equal to the Prince • What must a Prince do to Nobles to be effective? Make them dependent on the Prince • What is the problem with being beholden to the People? The number is great & hard to deal with when they are angry (Nobility is a small group by contrast)
Why is it difficult to transition from a Civil Princedom to an Absolute Princedom? Friends in peace time often turn and flee when danger arises • What is the advantage of Ecclesiastical Princedoms? They are based on old religion (tradition)
Chapters 12-14 • What are the 4 types of military (armies)? Mercenary; auxiliary; mixed; national • What is Machiavelli’s opinion of each? Mercenary – useless & dangerous Auxiliary – uses neighbors & is useless Mixed – better, but since reliance on outsiders still a part of the mix, not ideal National – best because people will fight for their homeland
Chapters 15-24 • In general, what do these chapters address? Qualities of the Prince himself • What are some general ideas discussed? Lofty ideals translate into bad government Virtue is good, in general, but is often harmful to the state Sometimes the ruler must be cruel – do what is needed to maintain power Gaining the goodwill of the people is very important, even if it is a facade
Assess this quote: “And the manner in which we live, and that in which we ought to live, are things so wide asunder, that he who quits the one to betake himself to the other is more likely to destroy than to save himself; since any one who would act up to a perfect standard of goodness in everything, must be ruined among so many who are not good.” • How might this be applied to yourself? (although remember, in the end, the advice is NOT for you!)
What does Machiavelli recommend as the best method for acquiring revenue? Be miserly – don’t raise taxes!!! • What is the drawback of a Prince being too “liberal”? It is too expensive • Is it better to be feared or loved (or both)? What is most realistic? Both is best, but being unrealistic, fear is better than love
Why is fear better than love? Answer lies in Machiavelli’s assessment of human nature! • Assess the following quote: “For love is held by the tie of obligation, which, because men are a sorry breed, is broken on every whisper of private interest; but fear is bound by the apprehension of punishment which never relaxes its grip.” • What does that quite assume about human nature? Our nature is one of self-interest & avoidance of pain
Should a Prince keep his word (keep faith)? Why? Why not? A price does what he needs to: keeping his word/faith could lead him to harm • What are the two ways for a Prince to ‘contend’ (deal with problems)? Which is better? Why? Laws or force: force is better because humans are themselves beasts and respond to force more than laws • Does this mean a Prince should always resort to force? NO!!! Use laws – use force when necessary
Evaluate the following quote: “It is not essential, then, that a Prince should have all the good qualities which I have enumerated above, but it is essential that he should seem to have them…” • Define: “amoral” How does this term apply to this part of the text? Morality is neutral – a Prince must be amoral, yet appear moral • Can you think of modern day examples of this advice? Is this good? Bad? Does Machiavelli have a point? Whatcha’ think?
Although a Prince does what he must, what are some things that he should avoid? Do not take property: do not insult women • How should a Prince deal with external and internal attacks? External: use force – internal: avoid being hated
The ‘right’ to bear arms is a major issue even today. Firstly, was there such a thing as ‘rights’ then? To what extend did ‘rights’ exist (if at all)? Essentially, the idea of liberty and ‘rights’ did not exist. However, some claimed certain privileges granted automatically by birthright, power, or wealth. This would be the early version of ‘rights’. The ability of bearing arms was solely at the whim of the leaders… no ‘rights to bear arms’.
According to Machiavelli, should people be allowed to bear arms? Under what circumstances? Why? Why not? Newly acquired territory should be disarmed. Old territories can have weapons. The reason is because new territories a likely to resist the new ruler. Old territories have tradition established and the weaponry of the citizens can be wielded by the Prince in times of need.
What type of foreign affairs policies should a prince have? Why? Aggressive – it increases a Prince’s esteem • Should a Prince be neutral in foreign affairs? Why? Why not? A neutral Prince is likely to become prey to a victor – by declaring (or involving yourself) in foreign conflicts, you know whether to fear a foreign power or not and prepare accordingly • Is this sound advice? Can it be applied to the USA today? Explain.
Who should a Prince surround himself? Who should be his ministers? Why? • Avoid flatterers! Accept ‘truth’ from a few loyalists. Surrounding oneself with loyal and capable ministers helps the Prince’s reputation: These ministers must be chosen based upon who’s interests they serve. If they serve the Prince’s interests – good! If they serve their own interests – bad!
Chapters 25-26 • What role does Fortune play in human affairs? She is the mistress of half our actions • What does Machiavelli mean when he stated that “Fortune is a woman who to be kept under must be beaten and roughly handled…”? Why does he say this? Fortune must not dictate our lives. Plan ahead and avoid Fortune! If we rely on Fortune – it could go well… or it could go bad!
SUMMARIZE • Summarize the main advice Machiavelli gives to Princes. • What are Machiavelli’s assumptions about human nature? • Why would this document be controversial in Machiavelli’s age? Could it still be controversial today? Explain. • In what ways was this a Humanist document? • In what way would this be considered a ‘poster child’ for Renaissance literature?
What were your favorite points? What do you agree with? What do you disagree with? Why? • How might a leader today make use of Machiavelli’s advice? • If you wanted to asses a historical leader’s level of “Machiavellianism” what evidence would you look for? • If you were to interview a modern leader’s (say a WHS school leader) level of “Machiavellianism” what questions would you ask to asses them? • Pair up, choose your leader, and create interview questions!!!