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. Why does Machiavelli recommend that those who want to reform a city should retain the appearance of the institutions they want to reform?
(a) Because keeping the appearance of those institutions helps to keep important advisers within the circle of government.
(b) Because keeping the appearance of those institutions assures a smooth transition of power.
(c) Because the general masses are satisfied with appearances and are moved by things as they appear rather than by the way they operate (perception is reality).
(d) Because keeping the appearance of those institutions helps to hide the true agenda of the Prince.

2. What does Machiavelli identify as the easiest way to "...ruin a Republic where the People have authority...."
(a) Cause them to distribute wealth.
(b) For Nobles to cultivate rivalries between partisans among the People.
(c) Involve them in a brave enterprise.
(d) For the Nobles to promote corrupted Citizens in elections.

3. Why does Machiavelli consider the Roman Caesars to have been a benefit to the Roman Empire?
(a) The Roman Caesars were skilled in choosing advisers to direct the directions of the Republic.
(b) The Roman Caesars had the convenience of acting quickly to confront hazards.
(c) The Roman Caesars acted ruthlessly when confronted with challenges.
(d) Because without the power of the Caesars, the empire would have had difficulty avoiding hazards.

4. What does Machiavelli predict will come to Republics that do not provide for dictatorships or powerful authorities in times of urgent perils?
(a) The gathering of officials will paralyze the Republic in debate.
(b) They will always be ruined in grave incidents.
(c) A Republican government will always move in the benefit of everyone dependent on them.
(d) The trust leaders show in the people will inspire them to overcome the peril.

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Machiavelli examine in Chapter 1 of Book 2?

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

3. What was the inspiration for Machiavelli's "The Discourses"?

4. If a cliché could be given to the preface to Book Two of "The Discourses", what would it be?

5. Why does Machiavelli claim these forms of government developed?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What does Machiavelli consider to be the worst example that can be committed 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. Why does Machiavelli challenge Cities to punish citizens with respected reputations when they commit wrong acts?

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

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

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

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

10. 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?

(see the answer keys)

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