Chapter 5: Here, Machiavelli addresses
the three options a prince has in order to rule his newly acquired principality. First, he can
abolish their law and government and start again from scratch. Secondly, he can reside in the
city and thus monitor the laws and strictly enforce important statutes. Lastly, the prince can
keep the old laws and let the people live in a relatively free republic. Using the Spartans and
Romans as examples, Machiavelli proves that letting the people live in freedom is the worst option because
it encourages them to rebel against the prince. He explains, "he who becomes master of a city
accustomed to freedom and does not destroy it, may expect to be destroyed by it.." Obviously, Machiavelli
was no fan of democracy.
Chapter 6: Going on, Machiavelli
speaks in general terms about the importance of modeling oneself after those who have been successful.
He stresses, "A wise man ought always to follow the paths beaten by great men, and to imitate those
who have been supreme, so that if his ability does not equal theirs, at least it will savor of it."
Though new princes must have either fortune or ability in order to reach the pinnacle of authority,
Machiavelli asserts that ability is the better quality because it is more dependable in time of struggle.
Fortune, or luck, is simply a side benefit to natural human ability.
He continues, reasserting the difficulty that new princes
have when they try to establish new laws for their principality. The best prince, Machiavelli
says, is he who can use overwhelming force to carry out his will. This is much more effective
than having to rely on others or make allies out of some of the natives: "Hence it is that all armed
prophets have conquered, and the unarmed ones have been destroyed." Examples of such leaders are Moses,
the Hebrew prophet and Romulus, the mythical founder of Rome.