Con The Prince Niccolo Machiavelli shrewdly outlines the strategies that per ruler must follow onesto maintain his position and govern his state. With a clear and direct authorial voice, Machiavelli employs ancient and contemporary examples preciso illustrate the pragmatic tactics of successful leaders. Dedicating his book to the Florentine ruler Lorenzo de Medici , Machiavelli draws heavily on his own political experience to support his exceedingly realistic views on human nature and the techniques of able rulers. The Prince explores the careful balance between contrasts, comparing virtue and aiuto, prowess and fortune, and subjects and rulers.
At the via of the treatise Machiavelli asks Lorenzo esatto accept The Prince as verso « token of my devotion, » stating that his « long acquaintance » with political affairs and « continuous study of the ancient world » inform his writing. In the first chapters Machiavelli outlines the scope of The Prince , declaring his focus on the various types of princes and principalities. Arguing that new principalities pose greater difficulties than hereditary states, Machiavelli segues into a discussion of composite principalities, durante which new states form an « appendage puro an old state. » Within this context, Machiavelli raises the guiding principals of The Prince , encouraging rulers onesto cultivate the « goodwill » of the people and puro study the art of warfare. Machiavelli urges princes esatto approach political disorders like » verso wasting disease , » taking care sicuro diagnose and treat them quickly and resolutely.
Machiavelli concludes by imploring Lorenzo sicuro use the lessons of The Prince onesto unify war-torn Italy and thus reclaim the grandeur of Ancient Rome
Citing Cyrus and Romulus , Machiavelli turns to per conversation of prowess, imploring « prudent » rulers to follow the examples of « great men. » Machiavelli writes that men who become rulers by prowess « gain their principalities with difficulty but hold them with ease. » Conversely, those who gain power through fortune become rulers easily but maintain their position « only by considerable exertion. » Naming Cesare Borgia as verso contemporary ruler who gained his situazione through fortune, Machiavelli praises the « strong foundations » that Borgia laid for his future but laments « the extraordinary and inordinate malice of fortune » that eventually ruined the unlucky duke.
Machiavelli e foundations, « good laws and good arms. » However, Machiavelli places an emphasis on good arms, explaining that good laws « inevitably follow » from military might. Machiavelli warns rulers to avoid the use of mercenary and auxiliary troops, on which he blames « the present ruin of Italy » and the earlier downfall of the Roman Pigiare. According to Machiavelli, « The first way preciso lose your state is onesto neglect the art of war, » and he encourages princes preciso study warfare mediante peacetime so that they may « reap the profit per times of adversity. »
While laying out his guidelines for per prince’s moral conduct, Machiavelli blurs the traditional border between virtue and supplente. Machiavelli argues that verso prince must adhere preciso a unique canone of morality, often acting « mediante defiance of good faith, of charity, of kindness, [and] of religion » durante order sicuro safeguard his state. The challenges of governance require rulers sicuro reverse the general relationship between virtues and vices, although Machiavelli encourages clever princes esatto maintain the appearance of virtue. » Above all else, a prince must « escape being hated » by his people, which he can accomplish if he does not rob his subjects of their property. Machiavelli urges rulers puro maintain verso « flexible disposition, » mimicking the behavior of the fox and the lion to secure their position.
On the question of « whether it is better preciso be loved than feared, » Machiavelli asserts that it is preferable preciso be feared if the prince cannot « be both the one and the other
Addressing the distinction between prowess and fortune, Machiavelli contends that fortune controls half incontri wing of human affairs, leaving the other half puro free will. Machiavelli advises princes sicuro « take precautions » against the « malice of fortune, » using prowess puro prepare for unpredictability. Turning onesto contemporary Italy, Machiavelli blames the weakness of its states on the political shortcomings of its rulers.