Machiavelli Answers: Basic arguments

This page refers to the basic arguments exercise on Machiavelli.

a. In paragraph one, lay out the reasons that Machiavelli gives for claiming that the favour of the people is more important to a prince than the favour of the aristocracy.
– their demands are more easily met
– they tend to be more honest and less self-serving than the nobles
– the members of the aristocracy may be changed, but the people remain the same.

b. Why does Machiavelli say that the people are the prince’s most important ally?
– because he must rely on their support in times of trouble.

c. How does Machiavelli answer the riposte that ‘He who builds on the people, builds on mud’?
– He points out that the situation is not the same for a prince as it would be for a private citizen. A prince can gain the support of his people through good leadership, courage and by being an inspiration.

Read my Commentary on Machiavelli, go to the Machiavelli answer page, back to the excerpt
or back to blog

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