Essay about Machiavelli's Reputation in the Modern World

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Machiavelli's Reputation in the Modern World

Niccolò Machiavelli was known during much his life as a part of the republican government in Florence until 1512. At that time, the Medici family took over the city and ruled under a more monarchical system. From that point until his death in 1527, Machiavelli was always just on the outside of Florentine politics. He would occasionally get work from the Medici but his tasks were never as important as they had been under the republican government of the past. As he was trying to find his way back into a major role in Florentine government, Machiavelli wrote The Prince, a manual of sorts that explained how a monarch should rule his state and why. While Machiavelli had been a strong
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Anyone who is ruthless is considered 'Machiavellian' nowadays. But some of Machiavelli's other books, The Discourses, The History of Florence, and some of his personal correspondences to friends and family indicate that Machiavelli held a different set of ideals.

In the second half of the twentieth century, Machiavelli's other writings have come to more prominent light. Although many have questioned his motives behind writing the Prince in the past, only recently have his other works been more closely studied. In particular, the letters he wrote to friends and family while he was writing The Prince and those he wrote before and after, which provide details into what he was thinking at the time. Also, The Discourses is another book that talks about how to govern a state. In that book, Machiavelli is far less ruthless than in The Prince. He even goes so far as to say that monarchy is a bad form of government. So, while the term 'Machiavellian' still holds the same meaning, Machiavelli's purposes in writing The Prince have become much more contested than in the first half of the century. As a result, Machiavelli's reputation as a political thinker is improving and he is being compared to politicians who are somewhat more popular, such as the United States' founding fathers and Bill Clinton. Instead of being known
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