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) Machiavelli's fascination for power.
(c) Machiavelli's interest in forms of government.
(d) Livy's account of the history of Rome written around 25 B.C.

2. How does Machiavelli expect a city can keep its freedom after a weak Prince follows an excellent Prince?
(a) Only if administrators conspire to act with the virtue of the excellent Prince.
(b) Only if a Prince with the virtue of the excellent Prince follows the weak Prince.
(c) Only if the citizens ignore the weak Prince and organize themselves to retain virtue.
(d) Only if the city does not fall into war with a more virtuous city.

3. What, according to Machiavelli in Book , 1 Section 38, is the fate of irresolute Republics?
(a) They cannot settle conflicts except with force because their weakness prevents them from resolving doubts over issues.
(b) They face invasion, destruction and anhilation.
(c) They have no alternative but to join alliances with powerful Republics that will take control of them.
(d) They will eventually fade away and reemerge as a tyranny.

4. What does Machiavelli believe inspired the expansion of the Roman Empire?
(a) Aggression and murder.
(b) Keeping Citizens in poverty.
(c) Virtue.
(d) Harsh Captains guiding the military.

5. What is a Prince as Machiavelli uses the term?
(a) An underling to the ruling authority.
(b) A dispatched bureaucrat that carries out orders over a territory.
(c) A monarch over a sovereign system of government and territory.
(d) A hereditary noble.

Short Answer Questions

1. What historical records did Machiavelli use to support his point for keeping two important items out of peril?

2. What were the "demonstrations made to the benefit" of Plebes that Machiavelli reported were taken by Roman Nobility in Book 1, Section 52?

3. Why does Machiavelli claim that the rule of the Caesars was preferable to the regime of the Decemvirs?

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

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. 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?

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

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

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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