Machiavelli and People’s View of a Ruler and the Power

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Have you ever wondered why Hitler had so much power? Niccolo Machiavelli was born into the Italian renaissance period. Some major events prior to Machiavelli’s life in Florence include the “White” and “Black” feuds (around 1260’s), the introduction of the “‘fiorino d’oro’ of the Republic of Florentine,” the Black Death (1349), the subjugation of Florence’s enemy Pisa, and a revolt against the oligarchy system of government, known as “the revolt of the ciompi.” Some global events around the time of Machiavelli’s lifetime include; the european renaissance, the conquering of Cuba, the Aztecs, and the Incas by Spain, the life and influence of Vasco da Gama and Leonardo da Vinci, Martin Luther challenging the church, (which started the roots of Protestant religions) and Ferdinand Magellan finding the truth that the earth is actually round. The current government during Machiavelli’s life was republic (now we would call it a democracy.)

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It had since been a monarchy until the Medici family was overthrew. During Machiavelli’s lifetime, it seemed all politicians believed that there was an important connection between keeping good standards and justifiable power. Apparently, as a ruler, you deserved obedience and the dignity of your subjects only if you proved to them that you had respectable or admirable values and were of good character. People would remember you as a good ruler solely based on your sense of good nature or personality quality. Niccolo Machiavelli changed the world through his ideas, influence and accomplishments. Machiavelli is important because he made a major impact on politics and leaders/rulers and helped shape the idea of political science. On May 3, of the year 1469, a major political figure was born in Florence, Italy. Niccolo Machiavelli worked for the city of Florence, fulfilling its political needs with other major parts of his country. Sadly, in 1527, on June 21, Machiavelli passed away. Machiavelli came from a long line of wealthy and successful family members. His father however was not as rich and didn’t have a higher up job. He studied law and worked on a small property in Florentine. Machiavelli, in his early years, was well- taught Latin by Paolo da Ronciglione.

As he got older, he is said to have studied at The University of Florentine and gained a humanist education. Niccolo Machiavelli probably gained his knowledge from the books in his father’s library and Marcello Virgilio Adriani. Machiavelli received inspiration through Marcello Virgilio Adriani, Girolamo Savonarola, and Piero Soderini. He might of decided his career or future life based on a meeting with the Second Chancellor of the Republic of Florence. Machiavelli traveled to different important parts of Italy for almost 15 years practicing political motion, and gaining his inspiring craft, techniques and knowledge. Supposedly, Machiavelli was known to have had a knack for evaluating human personal qualities and political laws or practices. He eventually emerged into the position of the head of the second chancery where he was in charge of the “republic’s foreign affairs.” It was a mystery to most how he filled such an honorable and high-up position when he hadn’t been an apprentice beforehand. Many doubt that Machiavelli didn’t receive any actual training for his position. Although Machiavelli might not of had a full and proper education/ training or come from a good family, that didn’t stop him from accomplishing many important things in his life.

What Machiavelli did that was amazing was influence and transition diplomats to the use of political science not political philosophy and of course, write his book The Prince. Machiavelli was a brilliant diplomatic writer. Some of his great works include The Prince and Discourses on The First Ten Books of Titus. Some of his books are The Art of War and The Florentine History. Machiavelli also had his turn of writing plays, in The Mandrake. Machiavelli is most famously known to all from his book The Prince. The Prince is criticised for being a book of evil, and the content certainly is malicious, however, that is probably why this book was so important. After Machiavelli retired from his diplomatic career, he decided to publish The Prince to grab attention to himself from the Medici family. Supposedly, the Prince was written in hopes of getting recognized for his diplomatic skill and offered a job by the Medicis. However, the Prince did not get attention overnight. Even after Machiavelli devoted the book the Lorenzo de’ Medici (who was in current power), there was still no facinaton in it like there is now. Lorenzo might not of even read it. But, Machiavelli’s writing/rhetoric skill would soon be recognized. It wasn’t until Lorenzo died in 1519, that Giulio de’ Medici helped Machiavelli. Giulio recognized Machiavelli’s writing skill and grated him the opportunity to create The Florentine History and granted him diplomatic assignments.

Machiavelli was also a prominent diplomat. Machiavelli had shown previous talent for this career at a young age before he decided on this occupation. Machiavelli was liked by the current ruler, so he received a job in the field of politics without any training for the position. The importance of Machiavelli lies in his impact of politics and leaders through his writing works. Before Machiavelli, most rulers and politicians believed that good moral standards and behavior was how you kept power, but Machiavelli changed the point of view. Machiavelli’s book influenced politics and politicians in a negative way. He preached that fear is more dependable in keeping power than love. This belief contributed to the downfall of a good statured figure and positive behavior of the ruler, being part of a nice reign and being respected by the subjects. Machiavelli’s impact on others was on some leaders throughout history that read Machiavelli’s book The Prince. The leaders who took and used his advice are mostly dictators. One of them was a German dictator called Adolf Hitler. It is commonly known that Hitler’s ruling strategies were beyond evil, and these somewhat related to The Prince. However, Hitler, using Machiavelli’s strategies, he was able to gain more power than almost anyone in history. Machiavelli’s works seem to have a more negative effect on the world. This affect proves to be a withstanding one.

In a way, it seems that Niccolo Machiavelli’s book The Prince has made it alright for rulers (because they are in charge) to not follow the rules. That is probably why most dictators through history are mostly evil and use fear to motivate their citizens to be obedient to them. Machiavelli is still relevant today because his works and views of rulers seems to influence the way the world dictators rule their countries. Despite some historical figures, like Francis Bacon, who have tried to make his ideas not seem less cruel, in hope to sort of clear his name, Machiavelli’s lasting legacy is still standing (by many) as a malicious diplomat. Because some rulers and dictators have taken Machiavelli’s advice, the effects on society and people might not be so good.First of all, it is a common view that your ruler is someone you can trust and is there to protect you and your rights. If your relationship is built on fear, how much trust will you have for that ruler, and if they will exile you if you stand in their way, then they probably aren’t looking out for you. Now Society and people won’t feel safe or supported. Also, rulers are supposed to be an example for their subjects.

So, a Machiavellian ruler might be sending the wrong message to his subjects that you don’t need to prove that you’re good because your morals and behavior isn’t what makes you good it’s your ability to stay in power; even if that means killing innocents in the process. Machiavelli has changed society and people’s view of a ruler and the power of the ruler for the worse. Even though Machiavelli’s ideas were malicious, we have to give him credit for his influence on dictators. He started a whole new chapter of history. Of course, these strategies certainly seem cruel, but it isn’t known whether or not that was Machiavelli’s intention.

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Machiavelli and people's view of a ruler and the power. (2019, Dec 11). Retrieved February 7, 2023 , from
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