• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Niccolo Machiavelli. Niccolo Machiavelli was born in Florence, Italy on May 3rd 1469. As an Italian historian, statesman, political philosopher, and a diplomat during the renaissance, Machiavelli was a man who lived his life for politics and patriotism

Extracts from this document...


Niccolo Machiavelli By Gemma Stirling Niccolo Machiavelli was born in Florence, Italy on May 3rd 1469. As an Italian historian, statesman, political philosopher, and a diplomat during the renaissance, Machiavelli was a man who lived his life for politics and patriotism. As a patriotic Florentine, he was a firm believer in that Florence was the most important state, and should have a strong government, as Italy was divided into states where much political upheaval was occurring, particularly between the four dominant states; Florence, Milan, Naples and Venice. In this essay, the main features of the Machiavellian state, the major concepts of fortune and virtue within Machiavelli's theory of the state, and also the significance of the theory for individuals in society will all be discussed and analysed to the fullest extent. Machiavelli was given a position of authority-service secretary-in 1498, after a banking family-the Medici's-were exiled from Florence due to the political upheaval within the state. During this time, three major events in Machiavelli's life were the inspiration for him to write "The Prince", a book about personal and national tragedy. The first of the major events was the military scandal in 1499, in which the Florentine army unsuccessfully attempted to capture the city of Pisa due to the army leader Vitelli calling off the attack. After this humiliation, he was looked upon as a traitor, and was ruthlessly executed as a result. ...read more.


Although he was not someone who condoned tyranny within the state by any means, he did however advise strong action be taken against any law breaker whenever necessary. Moreover, he felt it important that he should have a reputation of being honest, so people were able trust him but Machiavelli was very deceitful and cunning as he knew he wanted power so he had to be manipulative to get it. Furthermore, he felt that his state is the organised mass power used by those who control it for the pursuit of ends, which means that those who are in power can manipulate the public through the government in order to gain from it, either personally of politically. In addition, the state gives society its cohesion, individuality and power. According to Machiavelli himself "the state should make itself as strong as possible so that it would not have to depend on others, on allies. It should avoid neutrality and inactivity like the plague". This backs up what has been said, as he clearly states that a state should not be dependent on anyone but it, should aspire to be as strong as possible. In his famous book "the Prince", Machiavelli wrote 'A ruler must learn to be other than good' which is exactly what he has done. Machiavelli teaches that state maximize and secure their power if they rule through fear. ...read more.


Furthermore, it is used to describe the qualities for a man who is ruthless. To do so a man had to be brave have pride, courage and strength. Have all of these did not guarantee success but failure was certain since this meant depending upon fortune. Therefore the only sound, sure and enduring methods of defence and those based on your own virtue. You should be willing to do wrong use force like the lion or the cunning fox when the circumstances are necessary, As Machiavelli said we cannot attribute to fortune or virtue that which is achieved without either. The significance of the theory for individuals in society is that Self interest is eradicated because it is not subject to any rules of ethics. Machiavelli would view individuals as people and not in one large group. This is a controlled risk he takes, although not a good one, that is taken in secrecy without regard for civic responsibility. He endorsed 'good laws' so the rights of the public were still taken into consideration. In conclusion, the key points of Machiavelli's theory of state have been discussed and analysed, which allows us to see that although many of his ideas are ethnically wrong, all he longed for was to unite all of the Italian states, and to protect it from foreign aggressors. In conclusion therefore, this essay shows Machiavelli to be a true patriot, as he craved for his country to be as strong and stable as possible. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Does the mass media have a direct effect on British Politics?

    Political hustings have all but died out, with political rallies in today's British politics being little more than carefully organised performances (John Major's performances on his soapbox in the 1992 general election is the exception, rather than the rule). Today's political meetings are one-party rallies, with little chance of there being anyone there brave enough (or loud enough)

  2. How far is it true that 3rd Parties & Independent Candidates in the USA ...

    However, the exception to this was in 1992 where Independent candidate Ross Perot, was allowed to take party in the main televised presidential election debate, with George Bush Senior and Bill Clinton. Many argue that his gaining 19% of the national vote in 1992 was subsequent to him having appeared

  1. Karl Marx was the greatest thinker and philosopher of his time. His views on ...

    Marx himself was keenly aware of this and Engles perhaps even more so. (The Story of his life, Mehring, page 208) Living in political exile his life changed. His ideas were no longer followed like they once were. His isolation from the general public provided a new light in his life.

  2. To what extent was Fascist Italy the bastard child of Liberal Italy?

    In other words the Liberal Government had little direction and little motivation to push towards change. An original problem with Liberal Italy was the way in which it had been unified. Piedmont had to rely upon heavy foreign assistance in order to 'unify' Italy.

  1. So, whats wrong with Anarchism?

    The Spaniards baked Bakunin when he broke with Marx in 1872 over the First International. By 1915 they had over 1 million supporters and in 1921 when the Spanish Communist Party was formed they had four times as many members as the communists10.

  2. Evaluate Machiavelli's account of therelations between ethics and politics

    not worry so much about the latter (Machiavelli, N., The Prince, Penguin Classics, 1999, p. 51). According to Machiavelli, a reputation of prince's generosity will ruin his state, even though most people would admire it. A prince should be parsimonious with his own fortune, as he cannot practice the virtue of generosity in a notable way, except to his cost.

  1. Karl Marx - The Greatest thinker and philosopher of his time.

    It had to do with the Greek philosopher Epicurus and how his beliefs related to Marxs' of that day. This thesis was an early indication of the thinking behind Karl Marx. Much of his later work and ideas are evident in this essay.

  2. Piltdown man fake

    The Skull Radiocarbon dating of the skull justified that Piltdown's skull was less than 1000 years old. Further still, the unusual thickness of the skull elucidated that the skull was diseased (see image below). The owner of the skull suffered from Paget's disease, a hereditary disease in which the bone thickens.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work