The Discourses Test | Mid-Book Test - Medium

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This test consists of 5 multiple choice questions, 5 short answer questions, and 10 short essay questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. 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 public and the Citizens rich.
(c) They keep the public and the Citizens poor.
(d) They keep the Citizens rich and the public poor.

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

3. Based upon Machiavelli's details, for whose benefit were the "demonstrations made to the benefit" of Plebes devoted?
(a) The benefit of the Kings who needed occupiers throughout the Empire.
(b) The Plebes who had very busy working lives.
(c) The benefit of Nobles and people in power.
(d) Magistrates who used public works as a means of keeping political support from the general masses.

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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What did Machiavelli cite as the method that Rome used to maintain its freedom?

2. What does Machiavelli announce as the purpose of Book Two of "The Discourses" in the preface?

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

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

5. What are the three ways a Republic can expand that Machiavelli recognized?

Short Essay Questions

1. In the title of Book 1, Section 8, what does Machiavelli mean with the phrase, "...so much so calumnies are pernicious...?"

2. What are the three types of state that Machiavelli detailed and by what name are they known today?

3. What does Machiavelli mean when he advises that evil in a State be "temporized"?

4. What does Machiavelli recommend to be done if one wants to establish a Republic where it does not exist?

5. Why should a Prince measure his forces and govern by his decisions based upon them before he enters a war?

6. Why does Machiavelli believe that people who break away from the rule of a Prince have difficulty keeping their freedom?

7. What does Machiavelli consider to be the worst example that can be committed in a Republic?

8. What are the two reasons that Machiavelli gives for his opinion that the courts (Faculty of Accusing) are the most necessary and useful authority to guard liberty in a City?

9. Why does Machiavelli disagree with Plutarch's claim that Rome acquired its Empire more by good Fortune than by Virtu?

10. Why were the Plebe candidates not suited for the open positions of the Tribunes?

(see the answer keys)

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