Start Date

27-4-2020 9:00 AM

End Date

27-4-2020 10:00 AM

Disciplines

History | Philosophy | Political Science | Religion

Description

3rd place winner of the Karen E. Hoppes Young Historians Award for Outstanding Research and Writing.

Although The Prince was clearly not well-recieved in its day by many, its influence is clear in modern realpolitik and the creation of the secular state. This paper examines the role of Machiavelli’s seminal work in Western politics within the timeline of the Catholic Church’s decline. In The Prince, Machiavelli clearly guides the reader towards the pragmatic political use of religion instead of legitimate belief, insinuating that faith is more useful as a tool for social control rather than personal conviction. This paper posits that this advice was well taken by the Western aristocracy, marked by the integration of Machiavellian values into political strategy as well as the rejection of Papal influence by many in power following the Reformation. In fact, there are notable Machiavellian ties to many historical watersheds, including the creation of the Church of England, the Peace of Augsberg, and the advent of realpolitik in the nineteenth century. In the United States today, this translates to politicians appealing heavily to religious voting blocs in their campaigns, and an increased awareness of the effectual nature of legislation as opposed to the ideal.

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Apr 27th, 9:00 AM Apr 27th, 10:00 AM

The Power of a Prince: Machiavelli, Devotion, and the Secularization of Western Politics

3rd place winner of the Karen E. Hoppes Young Historians Award for Outstanding Research and Writing.

Although The Prince was clearly not well-recieved in its day by many, its influence is clear in modern realpolitik and the creation of the secular state. This paper examines the role of Machiavelli’s seminal work in Western politics within the timeline of the Catholic Church’s decline. In The Prince, Machiavelli clearly guides the reader towards the pragmatic political use of religion instead of legitimate belief, insinuating that faith is more useful as a tool for social control rather than personal conviction. This paper posits that this advice was well taken by the Western aristocracy, marked by the integration of Machiavellian values into political strategy as well as the rejection of Papal influence by many in power following the Reformation. In fact, there are notable Machiavellian ties to many historical watersheds, including the creation of the Church of England, the Peace of Augsberg, and the advent of realpolitik in the nineteenth century. In the United States today, this translates to politicians appealing heavily to religious voting blocs in their campaigns, and an increased awareness of the effectual nature of legislation as opposed to the ideal.