This article examines the roles of belief and opinion in Machiavelli's Prince. Political success and failure are effected not only by force and arms but by religious belief in particular, and more generally by the beliefs and opinions of peoples. Princes can also be the beneficiaries or the victims of their own beliefs and opinions. Machiavelli occasionally explicitly states a view as his own belief or opinion such as his belief in cruelty well used or his opinions that a prince should found himself on the people and avoid their hatred. His beliefs and opinions both contrast with common beliefs and opinions and are modified in response to them.
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