Chapter 2 Notes from The Prince

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The Prince Chapter 2

Chapter 2

Hereditary principalities

Machiavelli focuses on principalities because he has discussed republics in another work (Discourses). His basic plan is to convey how principalities can be best governed and preserved. Given the nature of hereditary principalities, Machiavelli believes that they are easier to maintain than new principalities because a hereditary prince does not have rule much differently than before. Even an ordinary prince can retain power unless unusual forces deprive him of it. But even if a hereditary prince loses power, he can easily regain it if the new ruler falters even a bit. The hereditary prince has an easier time gaining the love of his subjects than a new prince does because the people feel a natural affection for him. Unless the hereditary prince is unusually cruel, his subjects will prefer a traditional ruler to a new one.

Topic Tracking: Power Politics 1

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