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Compare & Contrast The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli


There are four main issues of the way by which a prince can come into power. The four ways vary from constitutionally recognized ways to the use of violence such as a coup. The first way through which a prince can gain power is through prowess or ability. In this way, the prince may use his ability and skills and prowess (Machiavelli). However, this approach is not successful because most dynasties do have a bureaucracy that does not allow for prowess to be exhibited. The second way of coming to power is through fortune which is vital in most states. Fortune makes leaders with no ability to rise to power to gain success while using the fortune to ascend to power. Most princes, by virtue of inheritance, have been able to ascend to power. The inheritance is the fortune that propels them to power. In other situations, a prince may use a coup to topple and remove the leader. Such approaches are viewed as unconstitutional and the government cannot be considered legal.

The final approach that can be employed by the prince is the constitutional method which includes support of the nobles or the common people. The support from common people can be viewed as electoral support. The difference between the use of prowess and the use of fortune is the difficulty associated with the fortune. However, the success of fortune as a way for ascension to power is limited (Machiavelli). Prowess needs preparation, luck, and support from close friends because it uses ability and characters. The use of a coup is a criminal approach that cannot be accepted in the modern world. Constitutional methods are based on popularity and not on ability as witnessed in the use of election.

Works Cited
Machiavelli, Niccolò. The Prince. Antonio Blado dAsola., 1532.

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