The Prince Essay

520 WordsDec 15, 20113 Pages
The Prince written by the Italian historian and political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli is a political article. Written in 1513 with a traditional style, most people generally agreed that it was especially modern. At the time, it was also in direct disagreement with the ruling Catholic doctrines regarding how to consider politics and morals. The novel is sometimes claimed to be one of the first works of modern political philosophy in which the truth is sometimes claimed to be more important. The Prince generally has the theme that accepting the goals of princes can validate the use of corrupt means to be attained. The three ways Machiavelli describes holding states accustomed to liberty are by virtue, by fortune and by cruelty. Princes who rise to power through their ability and resources meaning by virtue, rather than fortune tend to have a hard time reaching the top, but once they reach the top they are very secure in their position. According to Machiavelli, when a prince comes to power through fortune, he typically has an easier time gaining power but has a difficult time keeping it. Conquests by cruelty are ones in which the new prince secures his power through cruel, immoral deeds. Machiavelli advises that the prince should think about all the wicked deeds he needs to do to secure his power, and then execute them, such that he need not commit any more wickedness for the rest of his reign. Natural ability and fortune are the two ways to become a prince. According to Machiavelli these “civic principalities” do not require real virtue, only “fortunate astuteness”. Natural ability for example is to be excellent in war and strong in power where as fortune is where a prince only achieved the power because of wealth and not because they could rule or fight. In modern days the example of rising to power by prowess or by fortune would typically have an

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