The Documents

The Dark Side of Humanity

Prince

The Prince

The Prince

short Description

The theories expressed in Prince describe methods that an aspiring prince can use to acquire the throne, or an existing prince can use to maintain his reign. According to Machiavelli, the greatest moral good is a virtuous and stable state, and actions to protect the country are therefore justified even if they are cruel. Many historians have proposed that the work is a satire.

Remnant Trust Description

“Hitherto political speculation had tended to be a rhetorical exercise based on the implicit assumption of Church or Empire. Machiavelli founded the science of modern politics on the study of mankind... Politics was a science to be divorced entirely from ethics, and nothing must stand in the way of its machinery.” “Niccolo Machiavelli, is a popular symbol for the... completely unprincipled, and unscrupulous politician whose whole philosophy is that the end justifies the means. The highest law to Machiavelli, it is universally believed, was political expediency... From a comparative reading of [The Discourses and The Prince], one must come to the startling conclusion that Machiavelli was a convinced republican. He had no liking for despotism, and considered a combination of popular and monarchical government best. No ruler was safe without the favor of his people. The most stable states are those ruled by princes checked by constitutional limitations... His ideal government was the old Roman republic, and he constantly harked back to it in the Discourses... It is hardly disputable that no man previous to Karl Marx has had as revolutionary an impact on political thought as Machiavelli.” “[He] created the meaning that has been attached to the state in modern political usage”. As Lord Acton noted, “The authentic interpreter of Machiavelli is the whole of later history.”