The Discourses Test | Final 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. How many commanders does Machiavelli advise over an army?

2. In Book 3, Section 1, what does Machiavelli declare to be, "...a most true thing...."

3. What does Machiavelli recommend as the three ways to restore a divided city?

4. What does Machiavelli predict will come of corrupted Republics if they do not take the important step of extending its life?

5. What does Machiavelli recommend that prudent men avoid?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Machiavelli consider defending an army with fortifications useless with the artillery that was new to his day?

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

3. What does Machiavelli believe is the consequence of insulting anyone with words?

4. Why does Machiavelli consider sustaining an initial thrust of an enemy to be an effective strategy for winning a battle?

5. What were the two evils that Machiavelli claims came to Rome as its Empire grew in geographical size?

6. Why does Machiavelli consider impetuosity and audacity to often be successful for a Prince to take a province that belongs to another Prince?

7. Why does Machiavelli in Section 28 recommend that Citizens be allowed to obtain honors through public means, but prevented from seeking honors through private means?

8. What does Machiavelli mean when he discusses using "...deceit in the managing of a war..." and why does he consider it a glorious thing?

9. Why does Machiavelli recommend that any organization maintain itself by frequently renewing its founding principals?

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

"The Discourses" were originally written as a letter to two Italian politicians at the time. Explain how that intended audience of this letter shaped the focus and tone of the text. What does Machiavelli's recommendations throughout the book say of the character of the intended audience? Give examples from the book to support your assumptions.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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