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 consider to be the means of someone rising from the bottom to gain a great fortune?
(a) Force and fraud.
(b) Diligence and humility.
(c) Hard work and creativity.
(d) Deceit and self preservation.

2. How does Machiavelli predict a citizen will conduct himself if he is not punished for his misdeeds because of his reputation for doing good deeds, according to Machiavelli.
(a) He will become the most effective aide to the Prince and help expand his power over the citizens.
(b) He will find ways to subvert the Prince and take his power.
(c) He will eventually become overwhelmed by his conscience and slip away into obscurity.
(d) He will, in short time, become so insolent as to put an end to all civil law.

3. Considering Machiavelli's praise for the example of how Nobles manipulated the opportunity for Plebes to select their peers for positions of influence, who is the clear intended audience of "The Discourses"?
(a) Plebes who need to know the tactics of Nobles to control them.
(b) Future candidates for election who need to know how to win.
(c) Nobles seeking methods to keep their power.
(d) Those who are concerned with how the Republic is being manipulated by people with power.

4. Through what means does Machiavelli suggest that a City can achieve what he considers greatness?
(a) Through love or force.
(b) Through conquest and deceit.
(c) Through fear and violence.
(d) Through laws and wealth.

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

6. According to Machiavelli, what is the first thing that Citizens seek when starting on the path of chasing their ambitions?
(a) Not to be harmed by citizens or magistrates.
(b) A cause that will incite the passions of the general masses.
(c) The support of a wealthy Noble.
(d) Means to win access to public office.

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

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

9. According to Machiavelli, how did the Agrarian Laws violate the foundation of well-ordered Republics?
(a) Agrarian laws distributed land from those who had more than the law allowed among plebes rather than among Nobles with which they could enrich themselves.
(b) Agrarian laws allowed land owners to use their land to help the poor become wealthy.
(c) Agrarian laws allowed Nobles to take land from Plebes with the intent to increase the land's productivity.
(d) Agrarian laws allowed the government to decide what was to be grown on land in spite of the expertise of the land owner.

10. Why does Machiavelli claim that the rule of the Caesars was preferable to the regime of the Decemvirs?
(a) Because the Caesars ended Rome's state of continual war.
(b) Because, according to Machiavelli, the Decemvirs did not pursue expansion of the Empire.
(c) Because Machiavelli believed that the Decemvirs were too lax on punishments for violators of the law.
(d) Because under the Caesar, there remained the Tribunes, Consuls, and the Senate, to whom the Caesar remained responsible.

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

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

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

14. Why does Machiavelli recommend that those who want to reform a city should retain the appearance of the institutions they want to reform?
(a) Because keeping the appearance of those institutions assures a smooth transition of power.
(b) Because keeping the appearance of those institutions helps to hide the true agenda of the Prince.
(c) Because the general masses are satisfied with appearances and are moved by things as they appear rather than by the way they operate (perception is reality).
(d) Because keeping the appearance of those institutions helps to keep important advisers within the circle of government.

15. 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 will lead to the overthrow of he who has the power to enforce them.
(d) They aid to enhance the power of the Prince.

Short Answer 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?

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

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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