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MACHIAVELLI Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince captures the political spirit of the fourteen hundreds. One can produce vivid images of rulers conquering new lands or keeping peace in their own. Italy provided excellent grounds to observe political action of all kinds. The many city-states contained, within them, various forms of ruling from republics to leaders seeking absolute power over their territory. Machiavelli had exposure to all these variations, this allowed him to observe and compare what techniques were effective and what techniques were failures. Machiavelli attained knowledge of many rulers past and present, which he incorporated into The Prince. The Italian renaissance is in effect while Machiavelli is writing to Lorenzo d'Medici of Florence (to whom he addressed The Prince). The renaissance and the rise of Civic Humanism also affect the style in which Machiavelli scribbles down his ideas. One may notice a persuasive element in his writings as well as rhetoric that comes from Machiavelli's study of the works of Plato.

Machiavelli's efforts may now be tied in with his education and his political surroundings.

Machiavelli had known many rulers and studied the actions of many more. His knowledge gave him great insight on political strategy. The Medici family was in power in Florence when The Prince was written. Machiavelli's own political career was brought to a close when the Medici's returned to their ruling status in Florence (Machiavelli, intro). Machiavelli made many of his political contacts during his stay as an administrator to the Florentine Republic. Perhaps the most important of these being Cesare Borgia or Duke Valentino, as he was known. Popular belief would have it that Cesare Borgia served as the model for Machiavelli's The Prince. I feel however that Machiavelli intended Cesare to be modeled only under certain circumstances, such as for "those who have...