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 identify as the easiest way to "...ruin a Republic where the People have authority...."

2. According to Machiavelli, how did the Nobles of Rome attempt to correct the limit on the wealth that was placed on them by Agrarian Laws?

3. What does "Crescit interea Roma Albae ruinis" mean?

4. What does Machiavelli suggest causes corruption?

5. In Book 1, Section 37, what does Machiavelli claim to be the foundation of well-ordered Republics?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What does Machiavelli mean when he advises that evil in a State be "temporized"?

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

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

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

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

9. Why does Machiavelli challenge Cities to punish citizens with respected reputations when they commit wrong acts?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Book 3, Sections 43 and 46, Machiavelli details how customs are handed down in Cities and through families. Give examples from your personal experiences that support statements from the two chapters. If Machiavelli was alive today, how would he evaluate the qualities of customs that are handed down in modern American Cities and families? Use statements from the book to support your assertions.

Essay Topic 2

Machiavelli advises on dealing with evil challenging a State in Book 1, Sections 33. What does Machiavelli consider evil? Support what you find as his definition with statements from all of "The Discourses". Do you agree with his assessments? Why or why not? In your response give documented support from other political or moral thinkers.

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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