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 establish as the cycle of governing forms?
(a) Monarchy (principality) to aristocracy to oligarchy to democracy to monarchy.
(b) Democracy to republic go aristocracy to oligarchy to anarchy to democracy.
(c) Aristocracy to republic to oligarchy to monarchy to aristocracy.
(d) Anarchy to democracy to oligarchy to monarchy to anarchy.

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

3. What is the main point Machiavelli investigates as he prepares to discuss the affects of strong Princes and weak Princes?
(a) How strict power eliminates corruption and maintains freedom.
(b) Whether a free state (government) can exist in a city that is corrupted.
(c) Whether a free state can exist with virtuous Princes.
(d) Whether a free state can exist without laws.

4. 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) "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."
(c) "He who is blinded by ambition, raises himself to a position whence he cannot mount higher must herafter fall with greatest loss."
(d) "Ambition is the last infirmity of Noble minds."

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What did Machiavelli identify as the cause of conspiracy against a hereditary Princes?

2. Through what means does Machiavelli suggest that a City can achieve what he considers greatness?

3. How does Machiavelli suggest that a man with power should present himself to a city in turmoil?

4. What does Machiavelli claim will make a City great?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. What examples from history does Machiavelli claim offers guidance to leaders?

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

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

8. What does Machiavelli claim proves the Romans' love for liberty?

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

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

(see the answer keys)

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