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Study Guide For The Prince History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

Points follow each question to guide you in weighting a question’s response. A question worth more points should be given a more in-depth response than one with fewer points. The summer assignment will be a percentage of your term one grade. The total point value of this assignment is 84.

Directions: Answer the following questions as you read selected chapters from The Prince. Answer questions on another paper. Responses will take more space than is allowed on this study guide.

  1. Define the following key terms: (1 point each)
    1. auxiliary troops- The method of support. (Troops that support the main team)
    2. ecclesiastical principality- Rules related to the Church
    3. fortune- Basically luck, unknown event of cause
    4. hereditary principality- Rules related to familial principalities
    5. liberality- An increase in the need of freedom and progress
    6. mercenary troops- the ones who favor materialism
    7. new principality- The controlling region
    8. virtue- Doing what is right and staying away from what is wrong.
  2. In order to explain how a leader should act and in order to better help understand the concepts of winning and losing. Machiavelli experienced all of these battles, and after losing thought why he did, and wrote the Prince.

  3. Brunelleschi’s Dome chronicles some of the wars and conflicts of Florence with other cities and principalities. Why was Machiavelli supporting unification of Italy? What nationalistic motivation did Machiavelli have for dedicating his political treatise to the Medici, the ruling family of Florence? What was he suggesting that the Medici to do? [See page 120 Brunelleschi’s Dome] (5 points) The unification of Italy was his goal and utopia to his life at the time. Machiavelli wanted the Medici to continue supporting while the government was against the wealthy and powerful family.
  4. Name and describe two recurring themes in The Prince. [chapter 1] (4 points)
  5. Force and Prudence. Machiavelli wanted force to exist and maintain power. He also wanted Prudence to maintain the affairs of the public.

  6. In Chapters 6 and 7 which vices are considered useful and advisable? Why does Machiavelli recommend them? (3 points) Machiavelli uses force and only force. He wants force to establish a new system of trust and safety. Then he advises ability and future in order to have ultimate success. He recommends these in order for the public to be successful in life.
  7. Define each and describe the positive and negative characteristics of the four types of principalities. You may want to chart these. [chapters 2-11] (12 points)
    1. Hereditary- A prince doesn’t rule much differently than average. Gains the family rights and has an easier time adding the love of his subjects. Lots of affection.
    2. Mixed- Face difficulties mainly because the public expects the ruler to be better than the one previous.
    3. Civic- Gains support of common personas and nobility.
    4. Ecclesiastical- Gains support from the church and is accepted into the church. Very powerful.
  8. Describe the four types and discuss the role of armies as seen by Machiavelli. [chapters 12-14] (6 points) Mercenary troops are useless because they have no affection or devotion towards their leaders. Their only motivation is the money they get. Auxiliary forces are also of no use because they fight with their own interests and needs in their thoughts. However, Auxiliary troops are more dangerous and powerful.
  9. Why does Machiavelli warn The Prince against liberality? [chapter 16] (2 points)
  10. Because he says that if the Prince is with liberality he will be kicked out of office because of his generosity and virtue. The Prince should be parsimonious.

  11. According to Machiavelli, which is better – for a prince to be loved or feared? Why? (3 points) Should be feared because then, the Prince will be very strong and no one will deny his request.
  12. Why must a prince have both popular and military support? [chapter 9] (2 points)
  13. Popular so that the nobility supports him, military so that the army supports him.

  14. Explain the importance of Machiavelli’s words in Chapter 15: “My intention being to write something useful for whoever understands it, it seemed to me more appropriate to pursue the effectual truth of the matter rather than its imagined one” and discuss the novelty of this chapter. (4 points)
  15. The words of Machiavelli and the chapter relate to how the Prince should behave in perspective of the people and subjects. The Prince should not be concerned about having the support of everyone. The truth is always available and whoever can understand it succeeds.

  16. Why does Machiavelli see the art of the government as the most difficult task for a prince? [chapters 22-23] (2 points)
  17. Because of his ministers who will be judging him constantly. The ministers would almost control the prince if the prince doesn’t take the power into his own fists.

  18. Explain why leaders who do what ever is needed to obtain their goals could be called Machiavellian. (2 points)
  19. Leaders who do what ever is needed to reach their goals are Machiavellian because they follow Machiavelli’s rules and ideas by using force and all other means possible in order to get what they want.

  20. How would Machiavelli assess the rule of tyrant Giangaleazzo Viscounti – Duke of Milan? [chapter 2 of Brunelleschi’s Dome] Defend your answer. (4 points)
  21. Because Visconti took over many areas and used force and was a true tyrant. He took over Verona, Vicenza, and Padua along with Milan all by force.

  22. achiavelli compares fortune to a river. Being Florentine, he would have been very aware of the characteristics of the Arno. Reread the description of this river on page 111 of Brunelleschi’s Dome. What analogy can be made to fortune and the Arno or similar rivers? [chapter 25 and Brunelleschi’s Dome page 111] (4 points)
  23. Fortune flows like a river in which people can drown in or drink from. It flows but may eventually end into a lake, or open into a sea where you would either lose (lake) or win (sea).

  24. According to Machiavelli, what is the role of fortune in human affairs? What can men do to alter the course of fortune? (3 points)
  25. Fortune tells us what will happen in human affairs. Men can change the course of fortune by handling affairs in a different way or avoiding the affair.

  26. Choose a recent (within the last 50 years) international, national or state leader who could be considered Machiavellian. Describe his/her goals, his/her means (how he/she tried to accomplish his/her goals), and the outcome. Describe why you consider this leader to be Machiavellian. (8 points)
  27. Saddam Hussein was most likely Machiavellian because he used power (force) to gain territory all over the Middle East. He was very powerful and the public feared, just how Machiavelli described a Prince to be, feared of. He was very strict and would perform execution on the spot. He turned out to be nearly the strongest (powerful) man in the world. Soon enough, the U.S. disrupted and killed him for being unjust.

  28. Why would The Prince still be studied in history and political science classes today? (2 points)
  29. In order to gain the knowledge of why tyrants today exist and to realize their actions.

  30. Write a paragraph on your reaction to The Prince. Include your opinions of his ideas. Do you think his ideas were accurate? Why or why not? Cite specific examples to support your opinion. (8 points)
  31. Overall, The Prince is an interesting perspective of leaders should govern. Machiavelli’s ideas are true and accurate and everything he described are true, because that is what tyrants today are following. Nearly every tyrant is Machiavellian in some way, shape, or form. Machiavelli shows how leaders can actually turn out to be the strongest and most powerful beings on the planet.


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