The Prince: Written on Political Philosophy

The Prince: Written on Political Philosophy

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli is a book written on political philosophy. In this book, Machiavelli presents a few ways in which a prince may gain power and ways in which he may keep his power. His book has been criticized and called cruel and evil for the way he proposes destroying the royal family and brutal punishment, but Machiavelli is only keeping a bold line between moral goodness and legitimate authority. He does not state the right or wrong of this cruelty and tells the reader that overall there is a greater good behind it.
Machiavelli states four ways in which a prince may gain power of the state: prowess, good fortune, crime and cruelty, and constitutionally. A leader who gains power of the state through prowess has an advantage because he has earned his place of power by wit and strength. He, therefore, is more likely to maintain his position because he has in a sense earned his power and created strong foundation. However, a leader who has gained control by luck or fortune may have a feeble foundation because he has not yet acquired loyal troops. The new ruler has not earned his right to rule and does not know how to maintain his position. He does not know how to control troops or deal with problems in the state. So you see, prowess is a more effective way of getting power than good fortune. A prince who has retrieved his position through crime and cruelty can also meet many hardships in keeping his power. Machiavelli states that princes who retrieve power by crime cannot obtain glory as well. A prince who has committed crime must abruptly stop all crime and cruelty when he succeeds in obtaining power at once so that it may fade and be forgotten. If he continues to show treachery, he may not be forgiven and his cruel acts not forgotten. A prince who has received power through the favor of his fellow citizens is either put there by the nobles or the common people. The nobles will appoint a fellow noble as prince when they feel they have...