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Word Count: 1,469
Machiavellis The Prince represents one of the most significant political works of all time Although it is nearly five hundred years old it is still a work applicable to major world events Many major themes including the imitating of past figures the balance of cruelty and mercy and the retention of power were emphasized in this political marvel Each of these themes can be seen in the 20th and 21st century as well as in The Prince One of the first themes Machiavelli discussed is the imitating of past figures He stated that the best way to succeed was to study those who had succeeded in the past to find their flaws and learn from them and to imitate their victorious actions To express this he wrote But for the exercise of the mind the prince must read the histories and in those consider the actions of excellent men see how they carried themselves in the wars examine the causes of their victories and losses to be able to avoid the latter and imitate the former This is supported by the fact that many famous figures that should be imitated were only triumphant in their time because they themselves had mimicked someone else before them that was also successful And above all to do as some excellent man has done in the past who took up imitating someone before his time who had been lauded and glorified and always kept his deeds and actions close to him as is said that Alexander the Great imitated Achilles Caesar Alexander Scipio Cyrus This can also be seen when Russia tried to imitate the United States Russia trying to build a better government imitated the United States democracy which was and is very successful This is yet another example of how the successful are imitated Machiavelli considered the knowledge of the actions of others who were successful the most valuable gift one could offer another He himself offered
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