The essential question we studied was "How did new wealth in Florence lead to new art and ideas during the Renaissance?". We did several activities in class to get to the answer of this question. Some activities were watching a video on the Medici family, reading about patrons of art and an activity in which we were the patrons and had to choose our artist and what we wanted them to paint. A patronage was a person from a wealthy family who paid artists to produce magnificent work, and these art works helped gained respect and power. The Medici family began to gain wealth and power by running a small bank in Florence. They then later became the official church of the Roman Catholic Church, which controls most of Europe. They sponsered Brunelleschi to build their reputation. Brunelleschi was a classical architecture genius, but he had an unpredictable temper and personality and was sometimes disagreeable and unwilling to compromise. He built a temple/chapel dedicated to the Medici and also built an orphanage. Later, The Medici convinced the government in Flornece to let Brunelleschi try to build the dome on the cathedral. Machiavelli's job for the Medici was to serve as Pieros' political advisor and protege before the popes militia invaded the Medici family. But once Medici had taken over Florence, they threw Machiavelli in jail, tortured him and then exiled him. Machiavelli wanted to work for the Medici in their new Florentine regime, so in order to convince the Medici of his desire, he wrote a book called "The Prince". His story was about his ides of being a good leader, and he dedicated it to the Medici but this was not enough to convince the Medici.
I read an excerpt from "The Prince", and it was about the differences between being feared and being loved. It says how it is much safer to be feared than to be loved. Men respond better to someone they fear than to someone they love. Men will feel they have to perform for the one they fear for fear of retribution, whereas they will be less motivated to perform for the one they love. There will be no fear of disappointing the one who loves them. Being feared is not the same as being hated. Being hated is the opposite of being loved but if you aren't loved, it does't mean you are hated. Being feared is when people are afraid of of you, and being hated is when people have a strong dislike towards you. Being feared is not the same as being hated.
I agree with Machiavelli's ideas about leadership. He believes that some characteristics of a good leader are generosity, compassion and loyalty. I agree that good characteristics of leadership are the ones Machiavelli listed in "The Prince". I think most of today's leaders use Machiavelli's philosophy, but some do not. I think many leaders today are generous and are compassionate and loyal. But, there are always some leaders who don't care about those things and who become unfair and mean towards their citizens. Machiavelli's "The Prince" lists many of great characteristics all good leaders should have if they want to run a smooth and fair city/state/country.