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

2. 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) "Beauty is power; a smile is its sword."
(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."

3. What does Machiavelli consider prudence in a Prince or a King?
(a) Keeping friends close and enemies closer.
(b) Knowing that the enemy of his enemy is his friend.
(c) In times of peace not neglecting the arrangements of war.
(d) Picking battles that are important enough to fight and small enough to win.

4. In Book 1, Section 37, what does Machiavelli claim to be the foundation of well-ordered Republics?
(a) They keep the public [State] rich and its Citizens poor.
(b) They keep the Citizens rich and the public poor.
(c) They keep the public and the Citizens rich.
(d) They keep the public and the Citizens poor.

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

6. What is the main point Machiavelli investigates as he prepares to discuss the affects of strong Princes and weak Princes?
(a) Whether a free state can exist with virtuous Princes.
(b) Whether a free state can exist without laws.
(c) How strict power eliminates corruption and maintains freedom.
(d) Whether a free state (government) can exist in a city that is corrupted.

7. What did Machiavelli cite as the method that Rome used to maintain its freedom?
(a) It made public displays of punishments for lawbreakers.
(b) It continually sent soldiers to expand its empire.
(c) It made frequent use of elections to allow the citizens to influence government.
(d) It continued to make new laws and new institutions to confront corruption.

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

9. How does Machiavelli expect a city can keep its freedom after a weak Prince follows an excellent Prince?
(a) Only if a Prince with the virtue of the excellent Prince follows the weak Prince.
(b) Only if the citizens ignore the weak Prince and organize themselves to retain virtue.
(c) Only if the city does not fall into war with a more virtuous city.
(d) Only if administrators conspire to act with the virtue of the excellent Prince.

10. What are the three ways a Republic can expand that Machiavelli recognized?
(a) By conquering distant provinces, by supporting other provinces to conquer enemies, and to make allies with strong Republics.
(b) By sending Nobles out to establish colonies, by sending armies out to conquer foreign provinces, and making other provinces associates.
(c) By joining in league with other Republics, make other Republics associates, and to make other Republics subjects immediately.
(d) By making trade alliances with wealthy provinces, by joining in war with weak Republics, and by making alliances with powerful tyrannies.

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

12. 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?
(a) They raised taxes on Plebes who used the land awarded to them by the Agrarian Laws.
(b) The Nobles took political control over the Senate and changed the laws to allow Nobles to control all the land of the Empire.
(c) They reduced taxes on themselves and used their increased wealth to buy back their land.
(d) Rome would send out armies to colonize lands that were then distributed to Nobles.

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

14. How does Machiavelli suggest that Princes and other leaders deal with acts that offend their citizens?
(a) Increase their power and penalties for crimes and scare the Citizens into submission and acceptance.
(b) Make the offense quickly then act to reassure them and give them cause to quiet and firm their spirits.
(c) Increase taxes on the wealthy and use the money in ways that benefit the general masses.
(d) Distract the Citizens by making war against a nearby province.

15. 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) Truth is not as important as the people you make relationships with.
(d) You can't make sound judgments without having a firm grasp on the truth.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why does Machiavelli claim that the rule of the Caesars was preferable to the regime of the Decemvirs?

2. What are three reasons that Machiavelli gives for cities becoming unhappy?

3. What historical records did Machiavelli use to support his point for keeping two important items out of peril?

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

5. How long did Sparta peacefully exist without changing its laws, according to Machiavelli?

(see the answer keys)

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