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Machiavelli Has Had A Great Influence Politics Essay

Info: 1307 words (5 pages) Essay
Published: 1st Jan 2015 in Politics

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“Princes and governments are far more dangerous than other elements within society.” – Niccolo Machiavelli. Machiavelli is known as the father of modern political thought. He has had an incredibly large influence on our modern civilization. Firstly Machiavelli’s opinions on politics and political leaders effected how future political leaders would run their countries. Additionally Machiavelli had a much larger influence on the future of modern western civilization in comparison to the renaissance artists of his time. Also his opinion on how the government is run demonstrated in his book The Prince changed they way in which we view how our government is run. Furthermore Machiavelli’s innovative writing style made him a noted writer in the history of western civilization. Machiavelli’s tactics and style of military influence has played its toll in shaping our world today. Machiavelli’s influence outshines any other reformation leader.

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Niccolo Machiavelli was born in the year 1469 in midst of a shifting political time in Italy. The fear and invasion from powerful states such France and Spain threatened the Italian government. Alexander Borgia was elected the pope through bribery and threats. Pope Alexander used the church’s wealth to benefit his own family. Some of the parts of Italy became Republic and others like Venice fell to dictators. No monarchy was present and no centralized government existed. Each city was like its own separate nation. Italy was struggling to unify itself. Machiavelli served the Borgia family as a political advisor. Machiavelli noticed the infighting among the rivaling Italian city-states but saw the effectiveness in the Borgia family members in maintaining their power. In forming his opinions he developed a treatise known as The Prince. The book was based upon his ideal Prince. Machiavelli describes his position that the Prince should be the only authority determining different aspects of the state to serve his best interest. These interests should be gaining, maintaining and expanding political power. In his books he is often very contradictory of himself. He believed that a prince should only serve his own best interest. If a prince cannot be both feared and loved it is better for him to be just feared. Machiavelli derived his views from the experience of the Caesura Borgia who was the current Prince of Italy during his time and hopped that it would provide a framework for future princes.

Some historians may argue that artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci or Michelangelo had a greater influence of modern history then Machiavelli. Although a piece of art can be admired it remains nothing more than a piece of art. An individual whom is able to examine and explain human society and functions such a Machiavelli have much more substantial impact on history then a mere artist. Political scientist Max Lerner wrote in the introduction of the 1950s edition of the Prince that Machiavelli recognized the existence of the power of politic. The Prince is a main piece of evidence that define Machiavelli more influential than any artist to the renaissance period.

Machiavelli’s most well known work The Prince became the best source to view of how politics works and it remains used by political thinker in the modern world. Sir Francis Bacon once wrote, “We are much beholden to Machiavelli and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do.” This means that Machiavelli wrote about political reality unlike political theories and how the government should be run. Seeing how our political world is run changed how the people viewed the government. Machiavelli’s realization allowed the future political theorists of the modern world to evaluate politics. It is unknown whether or not Machiavelli wrote The Prince to gain political appointment or out of a need for self-therapy. Nonetheless he was able to synthesize the traditional with the innovative unlike any other political philosopher of his time.

In addition to Machiavelli’s political theories he is also very innovative in his writing style. A man clearly from the Renaissance Machiavelli clearly left his mark on history as a well-known and studied writer. Firstly his place Mandragola is often categorized as one of the most well written plays in the Italian language. Furthermore he wrote an essay called On Language. The essay includes principles on the science of semantics. This is one of the first written pieces to contain information on this topic. In recent years management theorists have been responsive to the fact that Machiavelli predicted the need for management theorist and also in developing guidelines applicable to deal with conflicts with business executives.

Military theorists often reflect Machiavelli’s innovative warfare tactics and theories. A man of physical action at the age of 29 in 1498, Machiavelli accepted the position in Florence. His position was entrusted with diplomatic missions to local and other European courts. His position required great diplomacy and a substantial amount of understanding of European politics. Furthermore he involved himself in establishing the Florentine Militia. Due to the constant warfare of the shifting nations, while in office Machiavelli handled with military affairs. He had a substantial amount of practical experience with military matters. Frederick Taylor notes that Machiavelli is an important individual in the history of military theories. He notes: “Machiavelli is the first secular writer to attempt to allot to the practice of arms its place among the collective activities of mankind, to define its aims, and to regard it as a means to an end.” His book the Art of War published in 1521 it was the third of his major works in time. The book was thought to be technical. His theoretical point of view is dedicated to Lorenzo de Medici. Machiavelli confirms the unity of a country’s civil and military life. Today, people who think of only a civil life do not accept this. He states that the military and civil life of a nation is inseparable therefore a necessary moment in history.

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Some may argue that the Reformation religious leaders such a John Calvin or Martin Luther have a greater influence in history than Machiavelli. Martin Luther remains only a leader of the Reformation era through Roman Catholic or Protestant. Even in his own time John Calvin’s influence was no comparison to Martin Luther. Catholic leaders spent the reformation reacting to Martin Luther. Luther’s influence is not equivalent to Machiavelli’s. Luther’s influence was only concerned to Christianity, which has become less present to financial and political affairs concerning the modern western civilization. The Prince remains today a large influence on the political and financial operations of our modern world.

The opinions on politics and political leaders that Machiavelli had would have a substantial influence on how future political leaders would run their countries. Secondly his influence in comparison to artist of his time is much larger. Additionally as demonstrated in his book The Prince the opinions that he had on how the government is run would alter how governments in the future would be run. Moreover the writing style that he adapted gave him a renowned name for himself and would be adapted by future writers. Due to his military experience Machiavelli’s tactics and style of military presented to make him be a noteworthy individual in modern western civilization. played its toll in shaping our world today. Lastly Machiavelli’s influence on the reformation would not be match worthy to any other reformation leader..

 

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