Why was Machiavelli cruel  in his writing of The Prince?

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He wasn't necessarily cruel but he did address that cruelty is a form of fear-causing strategy that would help a Principality maintain its power without drawing hatred from the people, which would be its downfall.

As far as the purpose under which he wrote The Prince, he was really making a statement of the state of affairs at the time of a very disbanded Italy, and as a plea to the new ruler to unify it. He did follow a specific pattern in telling his thesis, where he describes how principalities come to power, and how they fall apart, how the importance of a good military implies the presence of a good legal dynamic in the nation, and so on.

In all, his ideas were some crude as far as instilling fear as a mean of respect, yet, some were quite acceptable such as instilling the respect of the people to maintain power.

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