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. In Book 1, Section 46, Machiavelli credits the ruin of Republics on citizens who jump from one ambition to another. What was the phrase that Sallust put in the mouth of Caesar that explains how such ambitions begin?
(a) "I see the better things, and approve; I follow the worse."
(b) "All evil examples have their origins in good beginnings."
(c) "Vini. Vidi. Vici."
(d) "Beware the Ides of March."

2. What does Machiavelli establish as the relationship between gold and good soldiers?
(a) Gold is not sufficient to find good soldiers, but good soldiers are indeed sufficient to find gold.
(b) Gold will cause good soldiers to go bad.
(c) Gold attracts good soldiers.
(d) The promise of gold will make soldiers weaker.

3. What was a rival Empire to Rome as Rome began its expansion?
(a) The Spartans.
(b) The Carthaginians.
(c) The Babylonians.
(d) The Egyptians.

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

5. How does Machiavelli suggest that a man with power should present himself to a city in turmoil?
(a) "The man of power should present himself with cold ruthlessness and avoid any show of sentimentality."
(b) "...(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."
(c) "Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness."
(d) "Beauty is power; a smile is its sword."

6. What are the two means that Machiavelli identifies as how laws are developed in cities at the beginning of Section 2, Book One.
(a) Through dominion of the wealthy or through bartering agreements.
(b) At one time by one man and by chance at several times according to events.
(c) By war and by peace.
(d) Through Princes or through Republics.

7. What is Machiavelli's explanation for initiating his recommended approach with enemies against an empire?
(a) Because putting the leaders of enemies in positions of public responsibility will require them to make decisions that will be rejected by conspiracies.
(b) Because the public humiliation of the enemy will expose supporters to the Citizens who will then act to neutralize the conspiracy.
(c) Because taking out the head of a movement will lead to the death of the body.
(d) Because those who try to crush it, make its force greater, and make that evil which is suspected from it to be accelerated.

8. What does Machiavelli announce as the purpose of Book Two of "The Discourses" in the preface?
(a) How to secure freedom for an Empire by keeping the military active.
(b) How to secure power by expanding it.
(c) How to use truth to persuade Citizens to support the power of the Prince.
(d) What Roman people did to aggrandize the Empire.

9. Of what should Princes be most ashamed in Machiavelli's view?
(a) Lacking their own soldiers for defense and offense.
(b) Being discovered to be self-absorbed and not devoted to building the strength of their cities.
(c) Missing opportunities to conquer other cities.
(d) Consuming his wealth in debauchery.

10. 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) The larger population of citizens became unhappy with the the political preferences of the Princes.
(c) They degenerated from their fathers, and surpassed others in sumptuousness and lasciviousness and in every other kind of delight.
(d) Less powerful people desired the power of the Prince.

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

12. What is Machiavelli's conclusion regarding how someone can establish a Republic where there is great equality?
(a) By finding methods to maintain poverty throughout the general masses.
(b) By uniting the whole public behind wars and efforts to grow the Empire.
(c) By removing ambitious and unquiet spirits that makes men want to move up in rank.
(d) By assuring that the assets that create wealth are kept within the power of the State.

13. When Machiavelli writes, "For sometimes of necessity our judgment is the truth, as human affairs are always in motion, either ascending or descending," what is he writing about what he believes about truth?
(a) Truth is irrelevant to the reason for making judgments.
(b) Machiavelli considers truth to be relative.
(c) You can't make sound judgments without having a firm grasp on the truth.
(d) Truth is not as important as the people you make relationships with.

14. Based upon Machiavelli's details, for whose benefit were the "demonstrations made to the benefit" of Plebes devoted?
(a) The benefit of the Kings who needed occupiers throughout the Empire.
(b) The benefit of Nobles and people in power.
(c) Magistrates who used public works as a means of keeping political support from the general masses.
(d) The Plebes who had very busy working lives.

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. According to Machiavelli, how did the Agrarian Laws violate the foundation of well-ordered Republics?

2. Why does Machiavelli recommend that those who want to reform a city should retain the appearance of the institutions they want to reform?

3. Why does Machiavelli suggest wars should be quick with limited damage to the conquered City?

4. What is an obvious counterpoint to Machiavelli's assertion to the benefits of the power of the Caesars to the Roman Empire?

5. How did Roman soldiers provide for themselves before the Senate decided to pay them?

(see the answer keys)

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