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Machiavelli's Theory Of The State.

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Introduction

Machiavelli's Theory Of The State Sandra Butt Niccolo Machiavelli was born in 1469 the son of a doctor of law. His family were relatively wealthy and held a prominent position in public office but his father was debarred from any office due to being classed as an insolvent debtor and this meant Machiavelli's education suffered. His father had a large library and Machiavelli taught himself by reading the books his father had at home, this was said to have "Preserved the originality of his thought" by saving him from the faults and excesses of humanistic erudition. Florence had always regarded itself as a republic, however the Medici family who where a wealthy and prominent banking family dominated Florence for most of the 15 century. With the Medici in power Florence was an oligarch state and Machiavelli tried to gain favour with them although he had no respect for them and their way of ruling went against his ideas at that time. Machiavelli's theory of the state to make Florence as strong as possible by: uniting the people and their customs under the rule of a single Prince; to be a great ...read more.

Middle

He was sent on many diplomatic missions but the first important one was to the French court in 1500. Machiavelli observed the full effect of having one Prince ruling a united country. Louis XII (who provided the troops for the assault on Pisa) was a ruthless strong leader and although he left France ridiculed and named a Mr. Nothing, Machiavelli learned that those qualities were needed by a Prince. When he returned from France in 1502 Machiavelli met Cesare Borgia, a Spanish aristocrat, a much feared and despised tyrant from Romangna in the north region in Italy. Machiavelli witnessed the murder of two of Borgia's officers at a banquet ("Massacre of Senigallia"), which reinforced Borgia's authority and enabled him to firmly govern his state, which Machiavelli admired him because of this. He thought that Borgia's qualities would make him the perfect prince to unite Italy. He became acquainted with power politics through his important diplomatic missions during a time of great political acitivity. Italy could not be united unless its leader was ruthless. ...read more.

Conclusion

Machiavelli believed that Florence's citizens needed: a strong Prince; a nation composed of relatively powerless people which was best served by a powerful and centralized government, which would make their decisions for them and aggressively defend their interests to the betterment of all fortune. A skilful statesman should have the ability to make use of it, but not to rely upon the fortuitous events, which might occur in his career. He saw virtu as ruthlessness and all that goes with it: Bravery; courage; strength; vigour and prowess, although these virtu's don't guarantee success, because this means relying on fortune. Machievelli believed the best methods of defence are those based on your own virtu and virtu is the key to achieving success amid the changes of fortunes. Machiavelli's theories on the state are essentially idealistic and possibly unrealistic but the city of Florence's welfare was always his first priority, he was devoted to Florence with its fine architecture and talented, artistic people. Machiavelli loved his native city " more than his own soul". He was basically a generous and good man. He had a dream that he would see the redemption of Italy and a society of good and pure men. ...read more.

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