the prince

the prince

Machiavelli: Biography, Quotes, The Prince, Human Nature, Beliefs, Facts (2000)

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Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (Italian: [nikkoˈlɔ makjaˈvɛlli]; 3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was a Florentine historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, humanist, and writer during the Renaissance. He was for many years an official in the Florentine Republic, with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs. He was a founder of modern political science, and more specifically political ethics. He also wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry. His personal correspondence is renowned in the Italian language. He was Secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence from 1498 to 1512, when the Medici were out of power. He wrote his masterpiece, The Prince, after the Medici had recovered power and he no longer held a position of responsibility in Florence. His views on the importance of a strong ruler who was not afraid to be harsh with his subjects and enemies were most likely influenced by the Italian city-states, which due to a lack of unification were very vulnerable to other unified nation-states, such as France. "Machiavellianism" is a widely used negative term to characterize unscrupulous politicians of the sort Machiavelli described in The Prince. The book itself gained enormous notoriety and wide readership because the author seemed to be endorsing behavior often deemed as evil and immoral. Because of this, the term "Machiavellian" is often associated with deceit, deviousness, ambition, and brutality. Scholars have argued that Machiavelli was a major indirect and direct influence upon the political thinking of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Benjamin Franklin, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson followed Machiavelli's republicanism when they opposed what they saw as the emerging aristocracy that they feared Alexander Hamilton was creating with the Federalist Party.[52] Hamilton learned from Machiavelli about the importance of foreign policy for domestic policy, but may have broken from him regarding how rapacious a republic needed to be in order to survive[53][54] (George Washington was probably less influenced by Machiavelli).[55] However, the Founding Father who perhaps most studied and valued Machiavelli as a political philosopher was John Adams, who profusely commented on the Italian's thought in his work, A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America.Niccolò Machiavelli aids Cesare Borgia and protagonist Nicholas Dawson in their dangerous intrigues in Cecelia Holland's 1979 historical novel City of God.[60] David Maclaine writes that in the novel, Machiavelli "is an off-stage presence whose spirit permeates this work of intrigue and betrayal ... It is a brilliant introduction to the people and events that gave us the word 'Machiavellian.'"[60] Machiavelli appears as an Immortal adversary of Duncan MacLeod in Nancy Holder's 1997 Highlander novel The Measure Of A Man, and is a major character in Michael Scott's novel series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (2007-2012). Machiavelli is also one of the main characters in The Enchantress of Florence (2008) by Salman Rushdie, mostly referred to as "Niccolò 'il Macchia", and the central protagonist in the 2012 novel The Malice of Fortune by Michael Ennis. Television dramas centering around the early Renaissance have also made use of Machiavelli to underscore his influence in early modern political philosophy. Machiavelli has been featured as a supporting character in The Tudors (2007-2010) and The Borgias (2011-2013). Machiavelli appears in the popular historical video games Assassin's Creed II (2009) and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (2010), in which he is portrayed as a member of the secret society of Assassins. A highly fictionalised version of Machiavelli appears in the BBC children's TV series Leonardo (2011-2012), in which he is "Mac", a black streetwise hustler who is best friends with fellow teenagers Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa, and Lorenzo di Medici. In the 2013 episode "Ewings ...