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Machiavelli, Hobbes, Luther, Locke: A Comparison

             Niccolo Machiavelli, Martin Luther, Thomas Hobbes, and John Locke were four political theorists who shared a like mind in the need for the foundation of government and the extent to which its power and authority should reach. Furthermore, although they differed in some of the fundamental arguments, they were all in agreement as to the nature of man and his driving need to exist in an ordered and symbiotic society. Different arguments are put forward by the aforementioned theorists as to whether or not this need is born out of necessity, based in religious belief or merely instinctual.
             As the centuries have passed and monarchies, as well as the Papal state, have matured, history has shown us the different need for new political systems based on the ideology and needs of the times. As in the case of Niccolo Machiavelli, his time period reflected a seemingly unceasing battle with unrest, dissent and disloyalty between the different kingdoms in Italy. Coupled with the ever-growing power of the Papacy, the need for a strong, central government became a necessity in the 16th century. Societal order and loyalty to one monarch were almost non-existent as States were constantly under attack by different factions. These factions, or princes, were looking only to further their own power without regard for those that they meant to rule. In The Prince, Machiavelli stressed the need for order and loyalty, but his arguments were not aimed at the citizens of these lands, but at the monarchy of the time, the de' Medici family. It was his wish to set down a blueprint of how to manage the state efficiently while taking into consideration the nature of man. .
             The common man in 16th century Europe, much like his modern counterpart, was fickle, as well as selfish, and would innately look to those in power to satisfy his own needs. Machiavelli's blueprint for government addressed the issues of being able to influence and win over the citizens of the respective principalities.

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