The Discourses Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Machiavelli believe to the nature of men that causes them to either fight from ambition or from necessity?

2. What does Machiavelli claim new sects (religions) do as they rise to prominence?

3. What did Machiavelli suggest is the advantage of settling in areas that were "sterile" (barren)?

4. What does Machiavelli suggest as the intention to make war?

5. What does Machiavelli suggest causes corruption?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Machiavelli gives seemingly conflicting advice regarding changing governments in Book 1, Sections 25 and 26. Identify the differences between the two situations over which Machiavelli recommends changes and compare one example each that Machiavelli gives in the two chapters to changes in governments to two world events over the last 70 years.

Essay Topic 2

In Book 1, Section 46, Machiavelli applauds the Roman Plebs for having the wisdom not to elect Plebs to the position of Tribunes. Then in Book 1, Section 47 he applauds the Nobles for the methods they used to manage the decision of the Plebs. How does the context of Machiavelli's report in the two chapters form your opinion of Machiavelli's character, his views of freedom, and his views on corruption? Do you agree with Machiavelli's positions in the two chapters? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

In Book 1, Sections 45, Machiavelli warns of the harm that comes from law makers not following the laws they make. What is the support that Machiavelli gives for his position? Do you agree with his position? Why or why not? Is his warning being followed today by American Government? What have been the consequences politically, economically, and socially? Document your support.

(see the answer keys)

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