Assess the importance of Machiavelli's writings in the making of modern Europe.

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Section A:

1. Assess the importance of Machiavelli's writings in the making of modern Europe.

Nicolo Machiavelli originally wrote The Prince in 1513 in hope of securing the favour of ruling the Medici family. The Prince was a practical guide of raw political power being exercised over a Renaissance Principality. He declared that every state and government possessed power over men due to them being republics or principalities. "Principalities are either hereditary, in which case the blood - line of the prince had been long established as ruler, or they are new." Machiavelli discussed that Milan to Francesco Sforza was considered new. The kingdom of Naples, however, was noted as a hereditary state that was annexed to the King of Spain. The principalities were acquired by force or through the prince's own fortune, strength or ability.

Machiavelli's 'reason of state' was fundamental for the development of the modern state. He stated that it was necessary to possess virtue in order for the prince to have control over the state.

Virtue was considered the possession of great skill and ability. He had the most profound impact on the question of the individual. By elevating interest in politics and society, individuals defined themselves as seeking self-interest. This provided apparatus for the creation of the modern state. The newly autonomous individual was defined by a newly emerging nation state. Individualism was something in which people tried to assert against powers of the centralised state. Due to the destruction of the feudal hierarchy and Church, 'states' came into an existence that created a powerful central authority whereby people increasingly defined the limits of autonomy and individualism.

Machiavelli's writings influenced the making of modern Europe by explaining the many difficulties faced by princes, both new and hereditary. He claimed that if a prince loses his...