The Prince is a simple and straight forward political guidebook for the ruling of autocratic regimes based on the first-hand experiences of Niccolo Machiavelli.
The Prince was originally published in 1513 and represented an important departure from previous thought. It is seen as part of a larger transition from medieval scholasticism to Renaissance humanism.
Source: Machiavelli, N. (1916). The Prince New York: The Macmillan Company
- The author's dedication to Lorenzo Di Piero De' Medici.
- Chapter 1: How Many Kinds of Principalities There Are, and by What Means They are Acquired
- A description of the different kinds of states.
- Chapter 2: Concerning Hereditary Principalities
- A discussion of the various methods that can be used to govern principalities.
- Chapter 3: Concerning Mixed Principalities
- A discussion of the difficulties of running a new principality, as opposed to a hereditary principality.
- Chapter 4: Why the Kingdom of Darius, Conquered by Alexander, Did Not Rebel Against the Successors of Alexander at His Death
- A continued discussion of the methods used to govern a principality.
- Chapter 5: Concerning the Way to Govern Cities or Principalities Which Lived Under Their Own Laws Before They Were Annexed
- A description of the three ways to maintain states that have been occupied.
- Chapter 6: Concerning new Principalities Which Are Acquired By One's Own Arms and Ability
- How princes should behave when ruling states acquired by force, and the difficulties of maintaining states acquired by inheritance.
- Chapter 7: Concerning New Principalities Which Are Acquired Either by the Arms of Others or by Good Fortune
- Maintaining power when it is achieved by the use of wealth, and the importance of loyalty.
- Chapter 8: Concerning Those Who Have Obtained a Principality by Wickedness
- The acquiring of power through criminal means.
- Chapter 9: Concerning a Civil Principality
- The rise of power by the means of fellow citizens, and the different aspects of a prince created by the people as opposed to a noble prince.
- Chapter 10: Concerning the Way in Which the Strength of All Principalities Ought to be Measured The Prince
- The importance of inspiring patriotism and increasing favor with the citizens of the principality.
- Chapter 11: Concerning Ecclesiastical Principalities
- The acquisition and governing of principalities governed by religious doctrine.
- Chapter 12: How Many Kinds of Soldiery There Are, and Concerning Mercenaries
- How the maintenance of a standing army is essential in the enforcement of laws.
- Chapter 13: Concerning Auxiliaries, Mixed Soldiery, and One's Own
- The risks of using auxiliary troops to defend ones state.
- Chapter 14: That Which Concerns a Prince on the Subject of the Art of War
- The importance of being educated in the art of war.
- Chapter 15: Concerning Things for Which Men, and Especially Princes, are Praised or Blamed
- The behavior of the prince as to achieve the greatest benefit for the principality.
- Chapter 16: Concerning Liberality and Meanness
- How being miserly will benefit a prince in maintaining power over a principality. A discussion on the pitfalls of excessive generosity.
- Chapter 17: Concerning Cruelty and Clemency, and Whether it is Better to Be Loved than Feared
- How the use of compassion and the inducement of fear should be employed to preserve power.
- Chapter 18: Concerning the Way in Which Princes Should Keep Faith
- Honor and the use of laws and force to succeed in acquiring and maintaining power.
- Chapter 19: That One Should Avoid Being Despised and Hated
- The prevention of internal and external insurrections by protecting ones reputation.
- Chapter 20: Are Fortresses, and Many Other Things to Which Princes Often Resort, Advantageous or Hurtful?
- The many methods employed to maintain power, and which are most effective.
- Chapter 21: How a Prince Should Conduct Himself So As to Gain Renown
- How a prince can increase his prestige with the people of the principality.
- Chapter 22: Concerning the Secretaries of Princes
- How representatives of the prince can increase or decrease the prestige of the prince.
- Chapter 23: How Flatterers Should Be Avoided
- How the prince should receive the advice of his ministers while still maintaining their respect.
- Chapter 24: Why the Princes of Italy Have Lost Their States
- The author gives explanation for the many princes who have lost their states.
- Chapter 25: What Fortune Can Effect in Human Affairs and How to Withstand Her
- How fortune can affect the outcome of affairs and the importance of free-will.
- Chapter 26: An Exhortation to Liberate Italy From the Barbarians
- The author gives advice in hopes of creating a strong, independent Italian state.
Machiavelli, N. (1916). The Prince. (Lit2Go ed.). Retrieved April 19, 2014, from
Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince. Lit2Go Edition. 1916. Web. <>. April 19, 2014.
Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Li2Go edition, (1916), accessed April 19, 2014,.