Study Questions for September 17 24/11/10 2:33 PM
The subject of Chapter 2 is of primary interest to what actual or notional reader of
(Hint: it isn’t you or me, unless you’re sitting on an hereditary principality that none of the rest
of us knows anything about.) (I do have tenure, but I neither inherited it nor can I pass it on to
my sons.) According to this chapter is that reader’s entrenched position a safe or an unsafe one?
Will he need Machiavelli’s advice to maintain his position or could he dispense with it?
Speaking on acquired states Machiavelli says that ruling a new state poses much difficulty for the bloodline
princes rather than ruling the inherited state
Familiarity with the people, and techniques of governing assist in maintaining order among the people and
Hereditary states acquired by fortune are, by the people, preferred to be ruled by a family prince, rather
than a new ruler
Trust and comfort with ways of ruling are factors that enable the people to have such opinions. However,
for the ruler himself; a new principality can give rise to many oddities, for instance; hatred of the people,
challenges in establishing new rule, getting to know the allies, and neighboring states and rulers alike.
Essentially the hereditary prince has an easier time gaining the love of his subjects than a new one
Here I believe thaT Machiavelli’s ADVICE IS MEANT FOR THE ACTUAL READER OF THE PRINCE, WHO IN THIS CASE IS
M SUGGESTS THAT LORENZO NEED NOT DO MUCH TO BE WHERE HE IS, BUT TO MAINTAIN HIS POSITION AND HOLD ON THE
PEOPLE AND STATE IT WOULD BE WISE TO ACCEPT M’S ADVICE. Lorenzo’s fortune does not have the ability to rule a
state and not gain the hatred of its people.
In a well constructed book, we would expect Chapter 2 to deal with one subject, Chapter 3
to deal with another. And so it seems in
: Chapter 2 deals with how to keep an old
principality, Chapter 3 with how to acquire a new one. So when we get to the first paragraph of
Chapter 3 we’ve left the (nonexistent) perils of hereditary princes behind us, and Lorenzo
snoozing peacefully on his throne. We’ve moved on -- or have we?
King louis xii made five distinct errors
he destroyed the minor powers,
he increased the strength of one of the greater powers in Italy,
he brought in a foreign power,
he did not settle in the country,
he did not send colonies
we haven’t moved on, this is an example or more like a lesson to new princes
Machiavelli uses examples from his time to teach the more contemporary princes