Italian political writer Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince is one of the most powerful discussions of politics during the Italian Renaissance. Machiavelli wrote the book to offer practical advice to Italian nobles. The book reflects the way he thought that government actually worked, rather than the lofty, often unrealistic ideals expressed by others. Machiavelli believed that a ruler should be concerned only with power and success. Today, The Prince is considered a portrayal of how leaders often have to act ruthlessly.


1.  Think about Machiavelli’s ideas on political leadership. Is he right? Is he wrong? Should we expect our political leaders to always be virtuous as well as effective? Which is more important in a leader, virtue or effectiveness? Why? Write an essay explaining your answers to these questions.

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