Machiavelli’s The Prince Chapter 3: Concerning Mixed Principles; urges the prince to rule with motivating tactics and to ease slowly into their conquered states to optimize success. To starts this chapter, Machiavelli discusses composite principalities; that rulers often struggle with implementing. Further, he discusses how crucial it is to understand how to conquer a state and that is because of one natural difficulty–unhappy people.
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As a result of unreasonably harsh and tactless rule, people revolt and fight for what they want, and may even appoint a new ruler. This is not beneficial to a ruler who wants to maintain control. In retaliation to these revolts, rulers use harsh and immoral tactics to deal with these situations, and to Machiavelli this makes matters worse. However, Machiavelli believes that the prince can manipulate people’s trust in his favor. This include making the people think that they will benefit under the princes rule; as this happens the prince is gaining more agency, control, and power. His advice is outlined below.
Machiavelli starts by urging rulers to minimize harm to people, while simultaneously maximizing benefits to their reign. He emphasizes the importance of gaining the people’s goodwill, although he cautions that it will be impossible to maintain allies’ perfect “friendship” after a conquest. This is because, according to Machiavelli, a prince will always try to secure his control, and this might be to the expense of some people’s happiness. Machiavelli highlights that there is a fragile balance of power between a ruler and his subjects, and he believes that princes should take the necessary steps to maintain the balance in their own favor and to injure those who have made him the new ruler.
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