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 did Machiavelli identify as the cause of conspiracy against a hereditary Princes?
(a) The larger population of citizens became unhappy with the the political preferences of the Princes.
(b) Less powerful people desired the power of the Prince.
(c) They degenerated from their fathers, and surpassed others in sumptuousness and lasciviousness and in every other kind of delight.
(d) The general population became dissatisfied with the distribution of wealth.

2. Who were the Decemvirs?
(a) Officials who took their power in the last month of the year.
(b) The 12 Nobles who the Caesars appointed to help him manage the Empire.
(c) Courtiers who gathered around the Caesars to protect them during times of festivals.
(d) Ten citizens created by the Roman people to make the laws in Rome.

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

4. What does Machiavelli consider to be the worst example to be provided by leaders in a Republic?
(a) For leaders to make a law and refuse to observe it.
(b) For leaders to avoid harsh punishments for law breakers.
(c) For leaders to neglect the ordering of an army.
(d) For leaders to choose weak captains.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. According to Machiavelli, what is the first thing that Citizens seek when starting on the path of chasing their ambitions?

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. How does Machiavelli recommend a Republic deal with enemies that spring up within an empire?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. Why did Machiavelli praise the Plebes for refusing to choose their peers for Tribunes for which the Nobility allowed Plebes candidacy?

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

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

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

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

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

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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