Niccolo Machiavelli : Political Genius by Niccolo Machiavelli was not one, but three men: a political theorist, a military theorist, and a famous writer. Niccolo Machiavelli was born in Florence in 1469. The Machiavelli family was one of the most prominent politically in the city, having 15 Gonfaloniere among his ancestors.1 Niccolos father, Bernardo Machiavelli was a legal consultant in the city, prominent participant in humanist scholarship of the day, and close associate of the citys First Chancellor. Niccolo received the very top quality humanist education available. We first hear of him playing an active role in the affairs of his native city in 1498, when the position for head of second chancery, came open. He was only twenty-nine years old at the time, and didnt have any previous experience. However, his nomination was confirmed and he was appointed second chancellor of the Florentine Republic.2 Machiavellis official position involved him in very important duties. The first and second chanceries both handled official correspondence dealing with Florences domestic, foreign, and military affairs. As head of the second chancier, Machiavelli was also soon assigned the further job of secretary to the Ten of War, the committee responsible for the Florences diplomatic relations.3 In addition to his routine office duties, he also traveled abroad to act as spokesman for the Ten. During the next fourteen years, Machiavelli was sent on numerous diplomatic missions to France, Switzerland, and Germany. In June 1500, Machiavelli was in France at the court of Louis XII, negotiating for assistance in regaining Pisa, which had asserted its independence form Florence and tried to establish an independent city-state.4 There in France, Machiavelli saw first-hand the weak leadership of the king. He also learned about the French Parliament and its difficulties in resolving p…
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