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) To hide the increased taxes that were used to build houses for Nobles.
(b) To increase the number of soldiers in the army.
(c) 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.
(d) To keep the citizens in poverty so they would support wars.

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

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

4. 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) Consuming his wealth in debauchery.
(d) Missing opportunities to conquer other cities.

5. 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 Princes or through Republics.
(b) Through dominion of the wealthy or through bartering agreements.
(c) At one time by one man and by chance at several times according to events.
(d) By war and by peace.

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

7. What do fertile areas offer to those who settle there according to Machiavelli?
(a) Resources that will sustain a growing population.
(b) The ability to affect the economy of sterile areas.
(c) The means by which a city can grow and have the ability to defend themselves.
(d) Raw materials that can be sent to sterile areas for manufacturing and refinement.

8. How long did Sparta peacefully exist without changing its laws, according to Machiavelli?
(a) 350 years.
(b) Until its domination by Rome.
(c) 800 years.
(d) Through the reign of Lycurgus.

9. What does Machiavelli predict will come to Republics that do not provide for dictatorships or powerful authorities in times of urgent perils?
(a) A Republican government will always move in the benefit of everyone dependent on them.
(b) The trust leaders show in the people will inspire them to overcome the peril.
(c) They will always be ruined in grave incidents.
(d) The gathering of officials will paralyze the Republic in debate.

10. What can be inferred of Machiavelli's idea of virtue from reading the review of the first three kings of Rome as he begins his discourse of weak Princes and excellent Princes?
(a) That he considers the most weak Princes to practice ambivalence to virtue.
(b) That he believes being ferocious and warlike is an indispensible virtue for a Prince.
(c) The he considers moral integrity to be the primary virtue for Princes.
(d) That he considers bureaucratic expertise to be an important virtue for Princes.

11. What is an obvious counterpoint to Machiavelli's assertion to the benefits of the power of the Caesars to the Roman Empire?
(a) The cost of Empire caused hazards to gather domestically as well as throughout the Empire.
(b) If the Nobles of Rome had not sought to possess distant provinces, there would have been no need for Caesars.
(c) Without the Caesars, provinces of the Empire would have moved to avoid hazards.
(d) Without the empire is it possible that the hazards the empire faced would not have materialized.

12. 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) Means to win access to public office.
(d) The support of a wealthy Noble.

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

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

15. What did Machiavelli report led gatherings of people to make laws?
(a) To avoid evils that people committed on others.
(b) So resources could be justly distributed.
(c) To set order to the defense of the city.
(d) To protect economic activity that benefited the city.

Short Answer Questions

1. 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"?

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.

3. 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?

4. What advice does Machiavelli offer in Book 1, Section 52 to those who want to pursue their ambitions?

5. In Book 1, Section 37, what does Machiavelli claim to be the foundation of well-ordered Republics?

(see the answer keys)

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