Machiavelli on the Prince

Essay by trinidadassasinUniversity, Bachelor's November 2004

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The Prince, written by Niccolo Machiavelli, is one of the

first examinations of politics and science from a purely scientific

and rational perspective. Machiavelli theorizes that the state is only

created if the people cooperate and work to maintain it. The state is

also one of man's greatest endeavors, and the state takes precedence

over everything else. The state should be one's primary focus, and

maintaining the sovereignty of the state one's most vital concern. The

state is founded on the power of its military. Therefore, a strong

military is vital to maintaining the state. Machiavelli believes that

men respect power, but they will take advantage of kindness. He

believes that when given the opportunity one must destroy completely,

because if one does not he will certainly be destroyed. The prince

should lead the military, and he has to be intelligent. An effective

politician can make quick and intelligent choices about the problems

that constantly arise before him.

He must also have virtue, which

means he is strong, confident, talented, as well as smart. A prince

cannot be uncertain, because uncertainty is a sign of weakness.

Fortune controls half of human's actions, and man's will control the

other half. Virtue is the best defense for fortune, and virtue must be

used in order to keep fortune in check. The prince must take advantage

of situations based solely on if it is best for the state. He should

choose his decisions based on contemporary and historical examples. A

prince cannot consider whether his acts are moral or immoral, and he

instead must act in an unbiased manner for the state. Also, it does

not matter how the state achieves its goals, as long as these goals

are achieved. Finally, regardless of the personal morality involved,

the prince should be...