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. What were the reasons that Machiavelli cited for the Roman Senate choosing to pay a public stipend to fighting men (soldiers)?
(a) Because without the stipend, wars could not be made for any length of time, neither could Rome besiege towns nor lead armies to a distance.
(b) To increase the number of soldiers in the army.
(c) To hide the increased taxes that were used to build houses for Nobles.
(d) To keep the citizens in poverty so they would support wars.

2. What are three reasons that Machiavelli gives for cities becoming unhappy?
(a) When cities face armed challenges from outside institutions, the courts do not act justly, and when leaders abuse their power.
(b) When cities are compelled to reorganize laws by themselves, when the laws diverge from their established institutions, and when the laws lead cities from the right path.
(c) When taxes drain Plebes of their wages, when resources are not allocated equitably, and when Princes seek to expand their influence with wars.
(d) When leaders drain resources to fight wars, when laws become tools for Princes to become more wealthy, when there is taxation without representation.

3. What was the inspiration for Machiavelli's "The Discourses"?
(a) Machiavelli's interest in forms of government.
(b) Machiavelli's fascination for power.
(c) Machiavelli's desire to guide politicians to serve the public needs.
(d) Livy's account of the history of Rome written around 25 B.C.

4. According to Machiavelli, what was one negative consequence of the Roman Senate's decision to pay soldiers out of public money?
(a) It raised taxes on Nobles.
(b) So many Citizens joined the military that there were not enough to perform necessary jobs throughout the Republic.
(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 does Machiavelli claim causes ingratitude from a conquered citizenry?
(a) Taking the property of conquered citizens.
(b) Taking conquered citizens into slavery.
(c) Treating conquered citizens harshly.
(d) When the conquerors remove freedoms that the citizens knew before being conquered.

6. What does Machiavelli examine in Chapter 1 of Book 2?
(a) Whether the Roman Empire was built upon fortune or virtue.
(b) Why fortune is more important that virtue.
(c) How virtue can destroy fortune.
(d) How to develop fortune and virtue.

7. What does Machiavelli believe will come of agreements made by force?
(a) They will not last.
(b) They will lead to the overthrow of he who has the power to enforce them.
(c) The will lead to the capture of those who are under the power.
(d) They aid to enhance the power of the Prince.

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

9. 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) "All evil examples have their origins in good beginnings."
(b) "Vini. Vidi. Vici."
(c) "I see the better things, and approve; I follow the worse."
(d) "Beware the Ides of March."

10. 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 letter to two political thinkers from Florence.
(c) As a cynical commentary to the weakness of leaders of his time.
(d) As a warning to future generations of the tenuous nature of freedom.

11. What historical records did Machiavelli use to support his point for keeping two important items out of peril?
(a) Historical records of Tullus and Metius.
(b) Historical records of Rome and France.
(c) Historical records of Hannibal and England.
(d) Historical records of military tactics.

12. What were the "demonstrations made to the benefit" of Plebes that Machiavelli reported were taken by Roman Nobility in Book 1, Section 52?
(a) A regular schedule of holidays throughout the year that gave Plebes an opportunity to rest.
(b) Offerings to Plebes of land in newly captured territories.
(c) Allowing Plebes to contend for four Tribune positions and paying wages to soldiers.
(d) A reduction of taxes and the initiation of public works jobs for which Plebes would have the first opportunity for hiring.

13. Who were the Decemvirs?
(a) The 12 Nobles who the Caesars appointed to help him manage the Empire.
(b) Officials who took their power in the last month of the year.
(c) Courtiers who gathered around the Caesars to protect them during times of festivals.
(d) Ten citizens created by the Roman people to make the laws in Rome.

14. 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 cannot settle conflicts except with force because their weakness prevents them from resolving doubts over issues.
(c) They face invasion, destruction and anhilation.
(d) They have no alternative but to join alliances with powerful Republics that will take control of them.

15. Why does Machiavelli suggest wars should be quick with limited damage to the conquered City?
(a) So armies can be brought home to participate in a productive economy.
(b) So Citizens are not burdened by the demands of the war.
(c) So armies can be readied for the next war.
(d) To reduce the cost to the conquering Prince and preserve the resources of the conquered city as booty for the conquering forces.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. According to Machiavelli, what type of people seek what office to cause a city to become corrupt?

3. What do fertile areas offer to those who settle there according to Machiavelli?

4. What does Machiavelli identify as an important action for Nobles to take to control the ambitions of Citizens seeking position?

5. What does Machiavelli consider an important tool in maintaining the order of a Republic?

(see the answer keys)

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