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 claim causes ingratitude from a conquered citizenry?

2. What did Machiavelli cite as the method that Rome used to maintain its freedom?

3. What is the main point Machiavelli investigates as he prepares to discuss the affects of strong Princes and weak Princes?

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

5. What does Machiavelli believe inspired the expansion of the Roman Empire?

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

3. 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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Would Machiavelli want to affect how customs are down in Cities and families today? For what reasons would he want do to do so? What modern tools or institutions would he use? Be detailed in your responses and use statements from "The Discourses" to support your position on Machiavelli's motivations.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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