Machiavelli Is a Unique Italian Philosopher of the Renaissance

Niccolo Machiavelli was an Italian political philosopher in the 1450’s during the Renaissance and had a key influence on many people in his political beliefs. Machiavelli was unique in the way he believed the best way of government was a dictatorship who had all the power in a society. Machiavelli supported a Republican government in his latest book called the Discourses but in the book, Prince wanted it to be self-governed and the person in charge such as a prince or king could treat the citizen however they wanted.

Machiavelli played a key role in his government by being elected head of second chancery, but it didn’t last very long. Machiavelli had a harsh policy especially when it came to state-building methods. He was accused of conspiracy and was tortured in 1512 but later found not to be guilty.

Machiavelli is most known for his writing called the Prince which is a political doctrine. In this doctrine he states how a prince in a monolithic society must first be cruel to achieve his goals and to later gain loyalty with its people.

In times of peace, Machiavelli believed in a Republic which would be a group of leaders making the society better for its citizens. Machiavelli didn’t like the Catholic Church, and many thought of him as humanist. Machiavelli understood the concept of how if your likeable doesn’t make your citizen loyal and how the leader needs to ensure political and economic needs of its people.

Machiavelli political views on democracy were very different from today views on how democracy works.

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He believed in a self-governing state in which one person would have all the power. Sometimes a leader could be harsh to its people in order to hold the power that a prince had in a society. His later book the Discourses makes counterarguments of how a prince is not suited well for a government. In his Discourses he states how he advocates for the Republic and a free government. Machiavelli also states how corruption is a key factor in society that must be addressed if not it could ruin the whole Republic itself. Some key idea’s or questions that Machiavelli addresses are some important issues that must be noted. One issue that that he states is that society needs to have certain laws in place for stability and how a powerful leader could escape certain laws because of their power. This argument is strong in the way Machiavelli wants everyone in the Republic to be treated equally and how there needs to be some type of Law and Order. Without some laws put in order the state could have a lot of corruption.

Another idea he imposes that is strong is when he talks about how everyone should be liable in a society and a prince or leader cannot such act carelessly without some responsibility. This argument is strong because he knows that in a peaceful society, a society will not work with just one leader. This leader can have all the control and won’t be liable for his/her actions. The last question he raises is when he talks about how laws need to be placed in order for a republic to succeed. If the citizens must abide by these laws, but the leaders don’t this would again make the Republic very weak. This argument is key because Machiavelli understands for a Republic to work everyone needs to be responsible for their actions.

Machiavelli ideas in the executive branch would have some similarities, but also some differences depending on how you view his work. In the book Prince, Machiavelli states how there should be only one ruler in a certain society. This ruler would have all the power and could do whatever they wanted without any laws they had to follow. This wouldn’t work in the U.S. executive Branch since our system is based on a Check and Balance system where not one person has all the power. Another issue that would result from this is that the Executive branch such as the president is liable for his actions and needs to follow all the rules like any other citizen. In the contrary in Machiavelli second book Discourses he claims the complete opposite.

Machiavelli believes in law and order and how the leaders of the Republic are liable just as much as the citizens. This guideline is what the Executive Branch follows in the way the President must follow rules like any other citizen. Machiavelli also believed in a government ruled by a group of people and not just one person in which there is a type of balance. This is where the Executive Branch comes to play in the way the President isn’t the only one running the U.S. He does have power, but our government has a balance system in which the Legislative Branch can check him/her. This is a key principle that the Executive Branch follows till this day and has been doing for centuries. Machiavelli also believed how corruption could be an issue in a society this is where the idea of the Executive Branch comes to play. The president is voted into office and is not just a leader who can come and take control over people.

Works Cited

  1. Ball, Terence, Richard Dagger, and Daniel L. O’Neill. Ideals and Ideologies: A Reader. , 2017. Internet resource.
  2. Foca-Rodi, George. “Niccolò Machiavelli.” International Journal of Communication Research, vol. 3, no. 2, 2013, pp. 134–139.

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Machiavelli Is a Unique Italian Philosopher of the Renaissance. (2022, May 04). Retrieved from

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