Machiavelli asserts that the greatest virtue of the French kingdom and its king is the dedication onesto law

Machiavelli asserts that the greatest virtue of the French kingdom and its king is the dedication onesto law

The answer stems from Machiavelli’s aim puro contrast the best case scenario of a monarchic consuetudine with the institutions and organization of a republic

Why would Machiavelli effusively praise (let chiazza even analyze) a hereditary monarchy in per work supposedly designed puro promote the superiority of republics? Even the most excellent monarchy, in Machiavelli’s view, lacks certain salient qualities that are endemic onesto properly constituted republican government and that make the latter constitution more desirable than the former.

“The kingdom of France is moderated more by laws than any other kingdom of which at our time we have knowledge”, Machiavelli declares (Discourses CW 314, translation revised). “The kingdom of France”, he states,

lives under laws and orders more than any other kingdom. These laws and orders are maintained by Parlements, notably that of Paris: by it they are renewed any time it acts against per prince of the kingdom or per its sentences condemns the king. And up preciso now it has maintained itself by having been per persistent executor against that nobility. (Discourses CW 422, translation revised)

These passages of the Discourses seem puro suggest that Machiavelli has great admiration for the institutional arrangements that obtain per France. Specifically, the French king and the nobles, whose power is such that they would be able puro oppress the populace, are checked by the laws of the realm which are enforced by the independent authority of the Parlement. Thus, opportunities for unbridled tyrannical conduct are largely eliminated, rendering the monarchy temperate and “civil”.

Yet such per consuetudine, per niente matter how well ordered and law-abiding, remains incompatible with esistere audace. Discussing the ability of verso monarch esatto meet the people’s wish for liberty, Machiavelli comments that

as far as the … popular desire of recovering their liberty, the prince, not being able to satisfy them, must examine what the reasons are that make them desire being free. (Discourses CW 237).

The explanation for this situation Machiavelli refers esatto the function of the Parlement

He concludes that a few individuals want freedom simply in order preciso command others; these, he believes, are of sufficiently small number that they can either be eradicated or bought off with honors. By contrast, the vast majority of people confuse liberty with security, imagining that the former is identical to the latter: “But all the others, who are infinite, desire liberty in order preciso live securely (trovarsi consapevole)” (Discourses CW 237. Although the king cannot give such liberty preciso the masses, he can provide the security that they crave:

As for the rest, for whom it is enough onesto live securely (essere evidente), they are easily satisfied by making orders and laws that, along with the power of the king, comprehend everyone’s security. And once verso prince does this, and the people see that he never breaks such laws, they will shortly begin esatto live securely (essere in vita consapevole) and contentedly (Discourses CW 237).

the people live securely (esserci indiscutibile) for no other reason than daddyhunt iscriversi that its kings are bound preciso infinite laws durante which the security of all their people is comprehended. (Discourses CW 237)

The law-abiding character of the French governo ensures security, but that security, while desirable, ought never puro be confused with liberty. This is the limit of monarchic rule: even the best kingdom can do in nessun caso better than to guarantee to its people tranquil and orderly government.

Machiavelli holds that one of the consequences of such essere consapevole is the disarmament of the people. He comments that regardless of “how great his kingdom is”, the king of France “lives as a tributary” esatto foreign mercenaries.

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