King George III and Machiavelli's "Prince"
Explains why King George III was a living model of Machiavelli's "The Qualities of a Prince".
# 53208 | 700 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2004
Published on Oct 15, 2004 in Political Science (Machiavelli, Niccolo) , History (U.S. American Society, 1640-1750) , History (U.S. Birth of the Nation 1750-1800)
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The basic premise in Machiavelli's "The Qualities of a Prince" states that as long as a prince is not hated, his subjects will be loyal and his reign successful. Therefore, the abuses outlined in "The Declaration of Independence" coincide with the attributes listed by Machiavelli of an unsuccessful prince. One can tell by the tone in which "The Declaration of Independence" is written that King George III is hated by the colonists. On more than one occasion, Thomas Jefferson refers to the King as a tyrant. This paper discusses how King George III's actions support Machiavelli's claim that a prince is most hated when he, among other things, disrespects the land and women of his subjects, deprives men of their honor, and shows excessive cruelty.
From the Paper:"Machiavelli states, "so long as you do not deprive them of their honor, the majority of men live happily" (Machiavelli, "The Qualities of a Prince", 48). Comparatively, Thomas Jefferson also lists grievances that pertain to men being deprived of their honor "By [constraining] our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their County, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands" (Thomas Jefferson, "The Declaration of Independence", 80). King George III stripped men taken captive of all honor and dignity by making them choose to either murder their family or take their own life. King George III also deprived the colonists "the benefits of Trial by Jury" (80). The fact that King George III repeatedly "called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures" (79) is quite demeaning in a society governed by Representation."
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