The Prince

by Niccolo Machiavelli

The Prince

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.
  • Year Published: 1916
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: Italy
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 12.0
  • Word Count: 31,026
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Keywords: history, philosophy, politics, society
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