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. To what does Machiavelli compare great kingdoms and republics from history?
(a) To his projections of the future in which Machiavelli speculated on how power would be preserved.
(b) To the state of political instability in which was common to Machiavelli's day.
(c) To his ideal state that combined the most successful institutions from those civilizations.
(d) To great works of antique art that have been found and preserved.

2. What are two reasons Machiavelli gives for foreign forces building a city?
(a) To relieve existing towns of excessive inhabitants and for the defense of the country from which the forces come.
(b) To offer people in other lands the benefits of the existing system and to make their abilities and resources for universally beneficial.
(c) To exercise power over enemies and expand the power of an established system.
(d) To spread the culture of the homeland and use resources for financial development.

3. What advice does Machiavelli offer in Book 1, Section 52 to those who want to pursue their ambitions?
(a) "...(C)onsider the defects and perils which it [presents], and not to undertake it if it should be more dangerous than useful,...."
(b) "He who is blinded by ambition, raises himself to a position whence he cannot mount higher must herafter fall with greatest loss."
(c) "Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make yhou believe that you too can become great."
(d) "Ambition is the last infirmity of Noble minds."

4. What did Machiavelli suggest is the advantage of settling in areas that were "sterile" (barren)?
(a) Barren areas stand at crossroads between fertile areas so they can control trade between prosperous cities.
(b) The isolation from more fertile areas allow for greater freedom.
(c) The poverty of resources would require those living there to have less cause for discord.
(d) Residents of sterile areas become more creative and develop technologies that can be sold to more fertile areas.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. According to Machiavelli, what was one negative consequence of the Roman Senate's decision to pay soldiers out of public money?

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

3. What are the five types of government identified by Machiavelli?

4. What does Machiavelli identify as an important action for Nobles to take to control the ambitions of Citizens seeking position?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does Machiavelli advise that a Prince "temporize" a perceived evil in his State?

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

4. 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?

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

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

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

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

9. What does Machiavelli recommend to a Prince about reform of a city or a province that he has taken?

10. What are the reasons that Machiavelli gives for people who leave their home country for another out of necessity?

(see the answer keys)

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