20 Facts About The Prince


The Prince is a 16th-century political treatise written by Italian diplomat and political theorist Niccolo Machiavelli as an instruction guide for new princes and royals.

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The general theme of The Prince is of accepting that the aims of princes – such as glory and survival – can justify the use of immoral means to achieve those ends.

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The Prince is sometimes claimed to be one of the first works of modern philosophy, especially modern political philosophy, in which the "effectual" truth is taken to be more important than any abstract ideal.

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The Prince starts by describing the subject matter it will handle.

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The Prince then goes into detail about how the King of France failed in his conquest of Italy, even saying how he could have succeeded.

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In some cases, the old king of the conquered kingdom depended on his lords; 16th-century France, or in other words France as it was at the time of writing of The Prince, is given by Machiavelli as an example of such a kingdom.

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The Prince has to resort to malevolent measures to satisfy the nobles.

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The Prince believes they are useless to a ruler because they are undisciplined, cowardly, and without any loyalty, being motivated only by money.

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The Prince believes that by taking this profession an aspiring prince will be able to acquire a state, and will be able to maintain what he has gained.

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The Prince ends by stating that a prince should not shrink from being cruel if it means that it will keep his subjects in line.

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The Prince gives the example of Cesare Borgia, whose cruelty protected him from rebellions.

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The Prince uses Septimius Severus as a model for new rulers to emulate, as he "embodied both the fox and the lion".

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The Prince cited Caterina Sforza, who used a fortress to defend herself but was eventually betrayed by her people.

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Types of political behavior which are discussed with apparent approval by Machiavelli in The Prince were regarded as shocking by contemporaries, and its immorality is still a subject of serious discussion.

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The Prince associated these goals with a need for "virtue" and "prudence" in a leader, and saw such virtues as essential to good politics.

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The Prince used the words "virtue" and "prudence" to refer to glory-seeking and spirited excellence of character, in strong contrast to the traditional Christian uses of those terms, but more keeping with the original pre-Christian Greek and Roman concepts from which they derived.

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The Prince clearly felt Italy needed major reform in his time, and this opinion of his time is widely shared.

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One of the most important early works dedicated to criticism of Machiavelli, especially The Prince, was that of the Huguenot, Innocent Gentillet, Discourse against Machiavelli, commonly referred to as Anti Machiavel, published in Geneva in 1576.

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The Prince accused Machiavelli of being an atheist and accused politicians of his time by saying that they treated his works as the "Koran of the courtiers".

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The Prince's focuses on three categories in which Machiavelli gives paradoxical advice:.

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