Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Fight to Power

Throughout this lesson my class has been trying to figure out how the wealthy in Florence used their money to inspire new art and ideas during the Renaissance. We created a better understanding of this by looking at a map, watching videos, and reading articles about the Medici and Machiavelli family. In Florence wealthy people used patronage to support artists, so family's could gain power and respect. he wealthy would hire an architect or painter depending on what they wanted. They would then have the artist make a work of art specially for the family and they would be paid in return. The Medici family was know for their patronage; their goal was to gain wealth and power. They first sponsored a pirate who became the Pope and then they sponsored Brunelleschi who constructed a temple for Giovanni's tomb, an orphanage, and the dome to the Cathedral which was an essential part of Florence. Machiavelli wanted to gain their power back from the Medici so he wrote The Prince which was about his ideas of leadership in which he dedicated to the Medici. However he didn't impress them and was not able to work their their new Florentine regime. 

In the excerpt Concerning Cruelty and Clemency, and Whether it is Better to be Loved than Feared it states that a Prince would be better off being feared by his subjects than loved by them. It is better for the Prince to be feared by his subjects because when they turn against him he will be stronger then if he relies entirely on their promises and doesn't take precautions. Men respond to someone they fear better then someone they love because they are ungrateful and overlook the love, so if they are in fear they will be more likely to give up anything for the Prince. The Prince wants to make sure that he is not hated though, but only feared. If the Prince stays away from the property and wife of his citizens then he will be both feared and liked.  

I think Machiavelli's points may be somewhat valid. If we had a president that loved everybody then he would never enforce the rules that are needed. The environment around us would change and their would be limited organization of important matters. I think the President does have to be feared a little so everybody thinks twice about impressing him and doing the right thing in order to not be punished. I also agree that in order for the President or anyone in charge to not be hated that they don't do anything negative to the citizens property. If the people in charge didn't let the citizens take care of their own personal property they would be hated because each individual person needs control of at least something. However, the president or person in charge should not be feared to the extent that people are afraid to do anything without their permission because then people would not be able to produce new things that may be needed. 

Birth of a Dynasty Video - 

The Prince article:

Machiavelli & a new generation of Medici article:

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