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Niccolo Machiavelli: The Prince. On Gaining and Maintaining Power. Politics= Power Power in this world (what Renaissance value are we addressing?). Italy in the Twentieth Century. individual kingdoms vs. one nation-state (country). Nicolo Machiavelli Political Background—

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Niccolo Machiavelli: The Prince

On Gaining and Maintaining Power


Politics= Power

Power in this world

(what Renaissance value are we addressing?)


Italy in the Twentieth Century

individual kingdoms vs. one nation-state (country)

Nicolo Machiavelli
    • Political Background—
      • Northern European kingdoms (monarchs)
      • Italy- divided into city-states
      • Cities become trading centers
      • Tremendous wealth
      • French & Spanish war- 1494-

1524 over control

      • Traditional political principles-
        • Christian ethics
        • Morality

Machiavelli’s advice ….


Truth vs. Lying

Loved vs. Hated




How Should You Lead?



Blamed vs. Praised



“Men judge by the eye rather than the hand, for all men can see a thing, but few come close enough to touch it.”

machiavelli application activity
Machiavelli Application Activity

In your groups, complete the following steps:

  • Draw a quote from the basket.
  • Re-write it (each person)- put it in words you understand
  • Write a paragraph explaining a modern scenario in which this is true (each person)- doesn’t have to be about politicians/leaders but about human nature .... i.e. your example should come from situations you’ve been in.

Chapter 15:

Yet the way men live is so far removed from the way they ought to live that anyone who abandons what is for what should be pursues his downfall rather than his preservation.

He must be sufficiently prudent to avoid a reputation for those vices which would deprive him of his state, and, if possible, also avoid those that would not deprive him of it … he need not be concerned if he acquires a reputation for those vices without which he would be unlikely to save his state.


“Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never be lacking victims for his deceptions.”


The fact is that a man who wants to act virtuously in every way necessarily comes to grief among so many who are not virtuous.


All course of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger (it’s impossible), but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not to the strength to suffer.


The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present.


Men never do good unless necessity drives them to it; but when they are free to choose and can do as they please, confusion and disorder become rampant.