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Machiavellism

Political cunning and overreaching by diplomacy, according to the pernicious political principles of Niccolo del Machiavelli, of Florence, set forth in his work called The Prince. The general scope of this book is to show that rulers may resort to any treachery and artifice to uphold their arbitrary power, and whatever dishonourable acts princes may indulge in are fully set off by the insubordination of their subjects.

(1469-1527.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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