The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli 's View Of Virtue And Effective Rule

806 Words Mar 17th, 2016 4 Pages
In The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli’s understanding of virtue and effective rule emphasizes the maintenance of political power and the disregard for morality, differing from the ideology of the classic political philosophers. Machiavelli’s concept of virtue is centered around the glorification of a ruler, facilitated by behavioural traits such as bravery, cleverness, deceptiveness, and ruthlessness. Effective rule requires these attributes, as the successful application of these characteristics towards the acquisition and maintenance of power will allow one to become a powerful leader. Machiavelli first explains the foundations of various principalities, such as hereditary and mixed principalities, as the maintenance of power differs from the two. The effective rule of hereditary principalities is far less difficult than that of a mixed or acquired principality, since the people are accustomed to oppression, thus making subservience a natural way of life. However, when principalities are acquired, rulers are more likely to face various problems, with revolt becoming a likely scenario if a prince does not rule effectively. The reasoning behind mixed principalities being harder to rule is mostly due to the lack of loyalty from the people, unless their current way of life is undisturbed. Machiavelli provides examples of rulers who were able to successfully gain control of the people, such as the Romans, who created colonies to reside amongst the territories they’ve…

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