The use of any other sources beyond the one(s) assigned as well as the textbook in writing the essay is not expected. If other sources are used to gather information they must be documented and “historical” or written by a professional historian. If information (not just quotations) is used from a source and not documented, that is plagiarism, a form of cheating. See the section on documentation and Academic Honesty in the Syllabus. Also, if direct quotations are used from the sources assigned, textbook, or any other material they must be properly documented and a works cited page included.

Essays should be 700 to 900 words long, double-spaced with normal margins, in a 12 font, and your name and a title at the top.
Indicate paragraph separation by indenting the first line rather than adding additional space. The essay should be in formal English, using proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. Late papers may be downgraded 10% for every day late. Again, 700 words is the minimum requirement. Failure to follow through on these guidelines will result in a less than desirable grade. Save the essay with your last name and Primary Source Essay 4 as the title.

Submit the essay by following the instructions associated with the link at the bottom of this page.

Assignment Selections:

1. Read Machiavelli’s, The Prince, chapters 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19, at:

As you are reading, be aware that this translation is old and that there are two words used in a rather archaic sense. One is “mean.” According to Merriam Webster online, mean can be defined as stingy or “sparing or scant in giving or spending.” “Liberal” is also used in an archaic sense. According to Merriam Webster it can mean: “marked by generosity: openhanded as in a ‘liberal giver.’”

Using this source and your text, write an essay of 700 to 900 words exploring the following questions:

  • What characteristics of the Renaissance are often regarded as setting it apart from the Middle Ages?
  • What characteristics of a successful prince does Machiavelli stress?
  • What elements of this source make it clear that it belongs to the Renaissance and not the Middle Ages?
  • What elements of this source reflect the political conditions of Italy at the time that Machiavelli wrote?


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