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 should the reader consider as evil when Machiavelli is advising Princes to "recognize evils".

2. What does Machiavelli consider prudence in a Prince or a King?

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

4. What does Machiavelli believe will come of agreements made by force?

5. Why does Machiavelli recommend that those who want to reform a city should retain the appearance of the institutions they want to reform?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Why does Machiavelli consider a Citizen rising to take authority through irregular means (popular uprising) harmful in a Republic?

10. Why should a Prince measure his forces and govern by his decisions based upon them before he enters a war?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Book 1, Sections 21-23 Machiavelli begins a repeated focus on the role of the military in maintaining a Free Republic by focusing on making sound decisions on the cost of a military to a Republic. Identify quotes from Machiavelli that detail Machiavelli's advice on the use of resources on the military, whether or not his advice is being followed today, and what you consider to be the consequences of the current decisions regarding the modern costs of the military.

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 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.

(see the answer keys)

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