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LONG PAPER ASSIGNMENT #2: SELF-RELIANCE IN LEADERSHIP THROUGH INDEPENDENCE FROM THE CHURCH Po041-03/04 Fundamentals Concepts of Politics I Professors Nasser Behnegar and Kenji Hayao December 3, 2007
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During Machiavelli’s lifetime and the formation of Italy in general, the Church had immense power in Europe and the surrounding region. Its popes were great political figures in addition to having divine authority, making the institution somewhat intimidating to other leaders at the time. Machiavelli feels the threat of the Church was bad for European princes and thinks that certain events that occurred to give it power were not handled correctly. Had the Church been dealt with in a different manner, its authority would have been curbed and other leaders would have prevailed rather than fallen. Therefore, through his discussion of the Church, Machiavelli educates his readers to be self-reliant and not to put success and victory into the hands of an outside party. The first situation in which Machiavelli cites the Church for the overshadowing of a prince is with King Louis XII of France in the early 1500s. It is acknowledged in chapter three that King Louis brought the overshadowing upon himself by empowering the Church for self-interest. In fact, had King Louis not been interested in overtaking the Venetians, he would not have concerned himself as greatly with the Church and it would not have lessened his power, as it ultimately did. King Louis hoped to work with Pope Alexander side-by-side to gain power and land. He gave aid to the pope in hopes that the Church would seize Romagna, allowing him to conquer the Venetians. This plan ruined him in the end, because his power weakened while he made “…the Church great by adding so much temporal greatness to the spiritual one that gives it so much authority,” (pg 14). Through his aid and friendliness, King Louis failed to reach his ultimate goal of
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This note was uploaded on 06/06/2008 for the course PO 041 taught by Professor Hayao/behnegar during the Fall '07 term at BC.

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