Hitler and The Prince

Essay by lcabn553University, Bachelor'sA, April 2004

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When Machiavelli wrote The Prince in the 1500's, I do not think that he intended his ideas to travel to the twentieth century. Some very important figures out of the twentieth century used basic ideals from The Prince to obtain their place in power. One of these individuals was Adolf Hitler. He used numerous Machiavellian ideas to win his respective place in Germany's government. The two most important Machiavellian principles that Hitler used were winning the people and how he dealt with cruelty and murder.

Machiavelli wrote The Prince as a gift to the Magnificent Lorenzo who was the son of Piero de' Medici. Another take on Machiavelli's writing of The Prince is as a resume of his knowledge for possible work in government. In The Prince, he writes about the knowledge of the actions of great men, whom he has knowledge of through studying the experience of modern affairs and ancient history.

The Prince discusses the correct ways of becoming a leader and retaining power. He does this by stating what you should and should not do. Some of these ideas are: to be feared but not hated, to win over the people, to follow the leads of great men from the past, to commit cruelties all at once and not continuously throughout your region, to care little for keeping promises, and to do whatever is necessary for the goodness of the state.

One of the Machiavellian principles that Hitler used on his rise to power was gaining the full trust of the German people. Hitler was able to do this through his powerful public speeches. He is often referred to as one of the world's greatest speakers (Schramm 13). He believed that everyone should hear his speeches. In order to make this possible, the German government manufactured...