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

2. What are the five types of government identified by Machiavelli?
(a) Republic, fascistic, democracy, principality, and oligarchy.
(b) Tyranny, constitutional, military oligarchy, principality, and democracy.
(c) Monarchy, aristocracy, democracy, oligarchy, and anarchy.
(d) Democracy, anarchy, monarchy, constitutional, and institutional.

3. According to Machiavelli, what caused the Roman Republic to form?
(a) Class warfare between the patricians and the plebes.
(b) Economic agreements between fertile cities.
(c) Trade agreements between cities with resources and cities with technologies.
(d) Political rivalries between powerful generals.

4. What does Machiavelli claim new sects (religions) do as they rise to prominence?
(a) Destroy all the signs, including language, of the old sects they come to dominate.
(b) Influence the culture to defy the Prince.
(c) Cause Citizens to avoid fighting in wars.
(d) Influence Citizens to be obedient to the Prince.

5. Reviewing earlier chapters of "The Discourses", why would Machiavelli consider long wars in foreign lands important?
(a) Because long wars assures that poverty will be maintained for everyone in the Republic.
(b) Because Machiavelli considers fighting wars and building empires to be signs of virtuous leaders.
(c) Because long wars give Nobles an opportunity for Nobles to encourage Plebes to perform glorious works for the Republic.
(d) Because Machiavelli suggested long wars helped to keep Republics united.

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

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

8. What can be inferred of Machiavelli's view of freedom based upon reading view of weak and strong Princes?
(a) That Machiavelli uses the term freedom in reference to the actions of Princes only.
(b) That Machiavelli is focused on keeping cities free from outside influences rather than individual freedom.
(c) That Machiavelli considered civil rights and individual liberties indispensable to the strength of a city.
(d) That Machiavelli considers freedom only suited to those who can earn it or buy it.

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 controlled the means of Plebes to provide for themselves.
(c) They were in charge of counting the votes.
(d) They offered choices between highly reputable Nobles and ignoble Plebes who asked to be considered for the positions.

10. Why does Machiavelli suggest that a Prince keep his conquered territories disunited from the City over which he has his power?
(a) So the merchants can benefit from the trade between the City and the conquered territory.
(b) So his City is not affected by immigration.
(c) So the conquered territories cannot unite with his existing Citizens to overthrow him.
(d) So that the Prince alone can profit from the acquisition.

11. What are two reasons Machiavelli gives for foreign forces building a city?
(a) To relieve existing towns of excessive inhabitants and for the defense of the country from which the forces come.
(b) To spread the culture of the homeland and use resources for financial development.
(c) To exercise power over enemies and expand the power of an established system.
(d) To offer people in other lands the benefits of the existing system and to make their abilities and resources for universally beneficial.

12. 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) Make alliances with powerful Cities.
(b) To give itself freely to whomever would defend the city.
(c) Hire mercenaries.
(d) Train its citizens to form a strong army.

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

14. What does Machiavelli consider an important tool in maintaining the order of a Republic?
(a) Fear of harsh administrators.
(b) Wars that keep the citizenry focused on supporting the City.
(c) The ability to control the perceptions of citizens.
(d) Proper administration of rewards and punishments.

15. What does Machiavelli consider to be the worst example to be provided by leaders in a Republic?
(a) For leaders to make a law and refuse to observe it.
(b) For leaders to avoid harsh punishments for law breakers.
(c) For leaders to choose weak captains.
(d) For leaders to neglect the ordering of an army.

Short Answer Questions

1. What was an example from Roman history that Machiavelli used to suggest the Plebes possesses greater wisdom than Nobles?

2. According to Machiavelli, how did the Nobles of Rome attempt to correct the limit on the wealth that was placed on them by Agrarian Laws?

3. What did Machiavelli establish as the cycle of governing forms?

4. What does Machiavelli predict will come to Republics that do not provide for dictatorships or powerful authorities in times of urgent perils?

5. How does Machiavelli expect a city can keep its freedom after a weak Prince follows an excellent Prince?

(see the answer keys)

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