Ivan The Terrible Research Paper

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Grace Carpenter Mr. Masello AP European History 5 December 2014 Ivan the Terrible, a Machiavellian Prodigy Few people would expect a man with “terrible” in his name to live out the ideals of one of history’s greatest political theorists. Such is not the case for the relationship of Tsar Ivan IV of Russia, also known as Ivan the Terrible, to Niccolò Machiavelli. Machiavelli published his most famous work, “The Prince”, in 1532 (Blieberg). The controversial treatise focuses on the role of a ruler in a strong government; particularly what qualities a king must exhibit to benefit his people most (Blieberg). While the latter half of Ivan’s reign was not held in high regard due to the king’s own demons, the first half of his rule demonstrated great…show more content…
Descended from the “marquesses of Tuscany”, the Machiavelli name was well distinguished, and Machiavelli and his father held Florentine offices throughout their lives (“Niccolò Machiavelli”). Little knowledge exists surrounding Machiavelli’s boyhood, particularly his education. However, at the time of his childhood, Florence blossomed as a hub for philosophy and the arts. Machiavelli attended lectures and studied Latin, typical traits of Renaissance humanist education, which focused on the revival of Classic knowledge to shape men into eloquent beings (“Niccolò…show more content…
The Kazan tartars had threatened Ivan’s homeland for decades. No previous leader had effectively solved the problem, including Ivan’s own father. For the well being of his people and his glory, Ivan had no choice but to send his men down the Volga and into dreaded Kazan. “It is always fitting for tsars to be perspicacious, now most gentle, now fierce...If a tsar does not possess this quality, then he is no tsar,” wrote Ivan once (Ivan, IV “Epistle of the Tsar and Sovereign to All His Russian Tsardom Against Those Who Have Broken the Pledge of Allegiance, Against Prince Andrei Kurbskii and His Comrades, Concerning Their Treacheries”). It was Ivan’s faith and fierceness as a leader, two parts of his virtù, which allowed him a victory that would have made Machiavelli proud. Niccolò Machiavelli wrote “The Prince” in hopes that one day an effective ruler would rise to the throne. Mere years after his own passing, Ivan IV was born. The first Tsar of Russia, Ivan transcended his rough upbringing to strengthen his realm both administratively and culturally. In particular, Ivan’s coronation, reforms, and defeat of Kazan, channeled “The Prince” in ways Machiavelli had only been able to dream of in his

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