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Free Papers and Essays on Machiavelli
Critics have found it ironic that the fiercely republican Machiavelli should have written a handbook advising an autocratic leader how best to acquire and maintain power and security. Machiavelli was acutely aware, however, of foreign threats to Italian autonomy and thus deemed it necessary for a strong prince to thwart French and Spanish hegemony. Hence addressed to the ruling Medici. He believed that a shrewd head of state, exemplified by Borgia, was essential to sublimating self-interest to common welfare. Since handbooks of conduct meeting monarchal needs had become immensely popular by the 1400s, the external form of was neither startling nor particularly remarkable to Machiavelli's contemporaries. Yet, from its initial appearance, proved no mere manual of protocol nor, for that matter, of even conventional strategy. In its chapters, Machiavelli delineated a typology of sovereignties and the deployment of available forces military, political, or psychological to acquire and retain them. is the first political treatise to divorce statecraft from ethics; as Machiavelli wrote: How one lives is so far removed from how one ought to live that he who abandons what one does for what one ought to do, learns rather his own ruin than his preservation. Adding to his unflinching realism the common Renaissance belief in humanity's capacity for determining its own destiny, Machiavelli posited two fundamentals necessary for effective political leadership: and refers to the prince's own abilities (ideally a combination of leonine force and vulpine cunning); to the unpredictable influence of fortune. In a significant departure from previous political thought, the designs of Providence play no part in Machiavelli's scheme. On issues of leadership hitherto masked by other political theorists in vague diplomatic terms, Machiavelli presented his theses in direct, candid, and often passionate speech, employing easily grasped metaphors and structuring the whole in an aphoristic vein which lends it a compelling authority.
Machiavelli Essay Questions—The Prince - Polazzo
Berlin had always been a liberal; but from the early 1950s the defenceof liberalism became central to his intellectual concerns. Thisdefence was, characteristically, closely related to his moral beliefsand to his preoccupation with the nature and role of values in humanlife. In his thinking about these issues Berlin would develop his ideaof value pluralism, which assumed prominence in his work in the 1960sand ’70s. In the early 1960s Berlin’s focus moved from the morepolitical concerns that occupied him in the 1950s to an examination ofthe nature of the human sciences. Throughout the 1950s and ’60s he wasworking on the history of ideas, and from the mid-1960s nearly all ofhis writings took the form of essays on this subject, particularly onthe romantic and reactionary critics of the Enlightenment.