What’s the message of The Prince? Machiavelli believed that this book would help the Medici maintain political power and secure it. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli was written for Lorenzo de Medici who was ruling Florence at that time period. Machiavelli wrote this in a time of large-scale blackmail, invasion, political conflict, and political instability. The Prince was a practical guide to the Medici to act in this kind of environment and stay in power. It also serves another purpose because Machiavelli thought this guide would be so helpful they would return him his position in office back. Unfortunately, the Medici didn’t like the guide and deemed it immoral. Machiavelli states that a leader must have independence, seriousness, loyalty, and intelligence; he rejects the need for honesty, generosity, and mercy as those qualities make a weak ruler.
Although Machiavelli point of view differs than those common ideologies of his time he knew independence was vital in preventing foreign invasions. An intelligent leader, he says, “should never depend on auxiliaries or mercenaries they’ll never have peace and security” (48). Mercenaries have no loyalty towards the prince since there fighting because they are paid to do so. When war comes around, as it inevitably does which Machiavelli states, they will either flee or abandon their duties. They won’t die for the country because they have no reason to. He states that a prince needs to have his own troops or he will never accomplish great things. Auxiliary troops are also horrible because if one loses the war then he is ruined and if one wins then he becomes inferior to them and will probably be put under their command. Machiavelli has a lot of concerns and he argues this point because he doesn’t want anybody to fight for Italy that doesn’t care for it. There is no point in fighting if one does not care about his leaders or his country even if they get paid. Machiavelli states that a prince must be serious even when idle. He mentions that, "A prince must have no other objective but that of war...” (49) Having military knowledge is so invaluable that it will keep a prince in maintaining their power for a long time. They should devote him to war even in times of peace. They should scout the land of his country and should know what to do in every realistic situation. He should know how to locate his enemy, how to choose living space, how to attack the enemy, how to deploy his men and to attack cities that have an