Overview of Key Points in The Prince (1-3)

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Clifford Orwin

Machiavelli Chp 13The opening letter of the book is a dedication to Lorenzo de Medici the Gonfalone of Florence thduring the late 15 century Its contents very much reflect the political environment of renaissance Italy city states controlling regions and imposing their rule over smaller city statesA first for scholars of the time Machiavelli humbles himself before the intended audience of his work this being statesmen and politiciansThe first chapter outlines different kinds of principalities according to Machiavelli which in terms of state structure are either republics or principalitiesA principality can be an old hereditary principality a principality that has been ruled from a long bloodline of princes and is used to living under that bloodlines rules and traditionsNew principalities are either newly founded altogether or they are added to the hereditary possessions of another rule through either personal conquest or conquests of anotherHistorical examples are used to illustrate the points made instead of literary onesMachiavelli outlines two means of state acquisition virtue and fortune Virtue refers a princes own abilities fortune refers to a sort of chaoslike force that governs all that we cannot controlIn chapter 2 Machiavelli outlines how a hereditary can be maintained by keeping the traditions of the previous government consistent so that there is fluidity in rule Another method is eliminating the memories of the previous traditions so that citizens become more
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