Niccolo Machiavelli was the principal political writer of the Renaissance period in Europe. He was born in Florence, Italy. Out of his experience as secretary to rulers of Florence and his observations, he developed political ideas which he expressed in his chief work, The Prince.
In this book, Machiavelli showed how a prince can strengthen his position as a ruler and add to his territory. He portrayed the ruler as a despot who did not need to be guided by the same moral principles that guided his conduct as an individual.
Machiavelli wrote that the ruler could practice cruelty and fraud to achieve his goals provided that the end justified the means.
In his book, The Prince, Machiavelli portrays the practices of the rulers of his contemporary Italy.
It must be noted that not all Renaissance rulers gained power by carrying out Machiavellian ideas. Yet, radical changes came about in governments during the Renaissance as a result of Machiavelli’s influence.
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Reference: Appel, John C.; Magenis,(1959) Alice A History of the World. American Book Company:227.
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