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Niccolo Machiavellis Role In The Italian Renaissance Essay

Niccolo Machiavelli is a world-renowned diplomat and writer (especially famous for his work the Prince). Machiavelli played an important role in the Italian Renaissance and without him it would not have been the same. Niccolo Machiavelli was born on May 3rd, 1469 in Florence Italy. At the time, Italy was divided into four rival city-states which caused them to be at the mercy of stronger governments around Europe. Though born of nobility, Machiavelli and his family were not wealthy. His parents were Bernardo and Bartolomea and they had three other children together (two daughters and a son).

Even though Bernardo was a landowner and a lawyer, he still received a small salary. Machiavelli received an education at the age of seven when he was taught grammar, rhetoric, and Latin. However, the love of books was a family value. A diplomat is an official representing a country aboard. Machiavelli was a diplomat on the behalf of Florence for fourteen years. After the Medici family and its supporters were driven from power, Florence was under a republic government since 1494. During that time, Machiavelli thrived under the chief administrator for life, or gonfalonier, Piero Soderini.

Machiavelli attempted to rganize Florentine militia against the Medici family. However, this plan failed when the Medici and the Spanish troops brought down the republics armed forces and dissolved the government. Machiavelli was a direct victim of this change. He was exiled and was accused of conspiring against the Medici; he was imprisoned, tortured, and banished from an active role in political life. This ban led him to turn to literary works. After this, he retired. During this time he wrote one of his most popular books, The Prince.

The book was written quickly due to the fact that he was trying to regain his status in the Florentine overnment. The book was originally written for Giuliano de ‘Medici to teach the rules of political power, but after his death the dedication was changed. Meanwhile Machiavelli wrote verses, plays, and short prose, produced biographical and historical sketches, and penned a study in The Art of War. The Prince is a treatise that Machiavelli wrote that describes the relationships of moral goodness and legitimate authority.

Many people before the book was made thought that political power was only rightful if it was exercised by a ruler where morals were virtuous. So if a ruler wanted a long and peaceful reign and anted to pass his office down to his offspring, he would have to behave accordingly and have traditional standards of ethical goodness. It was thought that rulers did well when they did good. They earned the right to be obeyed and respected, as much as they showed themselves to be morally up right and virtuous.

In The Prince, Machiavelli suggests that there is no moral bias on which to judge the difference between the illegitimate and legitimate use of powers. To him, authority and power are coequal. Essentially, whoever has power has the right to command; however, goodness does not ensure power. What Machiavelli is really saying is that the only concern of a political ruler should be the acquisition of powers. Machiavelli concludes that legitimate rights to ruler adds nothing to the actual passion of power meaning that even though they have the right to rule and it is in their blood to do so , doesn’t mean that they should gain any power.

What made this book so amazing was the fact that he had personal experience with the Florentine government. He learned that goodness and rights are not enough to win and maintain political office. To Machiavelli power defines political activity, which is why any ruler who opes to be successful must know how power is used. If a ruler uses his power properly, individuals will obey and want the ruler to maintain the country security and safety. Machiavelli acknowledged the fact that good laws and good arms are needed to constitute the dual foundation of a well ordered political system.

The legitimacy of law rests entirely on the threat of perceived force. However Machiavelli soon realized that he did not have the power to enforce it. Machiavelli concluded that fear is always the preferable emotion to affection in subjects, just as violence and deceit can control them. Machiavelli also mentions Virtue in The Prince. Machiavelli uses this word to refer to the range of personal qualities a Prince will need to maintain his state and to achieve great things.

Machiavelli wanted someone who could be at and flexible disposition (can adapt to situations, come up with informed decisions, will not be easily upset, and can cope with their environment) and would not “quite good courses if he can help it, but should know how to follow evil courses if he must” (46). He thought it necessary for them to switch between good and evil, as circumstances require. Machiavelli somehow hinks of politics and the battlefield as one thing instead of two, separately. Fortuna (fortune) is another word that Machiavelli used differently.

He believed Fortuna was the enemy of political order, the ultimate threat on the safety and security of a state. It may be the fact that the human Fortuna is used for human achievement. However, with Fortuna, no man would win when directly opposed by her. Machiavelli’s most famous discussion of Fortuna is seen in The Prince. Machiavelli believes that the only response to Fortuna is viciousness. Machiavelli is considered the Father of Modern Politics because he was the first person to uggest that political order is (or ought to be) of largely human creation and a transcendent moral is to be imitated in politics.

He broke out of the old ideas which were that the purpose of politics was to make citizen better; to help them achieve the highest good and to live in virtue. For Machiavelli it is for peace and the pursuit of anything that would help us achieve our goal. Machiavelli now has his own term known as Machiavellianism which is the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or in general conduct in modern psychology. Machiavellianism is one of the dark triad personalities. It is characterized by a uplicitous interpersonal style, a cynical disregard for mortality and a focus on self-interest and personal gain.

During the sixteenth century Machiavellianism was seen as a foreign plague effecting European politics. Machiavelli carried out diplomatic missions in France, Italy, and Germany. He also was a political philosopher. Machiavelli’s thoughts was a handbook for politicians and still is for many today. He tried to persuade people to try to get the state to be unified, orderly, and balanced and to get people to be happy, honorable, secure, and strong; he believed that rulers should do whatever they need to enforce order.

In total, Machiavelli was a political and military theorist, a diplomat, a military planner, a playwright, and a world renowned author. Some of his books include Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livius, The Art of War, Mandragola, History of Florence, and The Prince. Near the end of his life Machiavelli returned to the favor of the Medici family. In 1520 he was commissioned by Cardinal Giulio de’ Medici to write the History of Florence which he completed in 1525 and presented it before the Cardinal. Before he could receive his full rehabilitation, he died on June 21st 1527, at the age of 58 in Florence, Republic of Florence.

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