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

2. 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 dominion of the wealthy or through bartering agreements.
(d) Through Princes or through Republics.

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

4. What should the reader consider as evil when Machiavelli is advising Princes to "recognize evils".
(a) Evil is those human inclinations that cause them to act selfishly.
(b) Evil should be considered to be any influence which challenges the power of the Prince.
(c) Evil is those public reactions that oppose the Prince.
(d) Evil is anything with which a Prince does not agree.

5. What do fertile areas offer to those who settle there according to Machiavelli?
(a) Raw materials that can be sent to sterile areas for manufacturing and refinement.
(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) Resources that will sustain a growing population.

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. What support did Machiavelli use for his view of what he considers to be the worst example provided by leaders?

3. What does Machiavelli establish as the relationship between gold and good soldiers?

4. What does Machiavelli examine in Chapter 1 of Book 2?

5. What does Machiavelli claim causes ingratitude from a conquered citizenry?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why does Machiavelli consider a Citizen rising to take authority through irregular means (popular uprising) harmful in a Republic?

4. What two methods did Machiavelli identify that Roman Nobility drew honor from the Plebes?

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

6. Why does Machiavelli challenge Cities to punish citizens with respected reputations when they commit wrong acts?

7. Why does Machiavelli report that the Roman Senate decided to pay a public stipend to the soldiers in the army?

8. From what did Niccolo Machiavelli make the present that he sent to Zanobi Buondelmonti and Cosimo Rucellai?

9. To what is Machiavelli referring when he writes of men jumping, "...from one ambition to another?"

10. What does Machiavelli mean when he uses the term "virtu" for a Prince?

(see the answer keys)

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