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 is Machiavelli's explanation for initiating his recommended approach with enemies against an empire?
(a) Because taking out the head of a movement will lead to the death of the body.
(b) Because the public humiliation of the enemy will expose supporters to the Citizens who will then act to neutralize the conspiracy.
(c) Because those who try to crush it, make its force greater, and make that evil which is suspected from it to be accelerated.
(d) Because putting the leaders of enemies in positions of public responsibility will require them to make decisions that will be rejected by conspiracies.

2. 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 considers bureaucratic expertise to be an important virtue for Princes.
(c) That he believes being ferocious and warlike is an indispensible virtue for a Prince.
(d) The he considers moral integrity to be the primary virtue for Princes.

3. According to Machiavelli, what caused so much hard work for Rome as it expanded its Empire to distant provinces?
(a) The love of people of other lands for liberty.
(b) The cost of sending the military to distant provinces.
(c) The damage to families who sent their working sons to war.
(d) The demands on farmers to provide the food for soldiers on long trips.

4. According to Machiavelli, how did the Agrarian Laws violate the foundation of well-ordered Republics?
(a) Agrarian laws allowed the government to decide what was to be grown on land in spite of the expertise of the land owner.
(b) 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.
(c) Agrarian laws allowed land owners to use their land to help the poor become wealthy.
(d) Agrarian laws allowed Nobles to take land from Plebes with the intent to increase the land's productivity.

5. 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?
(a) "I see the better things, and approve; I follow the worse."
(b) "Vini. Vidi. Vici."
(c) "Beware the Ides of March."
(d) "All evil examples have their origins in good beginnings."

Short Answer Questions

1. Based upon Machiavelli's details, for whose benefit were the "demonstrations made to the benefit" of Plebes devoted?

2. What are reasons Machiavelli cited for a group of people leaving their native country to seek a new home?

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

4. What does Machiavelli claim new sects (religions) do as they rise to prominence?

5. Who were the Decemvirs?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Machiavelli explain that a City grows either through love or through force?

2. Why did Machiavelli consider the naming of a Caesar (dictator) over Rome was beneficial to the Empire?

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

4. What does Machiavelli claim to be the practice of writers of history who, "...so obey the fortune of the winners...?"

5. What kind of Prince does Machiavelli consider to be Excellent?

6. Why does Machiavelli recommend to leaders of a Republic to keep a shadow of the institutions that are being reformed?

7. What kind of Prince does Machiavelli consider to be weak?

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

9. What acts by governing officials does Machiavelli consider "pernicious" or damaging to the authority of the government?

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

(see the answer keys)

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