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Machiavelli's Concept of Rulership in 'The Prince'



The Prince is the best-known work of Niccolò Machiavelli, in which he asserts that a prince must use cunning and ruthless methods to stay in power.It was written around 1513, but not published until 1532, five years after Machiavelli's death.

The political philosophy contained in this book is mainly based on the principles of rulership.The theories expressed in The Prince are often venerated as very insightful and shrewd methods an aspiring prince can use to gain the throne, or an existing prince can use to establish and maintain his reign.According to Machiavelli, moral principles must yield to every circumstance and the Prince must be willing to do anything necessary to maintain power.It seems that Machiavelli disregards the connection between ethics and politics, which disturbed many of his contemporaries.The prince should endeavor to be seen as compassionate, trustworthy, sympathetic, honest, and religious. But in reality, the duties of the Prince very rarely allow him to actually be compassionate, etc.The Prince seems to justify a number of actions done merely to perpetuate power.

It is a classic study of power - how to get it, expand it and use it for maximum effect.In The Prince Niccolo Machiavelli makes an effort to discover from history and contemporary events,how principalities are won,how they are held,and how they are lost.In this book he gives an example of a state or principality in which one ruler or a small elite governs the subjects who have no active political life.Machiavelli's philosophy in The Prince is scientific and empirical,based on his own experience of affairs.He talked about some political ends,regardless of the question whether the ends are to be considered good or bad.

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