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. Reviewing earlier chapters of "The Discourses", why would Machiavelli consider long wars in foreign lands important?

2. According to Machiavelli, what type of people seek what office to cause a city to become corrupt?

3. According to Machiavelli in Section 1 of Book One, who are the two types of people who build cities?

4. Why does Machiavelli suggest wars should be quick with limited damage to the conquered City?

5. What does Machiavelli identify as tactics the Citizen seeking not to be harmed uses?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. From what did Niccolo Machiavelli make the present that he sent to Zanobi Buondelmonti and Cosimo Rucellai?

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

5. What does Machiavelli mean when he uses the term "virtu" for a Prince?

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

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

8. 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?

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

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

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

Compare and contrast Machiavelli's favored tactic of forming military divisions for the purpose of absorbing an enemy's initial thrust to the tactic that is known as "Blitzkrieg". Using the American occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan as modern examples of how both are used, as well as the history of Rome and the regime that depended on "Blitzkrieg", give your views on which tactic is more successful.

Essay Topic 3

Machiavelli claims that the Roman Caesars did good and not harm to the Roman Republic. Why did Machiavelli make his claim? Do you agree with his assessment? Use information from research on the authority of the Roman Caesars and other statements from history to support your views.

(see the answer keys)

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