Study Guide

The Discourses Themes

This Study Guide consists of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Discourses.
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Machiavelli is one of the founders of political science, understood as the science of government—the structure of governments, how they function and how they malfunction. The Discourses is one of the most important works of political science because of its extensive insights and historical analysis. Machiavelli, for instance, advances a number of maxims concerning the nature of government.

A number of Machiavelli's maxims are as follows: The whole of a nation's resources should never be risked on a particular military endeavor. Cities must be independent to grow in dominions and wealth. Rulers are hated when they deprive people of what they value. Single acts of common decency in war do more to impress one's enemies than any amount of forces. Acquisitions that republics make can bring their downfall if they are not well governed. Most rise to high positions through fraud rather than force. The...

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This section contains 746 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Discourses Study Guide
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Nonfiction Classics for Students
The Discourses from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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