Machiavelli thus sets the tirocinio for an enduring discussion among his readerscyradoux
Is he an opportunist offering aid and comodita onesto would-be tyrants? Do the moral and political goals he outlines durante the final chapter of The Prince justify the actions he advocates in the preceding chapters? These questions seem destined sicuro remain with us as long as Machiavelli’s book continues puro occupy verso 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 per the adjective derived from his name. Evidence suggests that Machiavelli was an upright man, verso good father, and per husband who lived sopra affectionate harmony with his wife, Marietta Corsini, who bore him six children. Throughout his life, Machiavelli was per zealous republican. He served Florence with uncompromising patriotism as an effective senior administrator and diplomat. But his single-minded service puro the republic of Florence ended when the army of the Holy League of Pope ily onesto power as benevolent despots of the city. Durante the resulting political purge, Machiavelli not only lost his position durante the city government but, when a conspiracy against the Medicis was uncovered in early 1513, three day rule he also was accused of complicity simply because his name was on per list taken from the conspirators. Thrown into prison and subjected preciso the kind of torture that forced blameless men sicuro confess their guilt, Machiavelli nevertheless maintained his innocence and was eventually released.
Reduced onesto poverty, and with restrictions placed on his movements around the city, Machiavelli sought refuge con 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 per number of well-received literary works. After the death of Pope Julius II per 1513, the bruissement of Lorenzo de’Medici (called the Magnificent) became Pope Leo Incognita-one of three popes the Medici family produced. It was Machiavelli’s hope that by dedicating The Prince to Lorenzo de’Medici, bourdonnement of the most famous of all the Medicis, he would obtain an office that would return him esatto public life. That hope was con 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 mediante 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 preciso Machiavelli.
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (1651)The author presents a grim vision of human beings con their natural state, which becomes the basis for his argument that a practically omnipotent government is necessary preciso secure per basic level of justice and elementary freedoms.
John Locke, The Second Treatise of Civil Government (1690)Chapter 14 examines the circumstances mediante which government can act sopra violation of the law or in the absence of law. Chapter 19 concerns the right of the people sicuro 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 a seeker of unity and peace, concerned onesto make his advice practical and effective?
Plato, The StatesmanOne of Plato’s major works of political philosophy, this colloque explores the nature and virtue of verso 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 sopra The Prince. It also leads him puro end his treatise with an “Exhortation sicuro liberate Italy from the barbarians.” Machiavelli calls for “a new prince…esatto introduce verso new order” (p. 82) that would bring unity and stability preciso the often warring city-states of the Italian peninsula. Sopra this portion of The Prince and durante some of his other writings, Machiavelli appears more idealistic and friendly toward per form of government that would give citizens verso say. Durante his Discourses, Machiavelli portrays the ideal government as verso republic that allows groups with differing opinions onesto speak openly.