Machiavelli: The Power Of Rule In Borgia

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Another example of Borgia’s wisdom as a duke can be identified when examining the period of rule after he had taken over Romagna. Machiavelli is especially enthralled by Borgia’s cunning and effective use of cruelty. He even encourages the actions of Borgia to be “imitated” by future princes (29). This example of “cruelty-well-used”, as Machiavelli calls it, is recognized after Borgia notices the civil disunity within his kingdom. The subjects were so used to having their possessions taken from them under the rule of the old families that many resorted to violence and robbery just to survive (29). Borgia wanted to correct this chaos and establish “good government” by introducing ruthless henchman, Remirro de Orco, to the province. De Orco’s …show more content…
The Duke also committed crucial errors that inevitably prohibited him from staying in control. His errors occurred shortly after the untimely death of his father, Pope Alexander IV, whose role as the head of the Church ultimately gave Borgia his position of power. Because his father passed, it was Borgia’s responsibility to appoint a new leader of the Church and his decision in who he appointed costed him greatly. Machiavelli includes this miscalculation as an example of what not to do mainly because the following sequence of events includes the decisions of a Christian ruler, not a good ruler (62). There are two major flaws in Borgia’s action at this point in history. First, Borgia had created strong foundations for the kingdom and had acquired enough power to put an end to the influence of the Catholic Church once and for all. He did not seize this opportunity to terminate the corruptive institution because he still had faith in its values (32). The evidence of this belief resides with Borgia’s second error, the appointment of an enemy to the position of Pope. Machiavelli sums up his error, “… whoever believes that among great personages new benefits will make old injuries be forgotten deceives himself” (33). In other words, those who believe in forgiveness are lying to themselves. Forgiveness resides with the set of values adopted by …show more content…
Some of the actions used by the Duke in order to secure power such as, the abandonment of diplomacy, vigilance and eradication of potential problems, and the establishment of “good government” to maintain order and respect amongst subjects are all worth imitation in the eyes of Machiavelli. This is due to the fact that all of these methods are necessary and require virtues contradictory to those of the Christians. This is ironic considering the cause of Borgia’s ruin, his inability to completely abandon all Christian values. Machiavelli cited this as Borgia’s major error because, in the end, forgiveness made him weak and naïve. Borgia’s belief in the capacity of his enemies to forgive all the wrong doings he committed against them ultimately failed. His miscalculation further illustrates that religion and politics cannot coincide

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