The Prince: The Principe Of Niccolo Machiavelli

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THE PRINCE OF MACHIAVELLI There can be little doubt that The Prince (Il Principe) of Niccolo Machiavelli is one of the most controversial books ever written. In its favor are the many wise and pragmatic remarks about the use of power and statesmanship to suit any occasion. It is a work full of time tested maxims and rules for all those interested in the game of politics, governance and human nature in general. At the same time the opportunistic pragmatic tone of this famous analysis of power is the most serious objection that could be brought against it. It was a condition not a theory, indeed a state of affairs which confronted Machiavelli at the end of the fifteenth century. The same acute conditions that were faced by our political writer in 1492, continued to be an unsolved problem for Italy even up to the twentieth century. Italy’s fragmentation as a nation and its political inferiority to nearby states, like Spain or France, was what drove Machiavelli to write The Prince. It may even have been intended to prod Lorenzo de Medici, the Magnificent, to lead Italy out of its stagnation. Machiavelli’s apparent intentions are stated early in his treatise.

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