The Discourses Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. How does Machiavelli recommend a Republic deal with enemies that spring up within an empire?
(a) He advocates smearing them with public proclamations about the threat they pose.
(b) He recommends that efforts be made to temporize (compromise) them rather than crush them.
(c) He advises Princes to allow his supporters to conspire to assassinate the enemies.
(d) Princes should name appoint them to offices to leave their actions open to public scrutiny.

2. What did Machiavelli identify as the cause of conspiracy against a hereditary Princes?
(a) The general population became dissatisfied with the distribution of wealth.
(b) Less powerful people desired the power of the Prince.
(c) The larger population of citizens became unhappy with the the political preferences of the Princes.
(d) They degenerated from their fathers, and surpassed others in sumptuousness and lasciviousness and in every other kind of delight.

3. What does Machiavelli identify as tactics the Citizen seeking not to be harmed uses?
(a) Acquiring friendships either through honest means or by supplying money to protect themselves from the powerful (bribes).
(b) The financial ability to buy protection.
(c) Obscurity.
(d) Friendships with Citizens who are bold enough to fight.

4. According to Machiavelli, what was one negative consequence of the Roman Senate's decision to pay soldiers out of public money?
(a) So many Citizens joined the military that there were not enough to perform necessary jobs throughout the Republic.
(b) It raised taxes on Nobles.
(c) Soldiers began expecting regular pay raises.
(d) Rome was required to produce more currency to meet the payments, so the currency was devalued.

5. What, according to Machiavelli in Book , 1 Section 38, is the fate of irresolute Republics?
(a) They will eventually fade away and reemerge as a tyranny.
(b) They face invasion, destruction and anhilation.
(c) They have no alternative but to join alliances with powerful Republics that will take control of them.
(d) They cannot settle conflicts except with force because their weakness prevents them from resolving doubts over issues.

6. How did Machiavelli begin the preface to "The Discourses"?
(a) With advice to two friends on how to keep their friends close and their enemies closer.
(b) As a cynical commentary to the weakness of leaders of his time.
(c) As a warning to future generations of the tenuous nature of freedom.
(d) As a letter to two political thinkers from Florence.

7. According to Machiavelli, what type of people seek what office to cause a city to become corrupt?
(a) Generals seek to become senators.
(b) Weak and dependent people seek to become senators.
(c) The rich and powerful, rather than the virtuous, seek to become judges (magistrates).
(d) The working poor seek to become plebes.

8. What is another method that Machiavelli reports leaders use to offend their citizens?
(a) Persisting in acts that are considered offensive to citizens.
(b) Refusing to provide wealth to the general masses.
(c) Refusing to provide sufficient education for the youth.
(d) Persisting in harsh punishments for misdemeanors.

9. How did Machiavelli report that the Nobles controlled the process of Plebes having the opportunity to choose Plebes for four Tribunes?
(a) They began a war and had many Plebes sent to a foreign province.
(b) They offered choices between highly reputable Nobles and ignoble Plebes who asked to be considered for the positions.
(c) They were in charge of counting the votes.
(d) They controlled the means of Plebes to provide for themselves.

10. What support did Machiavelli use for his view of what he considers to be the worst example provided by leaders?
(a) Tribunes who called the army from foreign provinces and decommissioned its Captains.
(b) A recent denial of appeal by Girolamo Savonarola to five citizens sentenced to death after Savonarola wrote the law allowing appeals.
(c) The lawlessness that overtook Carthage as its Princes suspended harsh sentences for crimes against the State.
(d) A series of Caesars who named friends to be Captains.

11. How does Machiavelli suggest that a man with power should present himself to a city in turmoil?
(a) "Beauty is power; a smile is its sword."
(b) "The man of power should present himself with cold ruthlessness and avoid any show of sentimentality."
(c) "...(W)ith as much grace and as honorably as he can, attiring himself with the insignia of his rank which he holds in order to make himself more revered."
(d) "Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness."

12. From what did Machiavelli develop the information that he wrote into "The Discourses"?
(a) From research that he did in the many libraries throughout the former Roman Empire.
(b) From long experience and continuous study of worldly affairs.
(c) From his world travels to study governments in other cultures.
(d) From interviews with political thinkers of the day.

13. To what does Machiavelli compare great kingdoms and republics from history?
(a) To the state of political instability in which was common to Machiavelli's day.
(b) To his projections of the future in which Machiavelli speculated on how power would be preserved.
(c) To his ideal state that combined the most successful institutions from those civilizations.
(d) To great works of antique art that have been found and preserved.

14. What does Machiavelli recommend to a City that is unable to defend itself, but wants to be protected from anyone who would attack it?
(a) Hire mercenaries.
(b) To give itself freely to whomever would defend the city.
(c) Make alliances with powerful Cities.
(d) Train its citizens to form a strong army.

15. Why does Machiavelli claim these forms of government developed?
(a) So those with influence could hold it without violence.
(b) To prevent people with the ability to use force from destroying each other.
(c) So those with wealth could protect themselves from those who had none.
(d) To provide defense for people who gathered together.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why does Machiavelli suggest that those who have received great rewards should not be spared punishments for acting badly?

2. What are the two important items that Machiavelli considers to be unwise for a Prince to put entirely into peril?

3. What should the reader consider as evil when Machiavelli is advising Princes to "recognize evils".

4. What does Machiavelli consider to be the worst example to be provided by leaders in a Republic?

5. Why does Machiavelli consider the Roman Caesars to have been a benefit to the Roman Empire?

(see the answer keys)

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Science and Its Times
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