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Chapter 3

CHAPTER III

CONCERNING MIXED PRINCIPALITIES

But the difficulties occur in a new principality. And firstly, if it
be not entirely new, but is, as it were, a member of a state which,
taken collectively, may be called composite, the changes arise chiefly
from an inherent difficulty which there is in all new principalities;
for men change their rulers willingly, hoping to better themselves,
and this hope induces them to take up arms against him who rules:
wherein they are deceived, because they afterwards find by experience
they have gone from bad to worse. This follows also on another natural
and common necessity, which always causes a new prince to burden those
who have submitted to him with his soldiery and with infinite other
hardships which he must put upon his new acquisition.

In this way you have enemies in all those whom you have injured in
seizing that principality, and you are not able to keep those friends
who put you there because of your not being able to satisfy them in
the way they expected, and you cannot take strong measures against
them, feeling bound to them. For, although one may be very strong in
armed forces, yet in entering a province one has always need of the
goodwill of the natives.

For these reasons Louis the Twelfth, King of France, quickly occupied
Milan, and as quickly lost it; and to turn him out the first time it
only needed Lodovico's own forces; because those who had opened the
gates to him, finding themselves deceived in their hopes of future
benefit, would not endure the ill-treatment of the new prince. It is
very true that, after acquiring rebellious provinces a second time,
they are not so lightly lost afterwards, because the prince, with
little reluctance, takes the opportunity of the rebellion to punish
the delinquents, to clear out the suspects, and to strengthen himself
in the weakest places. Thus to cause France to lose Milan the first
time it was enough for the Duke Lodovico[*] to raise insurrections on
the borders; but to cause him to lose it a second time it was
necessary to bring the whole world against him, and that his armies
should be defeated and driven out of Italy; which followed from the
causes above mentioned.

[*] Duke Lodovico was Lodovico Moro, a son of Francesco Sforza, who
married Beatrice d'Este. He ruled over Milan from 1494 to 1500,
and died in 1510.

Nevertheless Milan was taken from France both the first and the second
time. The general reasons for the first have been discussed; it
remains to name those for the second, and to see what resources he
had, and what any one in his situation would have had for maintaining
himself more securely in his acquisition than did the King of France.

Now I say that those dominions which, when acquired, are added to an
ancient state by him who acquires them, are either of the same country
and language, or they are not. When they are, it is easier to hold
them, especially when they have not been accustomed to self-
government; and to hold them securely it is enough to have destroyed
the family of the prince who was ruling them; because the two peoples,
preserving in other things the old conditions, and not being unlike in
customs, will live quietly together, as one has seen in Brittany,
Burgundy, Gascony, and Normandy, which have been bound to France for
so long a time: and, although there may be some difference in
language, nevertheless the customs are alike, and the people will
easily be able to get on amongst themselves. He who has annexed them,
if he wishes to hold them, has only to bear in mind two
considerations: the one, that the family of their former lord is
extinguished; the other, that neither their laws nor their taxes are
altered, so that in a very short time they will become entirely one
body with the old principality.

But when states are acquired in a country differing in language,
customs, or laws, there are difficulties, and good fortune and great
energy are needed to hold them, and one of the greatest and most real
helps would be that he who has acquired them should go and reside
there. This would make his position more secure and durable, as it has
made that of the Turk in Greece, who, notwithstanding all the other
measures taken by him for holding that state, if he had not settled
there, would not have been able to keep it. Because, if one is on the
spot, disorders are seen as they spring up, and one can quickly remedy
them; but if one is not at hand, they are heard of only when they are
great, and then one can no longer remedy them. Besides this, the
country is not pillaged by your officials; the subjects are satisfied
by prompt recourse to the prince; thus, wishing to be good, they have
more cause to love him, and wishing to be otherwise, to fear him. He
who would attack that state from the outside must have the utmost
caution; as long as the prince resides there it can only be wrested
from him with the greatest difficulty.

The other and better course is to send colonies to one or two places,
which may be as keys to that state, for it is necessary either to do
this or else to keep there a great number of cavalry and infantry. A
prince does not spend much on colonies, for with little or no expense
he can send them out and keep them there, and he offends a minority
only of the citizens from whom he takes lands and houses to give them
to the new inhabitants; and those whom he offends, remaining poor and
scattered, are never able to injure him; whilst the rest being
uninjured are easily kept quiet, and at the same time are anxious not
to err for fear it should happen to them as it has to those who have
been despoiled. In conclusion, I say that these colonies are not
costly, they are more faithful, they injure less, and the injured, as
has been said, being poor and scattered, cannot hurt. Upon this, one
has to remark that men ought either to be well treated or crushed,
because they can avenge themselves of lighter injuries, of more
serious ones they cannot; therefore the injury that is to be done to a
man ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of
revenge.

But in maintaining armed men there in place of colonies one spends
much more, having to consume on the garrison all the income from the
state, so that the acquisition turns into a loss, and many more are
exasperated, because the whole state is injured; through the shifting
of the garrison up and down all become acquainted with hardship, and
all become hostile, and they are enemies who, whilst beaten on their
own ground, are yet able to do hurt. For every reason, therefore, such
guards are as useless as a colony is useful.

Again, the prince who holds a country differing in the above respects
ought to make himself the head and defender of his less powerful
neighbours, and to weaken the more powerful amongst them, taking care
that no foreigner as powerful as himself shall, by any accident, get a
footing there; for it will always happen that such a one will be
introduced by those who are discontented, either through excess of
ambition or through fear, as one has seen already. The Romans were
brought into Greece by the Aetolians; and in every other country where
they obtained a footing they were brought in by the inhabitants. And
the usual course of affairs is that, as soon as a powerful foreigner
enters a country, all the subject states are drawn to him, moved by
the hatred which they feel against the ruling power. So that in
respect to those subject states he has not to take any trouble to gain
them over to himself, for the whole of them quickly rally to the state
which he has acquired there. He has only to take care that they do not
get hold of too much power and too much authority, and then with his
own forces, and with their goodwill, he can easily keep down the more
powerful of them, so as to remain entirely master in the country. And
he who does not properly manage this business will soon lose what he
has acquired, and whilst he does hold it he will have endless
difficulties and troubles.

The Romans, in the countries which they annexed, observed closely
these measures; they sent colonies and maintained friendly relations
with[*] the minor powers, without increasing their strength; they kept
down the greater, and did not allow any strong foreign powers to gain
authority. Greece appears to me sufficient for an example. The
Achaeans and Aetolians were kept friendly by them, the kingdom of
Macedonia was humbled, Antiochus was driven out; yet the merits of the
Achaeans and Aetolians never secured for them permission to increase
their power, nor did the persuasions of Philip ever induce the Romans
to be his friends without first humbling him, nor did the influence of
Antiochus make them agree that he should retain any lordship over the
country. Because the Romans did in these instances what all prudent
princes ought to do, who have to regard not only present troubles, but
also future ones, for which they must prepare with every energy,
because, when foreseen, it is easy to remedy them; but if you wait
until they approach, the medicine is no longer in time because the
malady has become incurable; for it happens in this, as the physicians
say it happens in hectic fever, that in the beginning of the malady it
is easy to cure but difficult to detect, but in the course of time,
not having been either detected or treated in the beginning, it
becomes easy to detect but difficult to cure. This it happens in
affairs of state, for when the evils that arise have been foreseen
(which it is only given to a wise man to see), they can be quickly
redressed, but when, through not having been foreseen, they have been
permitted to grow in a way that every one can see them, there is no
longer a remedy. Therefore, the Romans, foreseeing troubles, dealt
with them at once, and, even to avoid a war, would not let them come
to a head, for they knew that war is not to be avoided, but is only to
be put off to the advantage of others; moreover they wished to fight
with Philip and Antiochus in Greece so as not to have to do it in
Italy; they could have avoided both, but this they did not wish; nor
did that ever please them which is for ever in the mouths of the wise
ones of our time:--Let us enjoy the benefits of the time--but rather
the benefits of their own valour and prudence, for time drives
everything before it, and is able to bring with it good as well as
evil, and evil as well as good.

[*] See remark in the introduction on the word "intrattenere."

But let us turn to France and inquire whether she has done any of the
things mentioned. I will speak of Louis[*] (and not of Charles[+]) as
the one whose conduct is the better to be observed, he having held
possession of Italy for the longest period; and you will see that he
has done the opposite to those things which ought to be done to retain
a state composed of divers elements.

[*] Louis XII, King of France, "The Father of the People," born 1462,
died 1515.

[+] Charles VIII, King of France, born 1470, died 1498.

King Louis was brought into Italy by the ambition of the Venetians,
who desired to obtain half the state of Lombardy by his intervention.
I will not blame the course taken by the king, because, wishing to get
a foothold in Italy, and having no friends there--seeing rather that
every door was shut to him owing to the conduct of Charles--he was
forced to accept those friendships which he could get, and he would
have succeeded very quickly in his design if in other matters he had
not made some mistakes. The king, however, having acquired Lombardy,
regained at once the authority which Charles had lost: Genoa yielded;
the Florentines became his friends; the Marquess of Mantua, the Duke
of Ferrara, the Bentivogli, my lady of Forli, the Lords of Faenza, of
Pesaro, of Rimini, of Camerino, of Piombino, the Lucchese, the Pisans,
the Sienese--everybody made advances to him to become his friend. Then
could the Venetians realize the rashness of the course taken by them,
which, in order that they might secure two towns in Lombardy, had made
the king master of two-thirds of Italy.

Let any one now consider with that little difficulty the king could
have maintained his position in Italy had he observed the rules above
laid down, and kept all his friends secure and protected; for although
they were numerous they were both weak and timid, some afraid of the
Church, some of the Venetians, and thus they would always have been
forced to stand in with him, and by their means he could easily have
made himself secure against those who remained powerful. But he was no
sooner in Milan than he did the contrary by assisting Pope Alexander
to occupy the Romagna. It never occurred to him that by this action he
was weakening himself, depriving himself of friends and of those who
had thrown themselves into his lap, whilst he aggrandized the Church
by adding much temporal power to the spiritual, thus giving it greater
authority. And having committed this prime error, he was obliged to
follow it up, so much so that, to put an end to the ambition of
Alexander, and to prevent his becoming the master of Tuscany, he was
himself forced to come into Italy.

And as if it were not enough to have aggrandized the Church, and
deprived himself of friends, he, wishing to have the kingdom of
Naples, divides it with the King of Spain, and where he was the prime
arbiter in Italy he takes an associate, so that the ambitious of that
country and the malcontents of his own should have somewhere to
shelter; and whereas he could have left in the kingdom his own
pensioner as king, he drove him out, to put one there who was able to
drive him, Louis, out in turn.

The wish to acquire is in truth very natural and common, and men
always do so when they can, and for this they will be praised not
blamed; but when they cannot do so, yet wish to do so by any means,
then there is folly and blame. Therefore, if France could have
attacked Naples with her own forces she ought to have done so; if she
could not, then she ought not to have divided it. And if the partition
which she made with the Venetians in Lombardy was justified by the
excuse that by it she got a foothold in Italy, this other partition
merited blame, for it had not the excuse of that necessity.

Therefore Louis made these five errors: he destroyed the minor powers,
he increased the strength of one of the greater powers in Italy, he
brought in a foreign power, he did not settle in the country, he did
not send colonies. Which errors, had he lived, were not enough to
injure him had he not made a sixth by taking away their dominions from
the Venetians; because, had he not aggrandized the Church, nor brought
Spain into Italy, it would have been very reasonable and necessary to
humble them; but having first taken these steps, he ought never to
have consented to their ruin, for they, being powerful, would always
have kept off others from designs on Lombardy, to which the Venetians
would never have consented except to become masters themselves there;
also because the others would not wish to take Lombardy from France in
order to give it to the Venetians, and to run counter to both they
would not have had the courage.

And if any one should say: "King Louis yielded the Romagna to
Alexander and the kingdom to Spain to avoid war, I answer for the
reasons given above that a blunder ought never to be perpetrated to
avoid war, because it is not to be avoided, but is only deferred to
your disadvantage. And if another should allege the pledge which the
king had given to the Pope that he would assist him in the enterprise,
in exchange for the dissolution of his marriage[*] and for the cap to
Rouen,[+] to that I reply what I shall write later on concerning the
faith of princes, and how it ought to be kept.

[*] Louis XII divorced his wife, Jeanne, daughter of Louis XI, and
married in 1499 Anne of Brittany, widow of Charles VIII, in order
to retain the Duchy of Brittany for the crown.

[+] The Archbishop of Rouen. He was Georges d'Amboise, created a
cardinal by Alexander VI. Born 1460, died 1510.

Thus King Louis lost Lombardy by not having followed any of the
conditions observed by those who have taken possession of countries
and wished to retain them. Nor is there any miracle in this, but much
that is reasonable and quite natural. And on these matters I spoke at
Nantes with Rouen, when Valentino, as Cesare Borgia, the son of Pope
Alexander, was usually called, occupied the Romagna, and on Cardinal
Rouen observing to me that the Italians did not understand war, I
replied to him that the French did not understand statecraft, meaning
that otherwise they would not have allowed the Church to reach such
greatness. And in fact is has been seen that the greatness of the
Church and of Spain in Italy has been caused by France, and her ruin
may be attributed to them. From this a general rule is drawn which
never or rarely fails: that he who is the cause of another becoming
powerful is ruined; because that predominancy has been brought about
either by astuteness or else by force, and both are distrusted by him
who has been raised to power.

Niccolo Machiavelli

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