Niccolo Machiavelli on Contemporary Politics Analytical Essay by Master Researcher

Niccolo Machiavelli on Contemporary Politics
An examination of Machiavelli's influence on contemporary politics.
# 44034 | 2,617 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Oct 26, 2003 in Political Science (Machiavelli, Niccolo)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper examines and analyzes Niccolo Machiavelli's "The Prince" and "Discourses on Livy", as well as contemporary studies of Machiavelli. The paper discusses how his writings are still relevant today because he offered a timeless view as to how and why hypocrisy, harshness, deceit, and ruthlessness in governance occur naturally due to the weaknesses of human nature, both in the ruled and in the ruler. The paper asserts that his essential contribution to modern political thought lies primarily
in his assertion of the then revolutionary idea that traditional theological and moral imperatives have no place in the political arena.

From the Paper:

"Machiavelli's Renaissance era views on politics were to a certain degree timeless in nature, for he based his writings upon human nature, which has changed very little over the millennia of human history. The advisory content of books such as The Prince, Discourses on Livy, and other works are for the most part just as relevant today as they were five centuries ago, for political power is sought and maintained by leaders in much the same way in most of today's world, despite the veneer of democracy in the industrialized West.
"The tremendous innovation of both the Discourses on Livy and The Prince was Niccolo Machiavelli's uncoupling of political theory from ethics. This approach enables him to still be relevant today despite the passage of five centuries, for throughout the Western tradition, as in the Chinese tradition, political theory and policy has been closely linked to ethics. Aristotle summed up this connection when he defined politics as merely an extension of ethics.
"Throughout the Western political and philosophical tradition, then, the conduct of politics had been understood in terms of right and wrong, just and unjust, temperate and intemperate, and so on. The moral terms used to evaluate human actions were employed to evaluate political actions. But Machiavelli understood how power actually functioned behind the facade of ethics, studied the process in detail, and then wrote treatises such as The Prince and Discourses on Livy to offer his political theories to the world, whether it was ready or not."

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Niccolo Machiavelli on Contemporary Politics (2003, October 26) Retrieved October 02, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Niccolo Machiavelli on Contemporary Politics" 26 October 2003. Web. 02 October. 2022. <>