Outline For The Prince

Outline For The Prince Outline for The Prince I. The basics – all dominions are acquired through either fortune (hereditary or exploitable circumstances) or ability (virt – strength, courage, skill, desperate measures; not a reference to moral virtue) II. Hereditary rulers have an easier time keeping power and regaining it because they have less cause and less need to offend than a new one. Unless a hereditary ruler does something truly despicable the people will of him and fight to keep him in power. If a stronger force strips him of the title, he will have an easier time regaining it, because of the necessary cruelties of his overthrowers force on the people make them more affectionate for him. III.

Mixed principalities occur when the people overthrow their ruler to join an established neighboring regime in an attempt to improve their lives. This never improves them. The occupying force always injures the new principality, thereby costing their goodwill, yet force cannot be used against them because the new ruler is obligated to them. Therefore, they can neither be satisfied nor forced. Conquering the second time allows the ruler to use force by using the rebellion as an excuse – this makes the lands easier to keep. If customs are the same between the current and soon to be conquered holdings, all one must do is extinguish the ruling family and alter neither the laws nor the taxes.

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If language, customs ,and laws are different then the prince must make one of three ruling choices. He can either: A. live there – a rulers presence makes it easier to learn of and squash rebellions, installs either love or fear, and keeps potential attackers away for fear of battle and swift retribution. B. colonize – this only offends those who are dispossessed to house your troops and they will have no recourse. C.

use a large force of troops – this method is both expensive and annoying to the residents of the new principality. Tip from the Romans – colonize, protect lesser powers without increasing their strength, reduce strong and threatening powers, do not let foreign powers gain footing in neighboring areas. IV. Lands ruled by single rulers are easier to gain and maintain control of than those with a central leader but a number of barons or minor lords (more insurrection, more choices for the people to follow, more threats to your absolute rule). V.

The best ways to govern lands had their own lord are: A. destroy it – replace it with your laws (the best choice) B. live there – to keep personal control of things (second best option) C. accept tribute from the near area but leave the laws unchanged – set-up a government to keep it friendly to you. With this method the risks of overrule are still apparent, however the people now in government will do everything they can to keep you in power so that they can stay in power. VI.

Nothing is more difficult than establishing a government,; for he who introduces it makes enemies of all who prospered under the old regime and finds but lukewarm defenders from those who stand to benefit from the new one. VII. Those who rise due to good fortune depend entirely on the will and fortune of those who installed them. They rise quickly to the top, but have neither the knowledge nor the power to remain there. Here begin to stress point that people are tools to be used when necessary to gain a desired end.

As an example, cite the story of the Duke of Valention (a.k.a. Cesare Borgia) who set a harsh taskmaster with free reign for his cruelties to rule over a new province. Once the man had settled the area to the Dukes satisfaction the Duke noted that the people blamed him for hid dominions cruelty. The Duke rewarded Remirro (the taskmaster) for his work on the Dukes behalf by affixing all the blame upon him. When the people strode into the public square of Cesena they found Remirros body split in two and left for public display.

He was found laying next to a wooden block with a blood-stained knife resting beside it. The people were gratified by the Dukes vengeance and never realized that he was to blame for Remirros cruel actions. VIII. Those who gain power from strictly nefarious means gain dominion but not glory. If force is needed it should be used at the beginning so as to avoid frequent repetition.

Those who are cruel throughout their reign must constantly be on guard and generally do not reign or live very long. IX. Some princes gains control by being promoted wither by the nobles or by the people. Although both have disadvantages, it is better to be chosen by the people. Power gained through the nobles is difficult to control because they will consider you an equal.

It is impossible to satisfy all of the nobles which means some faction of them will always be against you. Power gained through the people guarantees the peoples goodwill at times of trouble. The people are also easier to satisfy because all that they desire is freedom from the barons oppression. Unfortunately being chosen by one group almost invariably costs you the good will of the other. On that note, you can never secure against an hostile populace, but at the worst , the people will abandon you.

While hostile nobles can be replaced at the rulers whim, hostile nobles will try to kill the ruler so that they can replace him. X. The strength of a principality is measured on whether it can survive on its own in times of trouble or if it will have to rely on others. If one does not have the strength to fight, it is better to cut your losses by enclosing the main city and fortifying it with supplies. A siege will destroy the outside areas, but those within will survive and can rebuild.

XI. Ecclesiastical principalities are the easiest to protect thank to the great power of the church due to the efforts of Alexander VI. No one will attack the power of the church and it does not matter what kind of ruler is in place, for nothing can destroy the religious ties of the people. XII. If the laws are unsound then the military will be unsound as well. If the military is sound, then the laws are sound, too.

It is best to rule with your own troops as they will have loyalty only to you. Mercenaries are always to be bought for a higher dollar and are unwilling to lay down their lives for money or someone elses beliefs. Auxiliary troops are always a danger because their loyalty lies with another who is strong enough to control them; thereby putting the borrower of such troops at the whim and mercy of a powerful lord and risking having that lord conquer his kingdom as well. XIII. Auxiliary forces are both useless and disastrous to the one who borrows them because they are only worthwhile in pursuit of their own interests. If they are defeated, then you are ruined; if they are victorious, then you become their prisoner.

With mercenaries the danger lies in their cowardice while with auxiliaries the danger lies in their capability. XIV. A princes main objective and profession must be warfare. This can be done through action and study. He should keep men trained and train with them. Hunting is also a good activity for a prince because it teaches the lay of the land so that its.