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According to Machiavelli the acquisition and maintenance of power was of the utmost importance to a Prince But to discuss the question it is essential to look at aspects of both his life and work and to decide whether or not the acquisition and maintenance of power is for him the only good This essay will argue that while other aspects of his writings can be described as good to a degree the only true good for Machiavelli was the acquisition and maintenance of power and therefore was the only good in his opinion It is first necessary to define what is meant by the acquisition and maintenance of power being the only good for Machiavelli To claim this is to say that Machiavelli believed that a Prince should look upon gaining and retaining power as his main objective and that all his actions should be directed towards achieving this goal To be able to say this it is essential to show why the acquisition and maintenance of power was so important to Machiavelli The importance of the acquisition and maintenance of power during Machiavellis time was great especially when we take into consideration the political landscape of Europe when he was alive The continent was a violent and dangerous place and while it was rich Machiavelli lived in an Italy that was a mishmash of states competing for political influence and was surrounded by larger more unified states such as France and Spain No leader was able to claim complete control of Italy and disputes within the country and conquests by foreign powers were commonplace Machiavellis writings are littered with examples of this both in his own time and before such as the King of Frances campaigns at the time and Hannibals offensives many years before So the stability of the state depended on strong leadership and military organisation and this goes some way to explaining why the acquisition and maintenance
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