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. What are the two causes that will bring a corrupted Republic to take the important step of extending its life?

2. What, according to Machiavelli, determines whether or not a Republic falls into tyranny.

3. What does Machiavelli recommend that prudent men avoid?

4. What does Machiavelli identify as the three divisions of armies of his day?

5. What does Machiavelli consider necessary to take control over a Republic to install a bad form of government over it?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why doesn't Machiavelli expect promises made under force to be kept?

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

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

4. Why does Machiavelli claim that the Senate and Plebes rose up to take control of Rome from Tarquinius Superbus ?

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

6. 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?

7. Why did "Captains of Fortune" favor cavalry over infantry?

8. What does Machiavelli consider to be the purpose of expanding an Empire and why must a Prince be well organized in expanding it properly?

9. What is the advice that Machiavelli gives to Princes who take possessions from another Prince?

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

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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