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The Prince | Study Guide

Niccolò Machiavelli

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The Prince | Chapter Summaries


Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Chapter 1 Machiavelli starts by providing a categorization of governments that have existed in history. He claims there are only t... Read More
Chapter 2 Machiavelli discusses principalities that have long been under the rule of the family of a prince. In such a situation, ... Read More
Chapter 3 Machiavelli discusses the difficulties encountered in ruling over newly acquired domains. A fundamental problem in acqui... Read More
Chapter 4 Machiavelli addresses a particular historical example, namely the success of the ancient Greeks in maintaining the empir... Read More
Chapter 5 In this chapter, Machiavelli discusses how to secure conquered republics. The first method Machiavelli outlines is... Read More
Chapter 6 The topic of this chapter is principalities gained through the able exercise of a prince's own abilities (or prowess, as... Read More
Chapter 7 If a prince cannot acquire new territory by able effort and his own resources, then it must be acquired by good luck and... Read More
Chapter 8 Machiavelli identifies two nonstandard ways in which a man might become a prince: through criminal activity, and through... Read More
Chapter 9 The subject of this chapter is princes who come to power through the approval of their fellow citizens. Machiavelli labe... Read More
Chapter 10 Machiavelli provides a method for determining the strength of a principality. As an ideal example of strong principaliti... Read More
Chapter 11 In this chapter, Machiavelli describes ecclesiastical principalities. These principalities are difficult to establish bu... Read More
Chapter 12 The subject of this chapter is the composition and organization of a prince's military forces. Machiavelli begins his an... Read More
Chapter 13 This chapter focuses on the use of native troops from a foreign state, called auxiliary troops. Just as Machiavelli crit... Read More
Chapter 14 Machiavelli emphasizes the importance of a prince being skilled in warfare: "A prince, therefore, must have no other obj... Read More
Chapter 15 Machiavelli begins to detail the characteristics that are suitable for an effective prince. His method is to examine wha... Read More
Chapter 16 In this chapter, Machiavelli discusses the extent to which an effective prince should be generous and parsimonious. Amon... Read More
Chapter 17 Machiavelli discusses the relationship between cruelty, compassion, and the behavior of an effective prince. He returns ... Read More
Chapter 18 The topic of this chapter is to what extent a prince should be honest, and to what extent he should be deceitful. Machia... Read More
Chapter 19 Machiavelli discusses why a prince must avoid being hated and despised. There are two primary dangers to a prince's doma... Read More
Chapter 20 The topic of this chapter is the effectiveness of two strategies for maintaining order in a principality: maintaining fo... Read More
Chapter 21 A prince should act in order to win honor so that he is respected by his subjects, allies, and enemies. The keys to gain... Read More
Chapter 22 Machiavelli argues that not everything can be effectively achieved by one person. In order to be effective, a prince nee... Read More
Chapter 23 When choosing ministers, a prince must avoid flatterers, encourage honesty, and discourage ambition. A prince must be de... Read More
Chapter 24 Machiavelli discusses two examples of Italian princes from his own time who lost their states. He argues that both the K... Read More
Chapter 25 Even the most able people can fail due to bad luck. Machiavelli states that a belief that humans cannot, or should not, ... Read More
Chapter 26 Machiavelli directly addresses Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici, advising him to seriously consider all of the arguments he h... Read More
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