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5-7 machi

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Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL200Y1
Professor
Janice Stein

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Morad Moazami
The Prince: Chapter 5 - 7
Chapter V: How to Govern Cities and Principalities That,
Prior to Being Occupied, Lived Under Their Own Laws
Machiavelli describes three ways to hold states that have been accustomed to
living freely under their own laws.
oThe first is to devastate them.
oThe second is for the conqueror to occupy them.
oThe third is to allow the state to maintain its own laws, but to charge
taxes and establish an oligarchy to keep the state friendly.
The third option is advantageous because the newly imposed
oligarchy will work hard to secure the authority of the
conquering prince within the conquered state because it owes
its existence to the prince and cannot survive without his
support.
Thus, as long as the goal is not to devastate the other state, it
is easiest to rule it through the use of its own citizens.
Complete destruction is the most certain way of securing a state that has
been free in the past.
A prince who does not take this route places himself in a position to be
destroyed himself.
oNo matter how long it has been since the state was acquired,
rebellions will always revive the legacy of ancient institutions and
notions of former liberty, even if the state has benefited from the
princes rule.
oThis sense of tradition will unify the people against the prince.
www.notesolution.com
Morad Moazami
On the other hand, cities or provinces that are accustomed to being ruled by a
prince are easy to take over once the ruling family has been destroyed.
oPeople in such states are accustomed to obedience and do not know
how to live in freedom without having someone to rule over them.
oTherefore, the new prince can win the province and hold onto it more
easily.
In republics (or former republics), sentiments of hatred and revenge against
the conquering prince will run strong.
oThe memories of ancient liberty never die, so a prince will be better off
destroying the republic or personally occupying the conquered state.
The coldhearted, calculating logic for which Machiavelli is renowned shines
through in Chapter V.
oHis argument that devastating a region is often the most reliable way
of securing power does not even attempt to address the moral or
ethical objections to his advice.
oHis rationale is strictly pragmatic: the only reason to spare the
institutions of newly conquered states is that keeping old institutions
alive might help keep citizens happy, subdued, and submissive under
the new ruler.
Machiavelli sets out his conception of the natural state of a populace.
oHe writes that most subjects are used to obeying and that they
cannot live as free subjects without someone telling them what to do.
oThis argument echoes Machiavellis assertion in Chapter III that men
are naturally disposed to old ways of life and therefore harbor an
inclination to follow tradition.
oThese passages underline the assumption that men are, by nature,
followers.
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Morad Moazami The Prince: Chapter 5 - 7 Chapter V: How to Govern Cities and Principalities That, Prior to Being Occupied, Lived Under Their Own Laws Machiavelli describes three ways to hold states that have been accustomed to living freely under their own laws. o The first is to devastate them. o The second is for the conqueror to occupy them. o The third is to allow the state to maintain its own laws, but to charge taxes and establish an oligarchy to keep the state friendly. The third option is advantageous because the newly imposed oligarchy will work hard to secure the authority of the conquering prince within the conquered state because it owes its existence to the prince and cannot survive without his support. Thus, as long as the goal is not to devastate the other state, it is easiest to rule it through the use of its own citizens. Complete destruction is the most certain way of securing a state that has been free in the past. A prince who does not take this route places himself in a position to be destroyed himself. o No matter how long it has been since the state was acquired, rebellions will always revive the legacy of ancient institutions and notions of former liberty, even if the state has benefited from the princes rule. o This sense of tradition will unify the people against the prince. www.notesolution.com
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