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The principalities in the Prince of Nicolás Machiavelli
In the first part of the book, it covers the theme of the principalities, while in the second part it covers the issues on the forms of attack and defense of sovereigns.
Throughout history, those who have exercised sovereignty have been the principalities and also the Republic.
Within these principalities the author mentions those of a family type and what arrive in a different way from the Principality, as is the case of the destruction of a State, a filing and then imposing its laws. In a state there has always been the domination of a certain group of people and they impose laws on other men, also sovereignty.
When a family has reigned a long time, it has control of domains under a prince, being the hereditary principalities. But throughout history new principals can be created by occupation of colonies. To do this, states are acquired in a province with different language, customs and organization.
The mixed: different treatment is involved according to the political circumstances that intervened in their acquisition through a military occupation.
"An example that is exposed in the book": the Romans observed these rules and established colonies, respected the least powerful without increasing their power, overwhelmed the powerful and do not allow to acquire influence in the country to powerful foreigners.
"Another example of the book": it is that of King Luis in Italy who wanted to conquer Lombardy, but he loses the opportunity to have conquered for not having followed any of the rules that followed, what they could conquer provinces and wanted to keep them. In these parts he exposes us what happens when the Principality wants to occupy certain colonies.
In the next part of the book about the principalities, he speaks of the way of governing by the principalities, the author exposes the ways of conserving a state:
Destroy it, settle in it, leave it, govern your own laws. These are the stages for a way of governing, from the conquest by the Principality, through the reconstruction of the conquered state, and subsequently governing through the conqueror’s own laws in turn.
The example of the Romans, wanting to keep Capua, Carthage and Numancia, but do not give them their laws and their freedom and therefore do not succeed in the way of exercising the Principality.
Then the author put the new principalities that are acquired with weapons and fortune of others, which would be basically when a state is bought or obtained as a gift. And the examples in the book are Francisco Sforza and César Borgia’s.
There are also cases where principalities inherit power to their descendants.
There are also cases in which the principalities arrive through crimes.
The example of Siciliano Agátocles, who occupied Syracuse killing all the richest senators and citizens, and subsequently becomes a prince of this city, this refers to the use of violence to reach the principality.
The prince will live with his subjects in such a way that no favorable or adverse event does several.
The author refers to another chapter about ecclesiastical principalities, which rely on former religious institutions, and their subjects do not govern them, so their sovereignty can be removed. Since the example is: Carlos Rey of France before the prince entered this province was dominated by the Pope and it was not difficult to contain the Pope, because the ecclesiastical power.
The forms of attack and defense:
merchandise and auxiliary: they are dangerous because they do not have good faith with men.
The mercenary captains always aspired.
The book speaks of the way of attacking and defending, but about troops or army, these are divided into own, mercenary, auxiliaries or mixed.
Auxiliary troops are said to be useless because they just want a powerful prince to help them and defend them, but by possessing these the prince used to lose.
Mixed troops are made up of mercenary and own.
It is also mentioned that a prince should only worry about war or the art of war, since the main reason why a state is lost is because they forget this art. Being armed is extremely important, since not having the cause of shame and lack of "authority", the example that is written is about someone who has weapons trying to obey who does not make them, this makes sense if we take into account that theOne of the princes’s thoughts must be everything related to war, among it, weapons. But we must not forget that they must know the history and actions of illustrious men about their victims and strategies.
Another thing that is mentioned is the fact that the princes are judged by some of their qualities. In the rest of the chapters, the issues of the way of acting to be loved are discussed, not to be hated, to win their people or state, among other examples.
The book aims to show how the principalities came to power during history, giving examples, but also as a goal it has to show the forms of defense and attack of the principalities.
We can conclude that many of the ways of how a prince comes to the Principality often still is in force within the right today. The difference is that at present one should not govern by force, by inheritance, etc., Everything to achieve a common good.
- Nicolás Machiavelli. (1532). Prince. Italy and Republic of Florence: Luarna.