Machiavellian Monarchs During The Renaissance

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In the 14th and early 15th century, rulers in Europe were undertaking the task of reestablishing the power of the monarch after its age of weakness during the Middle Ages. The age that led up to the Renaissance was a constant struggle for the monarchs. They depended on councils of nobles and the church for financial and militant support. This confined their ability to accomplish goals for their nation without the approval of someone else. They lacked the capability to make any move without being consented by the nobles and/or church. This soon changed. When the Renaissance came around, scholars and thinkers started to develope new political ideas that influenced and encouraged the modern rulers. One such scholar was Machiavelli, who proposed…show more content…
They, like a fox, slyly gained political influence over the church by negotiating with the pope. They were given the ability to choose who would be the Church’s clergy and priests. This is extremely important to the throne, for with this capability, the monarch would be able to control the faith of their nation. Not only would they manage the finances and property of the people, but also the hearts. Another “fox-like” quality of the French monarchs is the astute way in which Edward IV and others conducted foreign policy. They focused on diplomacy when dealing with foreign affairs, which helped them to avoid expensive wars. This saved their nation a large amount of money, because instead of constant fighting, there was continual growth. In a similar manner to England, the French monarchy displayed sneaky characteristics by choosing from among smaller landowners and urban lawyers for a government council. By choosing these landowners and lawyers, the monarch received more financial support and power than they would have by choosing nobles and aristocrats. Along with the “fox-like” actions, France also showed “lion-like” characteristics with Edward, Richard III, and Henry VII who attempted to reinstate prominence, suppress the influence of the nobility, and demonstrate law and discipline a local level around France. By lessening the importance of nobles, the rulers gained control and started to rebuild the position of the monarch. They were fierce in their endeavors to gain power and enforce law in their nation. This, along with the newly established influence on the church and careful efforts to avoid expensive and unnecessary wars, showed how France both had “fox-like” and “lion-like”
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