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

2. What does Machiavelli identify as an important action for Nobles to take to control the ambitions of Citizens seeking position?

3. What is another method that Machiavelli reports leaders use to offend their citizens?

4. What does Machiavelli consider an important tool in maintaining the order of a Republic?

5. Why does Machiavelli claim that the rule of the Caesars was preferable to the regime of the Decemvirs?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What are two points that you can take from Book Three, Section 13 to suggest that Machiavelli believes that it is better for a Prince to have a strong army badly captained rather than a bad army strongly captained?

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

4. Why does Machiavelli devote his longest section of "The Discourses" to discussing conspiracy?

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

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

7. 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?

8. Why does Machiavelli consider saving an army from attack to be an effective method for defending a country?

9. Why does Machiavelli recommend to avoid appointing anyone who has been offended to an important position in government?

10. Why does Machiavelli consider negotiating peace treaties with insurrectionists to be the most harmful method of ending conflicts in a City?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

In Machiavelli's characterization of evil against the state and the benefits of the powers of the Roman Caesars, he provides a perspective that defines his view of government and freedom. What is that view? Does it match what you have been taught regarding both and does Machiavelli and what you have learned up to this point match your personal views on government and freedom? Define the similarities and the differences and use documented support from both the book and your educational experiences to support your position.

Essay Topic 3

Machiavelli is critical of ambition in Book 1, Section 46. Do you agree with Machiavelli's criticisms? Why or why not? What is your view of ambition and how does individual freedom affect ambition?

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Science and Its Times
The Discourses from Science and Its Times. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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