Own Reading The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli.docx

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University of British Columbia
Political Science
POLI 240
Christopher Erickson

Own Reading: The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli - The book is a gift for the Magnificent Lorenzo de Medici  Sort of a guide for Lorenzo to do what it takes to expand his power 1) Different Kinds of States and Different Ways to Get Them - 2 types: republic or princely state - 2 types of princely state: hereditary or new - Ways of acquiring: with people’s arm or own arm, either by fortune or by virtu (in lecture refers to the capacity to achieve something to adapt with the situation) Q: what does republic mean? - Haven’t read the footnotes at page 4 2) On Hereditary Principates - Old hereditary states are easier to take care than the new ones  Not wanting to upset the ancient customs  Example of Duke Ferrara and Pope Julius - Argument: prince by birth has fewer reasons and less need to offend his subjects  so, he should be better liked and if he doesn’t have any vices, he should be popular among his own people 3) On Mixed Principalities* - New states that make trouble - If it’s the new ruler that uses existing system that is causing the trouble, N said, it’s natural for the people to change their leaders in the hope of bettering the situation  This people will feel deceived when the government they overthrow only worsen the situation - To prevent this, N said, “a new prince must always harm those over whom he assumes authority”  You will have enemies that you make in your conquest for power  You cannot stay friends with those who put you in power  So, is N implying that a leader can trust no one but himself?  Also, N recognizes the importance of the local people when a prince wants to take over a province. Provide example of Louis XII of France who took Milan - Lands that rebelled and were conquered the 2 time are not that easy to be lost again because The Prince has learned how to manage this  The example given, is it Louis  Lodevico  Louis back? - The case where culture doesn’t vary by much: Easy to retain power in state whose people are not accustomed to independence. Also, to ensure that territorial expansion can occur in a short period of time, the conqueror shouldn’t try to change the law and taxes  but, is it permanent though? Or is it just for the sake of winning the war but at much later time, the conqueror can gradually start to change policy - The case where culture varies extremely: the conquerors should live at the territory to understand the society  it’s like a fieldwork - Importance of Colonies  Not to have them , the Prince will have to use immense force of cavalry and infantry  Colonies are cheaper, do better service and commit less damage  backed by the fact that the damage done to the people are not severe. But, the harm you do shouldn’t be severe to the extent that people will want to retaliate (take revenge) - Cost of maintaining an army:  Have to spend more for them  By having army, the prince will make more enemy and some of the enemies made can cause harm - When expanding territory in a foreign area,  Should immediately establish credibility by undermining the ruling predecessor  Provide an example of Aetolian that brought the Romans into Greece: when the powerful foreigners enter  those who are least powerful flock to him out of hatred to the previous leader  the foreign leader should be careful to maintain the relationship and not to let the flocking followers to have so much strength  Roman policy: send out colonies, indulge the followers while at the same time not increasing their strength, broke the powerful and never allow any foreigners to claim the land - What Louis did?  King Louis was originally called because the ambition of the Venetians wanting to have half of Lombardy  Louis’ movement was blocked due to Charles’ behavior  taking Lombardy, his reputation rose fast  the Venetians realized their mistake having calling King Louis  Committed 5 mistakes 1) Put down the weaker powers 2) Increased the strength of majority power 3) Introduced a very powerful foreigner to his subjects 4) Never took up residence among them 5) Never set up any colonies  Biggest error was to empower the Church - “You should never let things get out of hand in order to avoid war”  You don’t avoid such a war, you merely postpone it, to your own disadvantage 4) Why successor of Alexander didn’t lose the state he obtained from Darius even after his death? - Kingdom is governed by either: a single prince and others as the servants (whom he appoints) or a prince aided by barons (who are made so not by the prince’s power. But, by his birth right)  The barons have their own states that recognize their rights and naturally fond of them  The prince with appointed officials possesses more authority because only the prince can claim power. On contrary, the system with baron means that the prince has to share with the barons  Example of Turkey and France at pg 12 – 13  After post-dethroning of the previous leaders, it was easy to take care of Turkey than France because Turkey uses a monarchy system which allocates an ultimate power to the ruler whilst France uses the Baron system. In Turkey, when you defeat the leader totally, you will obtain the power immediately. As for France, when you defeat the King, you will have to deal with the barons who own the state later on 5) How Cities or States Should be Ruled Which Lived by Their Own Laws before Being Taken - When expanding a territory, 3 strategies can be taken: 1) destroy the city, 2) to reside in the city, 3) to let them continue to live under their laws by creating a government of few (oligarchy) - Examples  Spartan terrorizing Athens and Thebes: S created oligarchy and lost both cities afterwards  Romans terrorizing Capua: R destroyed the city and never lost them again - Reasons: Romans used to follow Spartans but as things became uncontrollable, they had to destroy a lot of cities - “Any man who becomes master of a city accustomed to freedom, and does not destroy it, may expect to be destroyed by it” - On contrary, when a state is used to live under the command of a prince, when they lost the prince, the people won’t know how to enjoy the freedom and the society will fail to function. However, it will be easy for an external influence to gain control over this state 6) About New Princedoms Acquired with One’s Own Arms and Energy - Should imitate the virtu of the supreme leadership - A new prince who rules a new kingdom will face more obstacles as they are trying adopt with the new system and they are the introducers of a new order - Halfhearted supporters are due to: the law is half possessed by the law on the other side and human skepticism that is skeptic of anything unknown unless it shows result - Example: Fra Girolamo Savonarola: He was unable to keep his city because he didn’t have any means of keeping them (No weapon or anything to signifies his importance) 7) About New States Acquired with Other People’s Arms and by Good Luck ** - By good luck: obtain control by buying or as a gift from someone  Either appointing so many officials to secure one’s own position or by corruption  But this system depends entirely on the goodwill and good fortune of those who receive the gift - Example: 1) Francesco Sforza: became Duke of Milan by using an appropriate means with great shrewdness (virtu) 2) Cesare Borgia: acquired authority through his father’s fortune and lost it in the same way - “The man who does not lay his foundations in advance may with great effort (virtu) build them later – Niccolo provides condition: he will always do so with inconvenience to the architect and danger to the structure - Example: Alexander VI wants to make his son a duke  faced many obstacles  The potential territories were protected by the Venetians but this was easily overcame as the Venetians had decided to let French back into Italy  The duke wanted to increase his influence, but there were 2 obstacles: 1) the soldiers cant be trusted and 2) the French position  Conclusion: its better not to rely on the weapons and fortunes of others  So, weaken the enemy by ‘buying’ their officers (p. 20) - Strategies to regain what Alexander VI had given: 1) Wipe out all of those belonging to noblemen’s family. Must be done in total so that the pope cant use such an excuse to retaliate 2) Enlist all the gentry of Rome and use them to keep the pope in check 3) to make the College of Cardinals his own creatures 4) to acquire so much power of his own - the only mistake of the duke was the appointment of Julius as the pope  was the cause of his downfall 8) On Those Who Have Become Princes by Crime - Ways to become a prince: by some criminal or evil conduct and the rise of a private citizen through a democratic means - Example  Agathocles the Sicilian: born as a son of potter, joined the military and rose rank to be someone very influential  made a plan with Hamilcar the Carthaginian  invited every politician, the richest people and he had everyone butchered  he was able to assume his position without any public protest  Niccolo said: Agathocles’ act cant be called a virtu because he killed the citizens, betray his friends etc.  a man may obtain power but not glory from this action  Oliverotto da Fermo: invited people and his uncle for a dinner  had everyone killed  go to town council and forced to make him as the new chief  Chris mentions something about this comparison. Refer back later - The ideal of cruelty:  Well used cruelty: it is performed all at once for reasons of self-preservation, when the acts are not repeated  Badly used cruelty: when it is infrequent at first but increases with time instead of diminishing  When a prince takes over a new state, he should calculate the sum of casualties he should inflict 9) On the Civil Principate - Civil princedom: success in which depends neither completely on skill (virtu0 nor completely on fortune, but rather on a kind of lucky shrewdness - One may rise from: people’s choice or appointed by the nobles - In every state, there are 2 kinds of people: 1) those desire not to be ordered and commanded by the nobles and 2) the desire of the nobles to command and oppress the people  as the result, we have: prince, liberty, or license - Prince  Results from the rule of the people or the nobles  this is subject to the situation  If the nobles think it’s hard to resist the power of the people, they make a prince and hiding behind the prince’s power, they seek to satisfy their wants  The same is done by the people. They also need a prince as a shield Appointed by the nobles Appointed by the people - Prince as a shadow for them to - Prince as a shield satiate their desires - Has more trouble to hold onto his - Has less trouble to hold onto his position position - Cannot satisfy the nobles - Can satisfy the people honestly honestly without harming others - The people just don’t want to be - Their aim is to oppress the oppressed people - Hostile nobles will attack him - Hostile people will only abandon him - Can live well without the nobles - Must live with the people - 2 types of noblemen: either they manage their affairs at your disposal or they don’t  Those who are not greedy and
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