by Nicolo Machiavelli
Written c. 1505
Translated by W. K. Marriott
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How Many Kinds Of Principalities There Are And By What Means They Are Acquired
ALL STATES, all powers, that have held and hold rule over men have been and are either republics or principalities.
Principalities (territories) are either hereditary, in which the family has been long established; or they are new.
The new are either entirely new, as was Milan to Francesco Sforza, or they are, as it were, members annexed (taken possession of) to the hereditary state of the prince who has acquired them, as was the kingdom of Naples to that of the King of Spain.
Such dominions thus acquired are either accustomed to live under a prince, or to live in freedom; and are acquired either by the arms of the prince himself, or of others, or else by fortune or by ability.