Reading question 4: Beginning the Discourses (Preface and chapter 1)
Format: two single-spaced, type-written paragraphs
If in The Prince we find Machiavelli’s politics to favor monarchical, centralized or “executive” authority, in the Discourses he
appears to be something of a committed republican. That is, he favors a
politics in which — if the situation presents itself — authority and
power is dispersed in a polity.
Discuss those passages in the first few chapters of the Discourses where Machiavelli reveals a much different political orientation than we saw in The Prince. Then, explain why he
appears to see the wisdom of republican rule in which “the people” have
a considerable voice in the management of public affairs.