Social Studies - 2019-20

WHI.15b - Italian City-States and Machiavelli

The student will apply social science skills to understand the developments leading to the Renaissance in Europe in terms of its impact on Western civilization by

b) sequencing events related to the rise of Italian city-states and their political development, including Machiavelli’s theory of governing as described in The Prince;

Adopted: 2015



Wealth accumulated from European trade with the Middle East led to the rise of Italian city-states. Wealthy merchants were active civic leaders.

Machiavelli observed city-state rulers of his day and produced guidelines for the acquisition and maintenance of power by absolute rule.


Florence, Venice, and Genoa

 Had access to trade routes connecting Europe with Middle Eastern markets

 Served as trading centers for the distribution of goods to northern Europe

 Were initially independent city-states governed as republics

Machiavelli’s The Prince

 An early modern treatise on government

 Supports absolute power of the ruler

 Maintains that the end justifies the means

 Advises that one should not only do good if possible, but do evil when necessary



Renaissance (15a,c,d)

Italian Renaissance (15c,d)

Northern Renaissance (15d)

Usury (15a)

Letters of credit (15a)

The Prince (15b)

End justifies the means (15b)

Mona Lisa (15b)

The Last Supper (15b)

Ceiling of Sistine Chapel (15b)

David (15c)

Humanism (15c)

Prominent (15c)

Patrons (15c)

Gutenberg Bible (15d)

The Praise of Folly (15d)

Utopia (15d)


Machiavelli (15b)

Da Vinci (15c)

Michelangelo (15c)

Petrarch (15c)

Gutenberg (15d)

Erasmus (15d)

Sir Thomas More (15d)

William Shakespeare (15d)


Florence (15b)

Venice (15b)

Genoa (15b)

Updated: May 17, 2018