Niccolò Machiavelli, historically recognized as one of Italy's most prominent political theorists of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, witnessed the temporary downturn of his homeland's welfare due to foreign invasions from France, Spain, and Germany. In response to these misfortunes suffered by Italy, Machiavelli penned The Prince, in which he addressed Lorenzo the Magnificent, the contemporary ruler of Florence. In this treatise, Machiavelli articulated his opinions and advice on the subject of statesmanship. Machiavelli devised a genuine system, through the use of historical information, which illustrated his analytical view. It appeared that Machiavelli sincerely hoped that Italy's rulers would abide by his system, and that he predicted a more prosperous future for Italy if they were to do so.
In his analyzation, Machiavelli categorized the many diverse aspects of statesmanship into brief sections, supported each of these with historical examples, and articulated his views in an advisory style. In efforts to outline all possibilities which could arise for a prince, he gave historical reference and appropriate advice for all those topics which he could formulate. Hence The Prince was separated into twenty six different, yet connected essays. The diversity of the possibilities which Machiavelli described could be seen in the titles of each of these essays, a few of which are, "Of New Dominions Which Have Been Acquired by One's Own Arms and Ability," "Of New Dominions Acquired by the Power of Others or by Fortune," and, "Of Those Who have Attained the Position of Prince by Villainy."
Machiavelli stressed the study of previous men who have acquired greatness, as he stated that, "a prudent man should always follow in the path trodden by great men and imitate those who are most excellent, so that…he will get some tinge of i