Niccolo Machiavelli Essay, Research Paper
Machaivelli was an Italian statesmen and writer. He was born in Florence on May 3, 1469 and he died on June 22, 1527 at the age of 58. He is considered by many to be the father of modern politics. The Renaissance was a time of great intellectual activity and Machaivelli was one of the greatest political thinkers of that time. His thoughts on human nature are still the standard in political humor and everywhere else in politics.
Machaivelli was not only a political thinker he was also a renaissance man. He was a celebrated political and military theorist, historian, playwright, diplomat, and military power. If his political views were not concidered to be wild and atheistic he would have been one of the most respected thinkers of his time. Instead, he was thought of as a villain by most people of that time and that opinion has carried down through the years.
Machaivelli gained his reputation through his political career. His career began in 1498 when he became secretary to the second chancellor to the Florentine Republic. This position made him a civil servant with various diplomatic and administrative responsibilities. His career involved much diplomatic traveling and during this traveling he met many powerful political figures of the time. He used his reputation to express his views. These views were unique which made his name synonymous with words like atheism and cynicism. His political career came to an abrupt end when the Medici family regained power. Their resurrection broke the republic apart. Machiavelli was arrested, imprisoned, and tortured on suspicion of plotting against and Medici family. He was released after one year.
After he was released from the Medici imprisonment he retired from politics and worked on his major writings. His most known book is The Prince. This book was written in 1513 and published in 1532, 5 years after his death. The opinions and theories expressed in this book were very controversial. He argued that an effective ruler should be pragmatic rather than virtuous in the use of his power. He believed a ruler should rule with fear rather than virtue. This and other opinions were based partly on his knowledge of classical history. This was the first work to deal openly with the use of force in the state and pursuit of a stable government that condoned amoral actions. Many of his political thoughts were based on the political turmoil of his time. Italy at that time was a scene of intense political conflict involving four dominant city-states, Florence, Milan, Venice, and Naples. His opinions lead to the political stereotypes and comedy of today.
Machiavelli is a name which many consider synonymous with villainy. This reputation was based on the fact that when he expressed his opinions they were considered evil so in all reports from that time period he is portrayed as a villain. This villainous identity is still popular today even though his ideas were the framework of the modern government and he is required reading by anyone who would be a leader. It is a measure of how much he is misunderstood that to be called Machaivellian is to be insulted.