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

Niccolo Machiavelli. His views revolved around the ideas that one must do anything within his power to keep the influence and strength that he has attained. And according to him, this is best achieved by keeping the people in constant fear.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

One of the most famous philosophers of the 15th century is the Florentine Niccolo Machiavelli. Notorious for his almost radical stand on leadership, Machiavelli was one of the first philosophers to break free from "ethical" constraints. Born in 1946, Europe at the time of Machiavelli was in political upheaval. The Church's power was in decline, losing its power as unifying government, Spain and France were pushing their way in Italy, and Italy itself was a melange of bickering city-states. This climate of political uncertainty greatly affected Machiavelli's political theories. Furthermore, Machiavelli's two main books were written after he was forced to retire from his job by the establishment of a tyranny in Florence by Lorenzo Medici. From his position in the foreign office, Machiavelli went into exile on a farm, where he remained to his dying day. Disillusioned by the state of his country as well as his personal life, Machiavelli wrote two books entitled Discourses and The Prince, which were instructional books on running a state. His views revolved around the ideas that one must do anything within his power to keep the influence and strength that he has attained. And according to him, this is best achieved by keeping the people in constant fear. Without fear, the trust that they have in their leader will whither and they will start to look for others to take the place of the one that they believe to be weak. ...read more.

Middle

Machiavelli tells us that the sovereign must take whatever action is necessary to maintain order in society. In time this will result in the most compassionate choice too. Machiavelli explains that, Cesare Borgia, by using cruelty was able to achieve order and obedience in Romangna. This contrast with the inaction of the Florentines, who allowed internal conflict to develop in Pistoia, resulting in devastation of the city. Therefore, a number of highly visible executions can be a very effective means of controlling the people and in preventing a major out break of violence and murder. Machiavelli also uses the tremendous military successes of Hannibal as an example to show us that even though Hannibal led an army of different races over foreign soil, he never had any dissension because of his reputation of extreme cruelty. Machiavelli beleived that it would be difficult to be loved and feared simultaneously. Hence, one should always prefer to be feared than to be loved. During adverse times, the fear of punishment is far more effective in maintaining control than depending upon people's goodwill and love. The Prince: - Machiavelli's book The Prince deals with the making of a society in which the people are corrupt. "Machiavelli freely prescribes for the man who wishes to acquire power and glory in a corrupt republic by becoming a tyrant rather than a public-spirited reformer."4 Addressed to Lorenzo De Medici (the new ruler of Florence), The Prince's aim is to tell a ruler how to become a good tyrant. ...read more.

Conclusion

Basically Machiavelli is telling the prince to always be prepared for the unknown, and not believe himself to be invincible. Another piece of advice Machiavelli gives to the prince is to always keep up with the times. Appear as your peers do, and go with the flow. A modern day example of Machiavelli's philosophy is the UN bombing of Kosovo. The means of bombing cities and killing civilians for the end of overthrowing Slobodon Milosovich, seems to fulfil the Machiavellian criteria. Another example, that to me seems to have Machiavellian undertones is the American nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, during World War II. Wiping out entire cities is considered cruel and unusual tactics; however, it led to the end of the war, hence justifying the means. Today success is still to those who can make quick and intelligent choices. The government is still supported most by its amount of power. However, countries are held accountable today, and few would agree that "the end justifies the means"6. Citation * William T, Bluhm, Theories of the Political System * http://www.orst.edu/instruct/phl302/philosophers/machaivelli.html * http://www.lucidcafe.com/library/96may/machiavelli.html Machiavelli's contributions to Political Theory Sherna Shroff I.D. - 1655 Introduction to politics Mrs. Sandra Madi 21st October 2002 1 Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, translated Thomas Bergin, P.44 2 Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, translated Thomas Bergin, P.44 3 Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, translated Thomas Bergin 4 William T, Bluhm, Theories of the Political System, Pg.213 5 William T, Bluhm, Theories of the Political System, Pg.215 6 Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, translated Thomas Bergin ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics 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 GCSE Politics essays

  1. Free essay

    Why keep the Cons. in the 1960s

    Where the Conservatives, were the party of influence, which was making the public grow keener on maintaining Conservative power. Improving economic conditions and relatively rapid rates of growth in the middle of the 1950s undoubtedly helped to ensure the party's re-election in 1955, and again in 1959.

  2. When disputing over international borders of relations it is very common for history to ...

    The Chinese made Chinese the official language of Tibet. Therefore, all secondary school age children are taught in Chinese. Many Tibetan children are sent to China to study for a period of seven years. The Chinese have been re-educating the children of Tibet about their cultural past as well.

  1. How has the role and impact of military rulers and civilian politicians differed in ...

    Air Commodore Mohammad Mahmood Alam interviewed by Rina Saeed Khan, The Friday Times, September 15-21, 1994, p.24 15. On April 11, 1988 an ammunitions dump at Ojhri blew up spraying rockets and explosives on Rawalpindi and Islamabas. It was a store for ISI's Afghan effort; for details see Brigadier Mohammad

  2. Malta at the turn of the 19th Century.

    Maitland pushed the Maltese to learn the English language. In fact we had the preference to people who spoke English. Only the latter could join the Administration. No top positions were given to the Maltese who didn't know English. Those few Maltese who were still occupying high positions were replaced. The English also had a qualification for the courts.

  1. World war one propaganda

    Although it seems to be biased, my reason for this is that firstly the author is British, he may show the British in a good light, and also censorship was in place at the time. As we know the government would not permit articles that would 'jeopardise the success of the operations'.

  2. The ending of White minority rule was achieved solely by Nelson Mandela. Do you ...

    They issued the Lusaka Manifesto, which consisted of their plans for human equality in South Africa. Three of their points were to address "the denial of the principles of human equality", "a rejection of racialism, not a reversal of existing racial domination" and "peaceful protest is blocked".

  1. 'Liberal pluralist views of policy making are hopelessly naïve.' Discuss.

    So when it comes to the subsidy policy adopted by Chinese government, we can see that although agriculture has stronger interest groups than industry, it obtains a much lower level of support than industry. The best interpretation for this fact maybe lie in the goal of government to develop economy first, not the relative strength of interest groups.

  2. The conflict may be classified as a strike for power between Taliban government and ...

    "the Promotion of Virtue and the Suppression of Vice".8 As an international actor, Afghanistan has been seen by great powers and surrounding countries as a possibility to widen their sphere of influence in the region. Thus, the outside involvement in Afghanistan has heightened conflict among the ambitious local rulers; the

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