Niccolo Machiavelli

Niccolo di Bernardo Machiavelli was born on May 3,1469, in the city of florence. He was born of nobility but his family was not wealthy. Nicolo was the son of Bernardo and bartolomea machiavelli. Bernardo was a lawyer and a small land owner. Niccolo’s education started at seven, and for the next 51 years of his life he would contribute to the Renaissance.

Niccolo loved books. He grew up to be an Italian historian, philosopher,humanist, and inventor of political science. He also taught latin, grammar, and rhetoric. Rhetoric is the art of speaking and writing effectively. Even though we don’t know where he went to school, we know he learned from Paolo da Lonciglione. During the time Machiavelli lived was a tumultuous era. Florence was constantly at war with Spain, Switzerland, and France.

In 1494, the city of Florence Expelled the Medici family. The Medici were a banking family  who were in charge of Florence for the past 60 years.They were very sly, corrupt, and murderous. Now with the medici gone, Florence needed a new leader. Machiavelli became Chancellor of the Florentine Republic in 1498. Now responsible for the Florentine military, he invented the first draft. As your duty as a young man of 21, you must serve the army for a certain amount of years. This kept the army young and strong.

Niccolo ruled for 14 strong years. In an attempt to reclaim power in Florence, Giulio and Giovanni Medici asked for an army from the Pope and attacked Prato, a small Italian city outside of Florence. Machiavelli surrendered, for if he didn’t , Florence would have been sacked just like Prato. The Medici went on to control not only Florence but the Papacy as well. In a weird twist of events, Machiavelli asks the Medici for a job but winds up  tortured and exiled. During his time in exile, Machiavelli wrote the book he is famously known for. This book was called “The Prince”. ” The Prince” was a guideline for rulers, and political science. Political science is the way of keeping a government under order. He dedicated the book to Lorenzo d’Medici to gain the family’s favor. In the book he expressed a new a political thinking. Before Machiavelli, ruling a government was like a set of moral values. To accomplish keeping your people happy and to be closer to God. Machiavelli expressed politics as a strict way to keep order as strong as possible. The last chapter of the prince was a plead of hope. He ende the book with the phrases ” To be feared is safer than to be loved” and ” Virtue will take arms against fury, and the battle will be brief, but valor in Italian hearts is not yet dead”

No one answered his pleas. Niccolo died on May 27, 1527. A thought that struck my head was why he went back to Florence after the Medici kicked him out and why he dedicated “The Prince” to Lorenzo d’Medici. My answer was this: he didn’t love the Medici, he loved Florence. He returned to so he could work and live in Florence. He dedicated ” The Prince” to the medici’s because he wanted to return to Florence. There is a word Machiavellian. It means to be cunning, sly, and unscrupulous, but was he? I see him as a brave, intelligent man, with ideas like no one before him. I don’t see him as sly or cunning. I see Niccolo Machiavelli as a man who wanted the well being of his beloved city. Florence.

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