Questions for *The Prince,* Chs. 1-4

  • What are the different principalities? What are the strategic moves to successfully gain power in mixed principalities?
  • How does the type of government impact the conquering state’s ability to gain power and to maintain the power?

4 thoughts on “Questions for *The Prince,* Chs. 1-4

  1. Shannon Rodenbeck

    1. The two different principalities are hereditary and new principalities. Hereditary is passed down through family and new principalities are either completely new or a new change in rulers from a pervious power.
    When a prince at first takes over and gains power in a mixed principality, it is hard to ease the public who put the previous prince in power. Therefore the new prince must act carefully and if it happens, suppress any revolts. If he is able to do so he must punish the rebels to demonstrate his ability to suppress opposition.

    2. Machiavelli argues that a hereditary principality is easier to govern than a state with a new principality. Since it runs in the family for hereditary, it is easy for a new prince to take on the role as he is most likely well accustomed to the laws and positions of the family. All he is required to do is take those laws and relate them to new situations if they occur in the state to maintain control. It is also usually customary for citizens of a state to love and adore the royal family, so it is easier to maintain control in this way as well. Unlike in a new principality, where the new prince must take over rule by armed force. The citizens of a state would not be to keen on this idea and are likely to rebel and want their old king back in power that they loved.

  2. Maggie VZ

    Machiavelli says that there are two different types of principalities. They are either heredity (ruler is the legitimate successor) or new (ruler is not the legitimate successor). If the principality is new it is either entirely new (a revolution happened from within or someone took over the state) or it was annexed to the ruler’s hereditary state (principality is new to the ruler, but they already control another state).

    In a mixed principality there are two different situations. The territory is either close to the ruler, or far away. If the territory is close to the ruler, Machiavelli says that the ruler should just maintain the current laws and taxes so that the people do not get upset. And if the territory is far away the ruler could either move to the new territory and live there or they could have colonies, or have an occupying army. However in this case Machiavelli says that living in the territory is preferred.

  3. Kiera Johnsen

    1) Machiavelli writes there are two principalities: hereditary and new principalities. Hereditary principalities are governments passed down in families from one generation to the next. New principalities are governments see new rulers or an entirely new government with each passing in power. Mixed principalities are difficult to maintain, thus holding onto power upon acquiring these principalities depends on whether the territory is similar or different. According to Machiavelli if is of similar language, geography and culture a ruler only needs to neither alter old laws nor impose new taxes and ensure the previous ruler has no heirs. If it is a different territory, by being far away and having a different language and culture, a ruler may: go live in the new colony, send colonies to live there, or send and occupying army. Going to live there yourself allows you to better foresee problems by adjusting to the culture and language. It also enables you to protect yourself from being plundered by officials. Sending colonies to live there is inexpensive and won’t offend many people. Sending an occupying army is expensive and is really only considered by Machiavelli as a last resort option.

    2) The government impacts a conquering state’s ability to gain and maintain power depending on if the state it is attempting to conquer has a single ruler or if it also has a nobility. Governments with a single ruler are more difficult to take over because you have no allies within the government to help you, meaning the people just follow their ruler faithfully. Their allegience is directly to him. However, once you take it over you have you have no threats to maintaining your power. A government with a nobility is easy to take over because you have allies, however these nobles become threats. The people’s allegiance is not directly to the ruler, it is to the nobles. Therefore, keeping power is difficult as nobles are rivals for power, meaning they can be impossible to please.

  4. Elisabeth Miller

    According to Machiavelli, there are two types of principalities: Hereditary principalities and mixed principalities. Hereditary principalities are kingdoms that have been passed down from one generation to another. They are inherited, and as Machiavelli argues, they are easier to hold on. The people are accustomed to family rule and to the current structure of the government. As long as a new ruler does not completely mess it up and preserves the current structure, stability will remain. Unless some extraordinary force comes in to take over, a ruler will always maintain his power in an inherited principality. Hence why hereditary principalities are the hardest to take over.
    On the other side, there are mixed principalities. These kingdoms are not completely new principalities, but, instead, only a part of it may be new, such as a new ruling power. Certain strategic movies can be carried out to take over a mixed principality. One important step in conquering a mixed principality is to gain help from the inside. If you are able to do so, it is easier to gain support from the public, leading to an uprising against the current ruler. A new ruler has to be careful though because there is always a possibility those who help him maintain power may turn on him if unsatisfied once he is in control. Consequently, mixed principalities are the hardest to hold on to. If an individual wants to take control over a mixed principality they need to (1) not change customs or impose new taxes, (2) ensure the previous ruler has no heirs, and/or (3) live in the territory. Living in the territory is best, especially with those territories that are distant and linguistically different. A new ruler has to be careful conquering a mixed principality by force because there is always a chance the people will rebel. Caution should be taken.

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