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

2. How does Machiavelli expect a city can keep its freedom after a weak Prince follows an excellent Prince?

3. What is the branch of government that Machiavelli recognizes as that which most prevents or causes corruption to come over a city?

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

5. According to Machiavelli, what was one negative consequence of the Roman Senate's decision to pay soldiers out of public money?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Why does Machiavelli advise that a Prince "temporize" a perceived evil in his State?

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

5. What does Machiavelli recommend to a Prince about reform of a city or a province that he has taken?

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Machiavelli used history of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire to develop much of his support for his positions. What are the dates of the existence of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire, what differences in the forms of government between the two, and what brought the passage of the Republic to the Empire.

Essay Topic 3

At the beginning of Book 2, Machiavelli begins investigating what he considers to be virtuous touches on "virtu" throughout the rest of "The Discourses". Find two characterizations of what Machiavelli considers "virtu" with which you agree and two with which you do not. Explain your positions in each case and give examples of how your choices have been proven through history.

(see the answer keys)

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