It's true that the "Machiavel" became a common trope in English plays, largely due to the Prince, but Machiavelli wrote many other works than The Prince. His Discourses on Livy, in particular, deal with the tendencies of republican governments (which he favored) to decline over time due to corruption, a theme that remained prominent in republican political discourse for centuries. Many historians of political thought have argued that the Prince offers a way to provide stability in the face of corruption by defining virtue as basically raison d'etat. The republican strand of thought that Machiavelli embodies was influential on a generation of Americans, particularly James Madison. That doesn't mean it's not repressive, but that Machiavelli's thought is more complex, perhaps, than is often popularly portrayed.