Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince
By: Nicholas Sargent
AP European History
October 13, 2005
Machiavelli’s The Prince is a comprehensive guide to explain political and military strategies to help a ruler gain or maintain power. Machiavelli separates his masterpiece into four basic pieces. The first part, which consists of the first eleven chapters, deals mainly with the four different types of principalities (Hereditary, Mixed, New, and Ecclesiastical), or monarchial governments, and how they should be established and maintained. Machiavelli goes into great detail about each type of principality and gives many examples. He writes about “mixed” principalities in which the ruler has come to power through “hereditary,” but has new territory to control. Machiavelli says that this “mixed” principality is hard to govern because the people are subject to rebel. Machiavelli uses King Louis XII as his example. Louis took over Milan, but her could not win the support of its citizens. He then gives the Romans as an example and shows how easily it is to control “mixed” states with little effort. Machiavelli then says that all monarchs are ruled in two ways; one absolute ruler, or a ruler and the group of nobles that helped him get to power. The nobles became nobles from birth, so the ruler would have a hard time trying to strip them of their ranking. Machiavelli then states that it would be hard to take over the Ottoman Empire because there are no nobles to invite you it, everyone are slaves, and dependent on their masters. On the other hand, France would be easier take over. There are many nobles with lots of power that could help you overthrow the king, Machiavelli advises that it would be almost impossible to maintain. Machiavelli then teaches us that there are three different ways to take over a territory; you can completely destroy it, move your entire government there to maintain order, or allow the rulers to keep control as long as they pay homage to...