To What Extent Was Niccolo Machiavelli a Renaissance Thinker?

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Niccolo Machiavelli was an important renaissance thinker in the 16th century because he portrayed the elements of humanism, secularism, and skepticism. He showed these renaissance characteristics in his book called, ‘The Prince’. The book was aimed towards new leaders on how to gain, maintain, and expand their power. While Machiavelli wrote his book, he observed on how some leaders ruled during his time. Machiavelli came up with the idea to write his book ‘The Prince.’ He wrote all the things that he observed from studying leaders during his time. This was something new that happened to him. This leads to skepticism. He wondered on how a ruler should rule to become a more successful leader. Furthermore, he began to study different rulers like Francesco Sforza, Lorenzo de Medici and Cesare Borgia. All these leaders shared the characteristics on being powerful, tricky and sometimes dishonest. This book was meant to change leaders that were in trouble, to support them to be a better leader. If a leader was in trouble, Machiavelli’s book will help them to succeed at achieving that goal. In one of Machiavelli quotes, he talked about what a prince could do to get out of trouble and to become a more better leader. He states, “[The Prince] is rendered despicable by being thought changeable, frivolous, effeminate, timid, and irresolute; this a prince must guard against as a rock of danger, and so contrive that his actions show grandeur, spirit, gravity, and fortitude...and let him adhere to his decisions so that no one many think of deceiving or cozening him.” A prince will be dishonored if he has the characteristics changeable, a carefree person, effeminate, showing a lack of confidence, and an uncertain person. If a prince contains these kinds of characteristics, then they need to immediately change themselves. They
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