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what was the political situation that prompted machiavelli (italian) to write the book 'THE PRINCE'?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/1/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 weeks ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 61 times Debate No: 95797
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This is not a debate this is for my own clarity if you have some solid points then do let me know i will be thankful to you in this regard


To understand this topic, you first need to know what a Burgher was in Medieval Europe. A Burgher was not a noble, but in fact a commoner who had acquired wealth. According to Economic Theorist Adam Smith, they had attained their wealth through being master merchants and/or tradesmen. They often lived in cities, and this made these cities targets for Nobles to raid in order to add to their coffers. According to Smith, many of these wealthy merchants pooled funds and hired mercenary troops as well as arming townspeople to oppose the noble raiders. After witnessing their ability to repel knights, Kings in various European Nations would grant a sort of semi-autonomy to these townships, demanding only tax money and wartime loyalty in exchange for increased liberties. This legalized the arming of townspeople and the common businessman hiring mercenaries while helping the King to have some extra leverage against the possibility of coup by the nobility.

Got that? Good.

So, we come the Papal States, which was located in modern Central and Northern Italy. This region was ruled by the Pope, who, like many of the other European monarchs, extended a kind of autonomous rule to Burghers in exchange for their loyalty against the Italian Nobility. This brings us to the rise of the family Medici - its most famous member being Lorenzo de Medici. According to French playwrite Alfred de Musset, Lorenzo de Medici personally assassinated is own brother. It can be understood here that the Burgher called Lorenzo was no friend of the common rights of the people.

Contrary to the opinion found in the book "The Prince", Macchiavelli supported more Democratic ideals, as can be seen in his other political works. The Prince is dedicated to "The Magnificent Lorenzo Di Piero De Medici". Like many works of a political nature in those days, such sycophancy was necessary by the author (and publisher) to avoid being arrested and tried for treason and/or sedition.

Essentially, Machiavelli was not trying to instruct Lorenzo de Medici in how to successfully run the affairs of a complicated State burdened by the Italian caste system, but merely document exactly how Medici did it so successfully (especially since the family business of the Medici family was buying and selling - being merchants. They were not traditionally brilliant politicians or accomplished military strategists). Medici was known in his day as a tyrant, to include several attempts on the life of various inconvenient Popes and even getting his own cousin on the Throne of St. Peter. He also waged a political campaign against Pope Sixtus IV which further secured the autonomy of Florence and, by extension, his own power and influence.

The purpose of The Prince was to educate other Burghers on what Machiavelli had seen Lorenzo de Medici practice, giving them a "heads up" on what to expect should they come into the crosshairs of the Lord of Florence (although Florence, like many autonomous townships claimed to be Republics, they were often dominated by a single Burgher). They also learned how to battle back against Lorenzo de Medici, using his own tactics against him.

Hope this helps.
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Posted by Abdullah-Ather 3 weeks ago
Thanku dear! could you please answer another question as through internet research i found myself messed up, whiling researching.
In what ways do the arguments and examples in 'The Prince' reflect its historical context? Please put some thoughts on this question too
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