Julius Caesar As A Prince And Machiavelli's Liberality

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Julius Caesar’s Liberality Machiavelli uses the example of Julius Caesar in his chapter concerning liberality and meanness. In this chapter, Machiavelli focuses on how a prince should regulate his expenses and whether it is better for a prince to be liberal or mean with his money, or in other words, how generous or ungenerous a prince is which his money. Machiavelli uses the example of Caesar so as to counter an opposing point one might bring up. He uses Caesar as an example of what a prince should not do with his own expenses: which is to use them lavishly to gain the reputation of being liberal. Machiavelli does not go into specifics, merely stating that Caesar was liberal so how exactly did Julius Caesar rise to power and in what ways did …show more content…
He believes that in order to become a prince, it is necessary to be liberal, so as to gain support, but when one is already a prince, one should not be liberal, but rather keep ones expenses to oneself, as that course would be more beneficial in the long run. He categorizes Caesar as a prince who was still on the rise, still trying to gain attention and support, and therefore had to be liberal in order to obtain and keep his empire. However, had Caesar survived and “not moderated his expenses, he would have been destroyed by his government” (Machiavelli 57). Machiavelli implies that Julius Caesar would have been the cause for his own downfall. Caesar was spending too much of his own money on changing things for the people, that when the time came for an actual disaster, Caesar would not have enough money to actually save his people, having spent it all. If Caesar has not changed his ways, he would have slowly driven Rome into poverty and become despised by the people who once loved him. Machiavelli argues that although many people may view Caesar as a person who achieved a great reputation through being liberal, had he continued, he too would have been destroyed by trying to be excessively …show more content…
He criticizes Caesar for being unnecessarily liberal with his money, because he argues that in the end, Caesar’s generosity would have come back to hurt him. However, based on my research, I believe that Caesar’s actions were justified. Caesar was widely regarded to be a great man, who brought prosperity to his people and brought about many wonderful changes to society. Caesar gained the favor of the people through his actions, and Machiavelli himself says that the approval of the people is very important. I firmly believe Caesar knew was he was getting into and had he survived, would not have failed his government. He was an active military man who conquered territories and from this he received financial aid. Machiavelli’s ideal prince is not always realistic in all circumstances. In order to be favored by the people, one must be liberal to an extent, as long as one is clever enough to be able to moderate one’s expenses when needed. From the book, The Prince, I learned that Machiavelli often chooses a cool, logical perspective that mostly concentrates on his ideal prince remaining in power for as long as he can. This persistence of remaining in power sometimes goes along with some questionable moral standpoints, such as killing, plundering, lying and engaging in war so as to keep the state completely under the prince’s

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