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UCI EUROST 10 - An Irony

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Professor Smith European Studies Department Europe Studies 10 European History Course Code 24000 An Irony or two or three 1 A deep historical irony the treaties weakened the HRE and fostered the rise of autonomous sovereign nation states to end religious wars That led to horrific wars over nationalism Is nationalism a kind of religion 2 Today the EU is asserting itself over the individual nation states in the name of peace Thus is Europe returning to a form of the HRE This would be a reversal of the Westphalian model 3 And are new nationalisms trying to make the Westphalian order great again Why Machiavelli s Prince His name has come to be an adjective What is machiavellian Amoral unscrupulous devious even violent manipulation of political power More important he can be considered the father of modern political science a systematic and knowledge based approach to power And he s part of our big story We re shifting locations We just spent four weeks northern europe germany the holy roman empire netherlands Focused on reformation and protestantism Now turning to Italy Back in time 1513 and to a new place Florence Italy Hmmm what do you know about big cities Church and politics In italy at the beginning of the 16th century Florence isn t rome but you at least might have a sense of how the powerful operated we ll see the intermixing of church and secular power politics Recall Pope Leo X was a medici This was exactly the time that Luther was forging his radical ideas about the need to separate temporal from spiritual powers Note luther and machiavelli are writing at the same time but completely independent of one another The reformation makes very little impact in Italy Though Machiavelli will get translated and read everywhere The house of Borgia The Borgia family became prominent during the renaissance in Italy They were from Valencia the name coming from the family fief of Borja The Borgias became prominent in ecclesiastical and political affairs in the 15th and 16th centuries producing two popes alfons de borja who ruled as pope callixtus the third during 1455 1458 and Rodrigo Lanzol Borgia as Pope Alexander VI during 1492 1503 Especially during the reign of Alexander VI they were suspected of many crimes including adultery simony buying or selling of ecclesiastical privileges theft bribery and murder especially murder by arsenic poisoning Because of their grasping for power they made enemies of the Medici the Sforza and the Dominican friar Savonarola among others They were also patrons of the arts who contributed to the renaissance Machiavelli deals with the case of Cesare Borgia in detail in Chapter 7 Big Picture again The old order has been shaken religiously socially politically In northern europe by the reformation We have seen a new order emerging the westphalian system Macchiavelli s world also in turmoil but for other reasons Not the reformation Machiavelli attempts to give the rules and practices for manipulating state power in a new world He is one of the founding fathers of modern ideas about politics As much as the treaties of westphalia and descartes he s interested in stability and security in a changing world Albert Ascoli on Machiavelli s importance his recognition that new practices ne thoughts an entirely new order would be necessary to deal with such thoroughly transformative circumstances that we now typically think of as the foundations of our modernity Note on chronology Machiavelli came LONG BEFore the Thirty Years War and the Treaty of Westphalia He wrote his major works about the same time as Luther Also machiavelli lived in Florence Italy not germany Thus he s not dealing with the reformation in any direct way However my argument machiavelli is also trying to make political order out of a potentially instable and chaotic situation Thus he can be read as a parallel to Luther and events growing out of the Reformation Background for Machiavelli Three Areas 1 Height of the Italian Humanist Renaissance and connections to other readings 2 Turmoil in italy competition among city states pope and outside power like France and Spain 3 Like the transitional period he is writing in Machiavelli has one foot in an older traditional world and one foot firmly in a new emerging world 1 Humanism and other ideas of the time Recall pico della mirandolla Oration on man Written in part as a response to Pope Innocent the third s essay on the misery of man note we did encounter another great European Humanist Erasmus He had a major dispute with Luther on the free will He ll come up thursday in relation to the prince since he also wrote a book on what it means to be a good ruler Mirandola s Oration Most esteemed fathers I have read in the ancient writings of the arabians that Abdala the Saracen on being asked what on this stage so to say of the world seemed to him most evocative of wonder replied that there was nothing to be seen more marvelous than man And that celebrated exclamation of Hermes Trismegistus what a great miracle is man Asclepius confirms this opinion Oration to Man continued A precondition of Machiavelli and also a development to which he contributed was therefore a sense that individual human beings can shape their own destiny can be agents in the world be independent of or manipulating the traditions and authorities that have shaped the world previously This is a new idea and we ll see that machiavelli like his age is in a period of transition That is we will also see remnants of an older view of human nature in his writing Some connections and comparisons to across the quarter Comparison 1 Would such a creature make a good prince What would a prince look like according to machiavelli A lion and a fox The lion cannot protect himself traps and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps and a lion to frighten wolves Comparison 2 Recall Francis Bacon s Novum Organum The new tool for gaining knowledge A systematic approach to the world Knowledge is power Also true for machiavelli the prince can wield power better if he is equipped with knowledge What does machiavelli say about this in the dedication Desiring therefore to present myself to your magnificence with some testimony of my devotion towards you I have not found among my possessions anything which I hold more dear than or value so much as the knowledge of the actions of great men acquired by long experience in contemporary affairs and a continual study of


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