Question The Prince represents the first truly modern or realistic wor
"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
Question: The Prince represents the first truly “modern” or “realistic” work on politics. With specific references to the text, explain what this means and how Machiavelli helped future generation get a clear picture of how successful rulers maintained their control.
The relationship between Machiavelli and his views on politics then, and even today, had an extraordinary effect on society. This includes what Machiavelli was saying back then, and also how it is translated into today’s time.
The Renaissance book, The Prince was published in 1513, after one year Machiavelli was exiled from Florence by the Medici family. In the book, Machiavelli describes of two types of governments: monarchies and republics. His main focus of the book, however is his advice to the monarchs of Italy, particularly the ones of Florence, Milan, Naples, and Venice. In his book, Machiavelli wanted to persuade the monarchs, that the monarch should not over use his powers, and save his rulings for the judicious use of violence, respecting people’s and other states’ private property, and promoting material wealth for individuals. The Prince also talks about how political life should not be governed by a set of religious laws, and that the monarch himself may sometimes be excused and deception (or Machiavellism) may that would unethical in private life.
In today’s world, the book may be translated differently, but it still kind of has the same meaning deep down. The book, The Prince, has mainly a basic moral to it, saying that a person should know how to be deceitful when the purpose is suited. However, the prince/monarch should not always appear that way, because the people would grow pessimistic of him. The book also says the ruler should not be hated by the people. This can happen by not taking people’s things from his underlings because “people more quickly forget the death of their father than the loss of their inheritance.” So, in short, the best way of not being overthrown is to avoid being hated, which many of today’s politicians go by. Many politicians go by this today. For instance when campaigning, most Presidential candidates will say anything to get a vote from a person. An expansion on that is when Bill Clinton was being questioned about drugs from an older teen, and replied, “I didn’t inhale.” He said to a teen probably for the vote, but that quote has caught up to him, and now he’s regretting it to this day. Or also, with President Clinton’s investigation of his affair with Monica Lewinsky, at first he said he did no have sexual relations with Monica. However, a couple of months passed by, and now he claims, “he misled people” and admits to having an “improper” relationship with her, but I think he using Machiavellism on the public.
So Machiavelli’s book, The Prince, displayed his views on political society then, and also it still relevates to the society of today. The views of his book were controversial then, and still are today.
View Full Essay