Chapter 1: This short chapter
lays the groundwork for Machiavelli's book. All kinds of authority, he says, can be divided into
two large categories: republics and principalities. Principalities can be either hereditary-those
passed down from father to son-or they can be new-states acquired through military force or political
fortune. Machiavelli chooses not to address the subject of republics.
Chapter 2: Machiavelli continues
by admitting that hereditary principalities are much easier to govern than those that are newly acquired
since the prince who rules by inheritance simply has to follow in the paths of his ancestors.
The Duke of Ferrara is an example of such a prince. Though he was attacked by outside forces on
two separate occasions, the fact that he was a hereditary prince placed him on good standing with the
people of his city.