ISBN10: 1449547044 ISBN13: 9781449547042 Publisher: Createspace Indie Pub Platform Published: May 28 2011 Pages: 128 Height: 9.00" Width: 6.00" Depth: 0.32" Language: English
The views expounded by Machiavelli in The Prince may seem extreme even for the time period in which they were written. However, his whole life was spent in Florence at a time of continuous political conflict. Accordingly, Machiavelli emphasizes the need for stability in a prince's principality; at stake is its preservation. The book was written primarily as a guide for the prince to maintain his power and only secondarily as a guide for maintaining the principality. The theories expressed in The Prince describe methods that an aspiring prince can use to acquire the throne, or an existing prince can use to maintain his reign. According to Machiavelli, the greatest moral good is a virtuous and stable state, and actions to protect the country are therefore justified even if they are cruel. Machiavelli strongly suggests, however, that the prince must not be hated. He states, "...a wise prince should establish himself on that which is his own control and not in that of others; he must endeavor to avoid hatred, as is noted." The opening discourse of The Prince defines effective methods of governing in several types of principalities (for example, newly acquired vs. hereditary). Machiavelli explains to the reader, the "Magnificent Lorenzo de' Medici", member of the Florentine Medici family, the best ways to acquire, maintain, and protect a state. The methods described therein have the general theme of acquiring necessary ends by any means.