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Troops assisting from foreign lands were even less reliable because mere words created even weaker ties than money.Auxiliary troops could easily be bribed or persuaded to join the enemy.
, that strong central political leadership was more important than anything else, including religion and moral behavior.
Machiavelli, writing during a period of dramatic change known as the Italian Renaissance, displayed attitudes towards many issues, mostly political, which supported his belief that strong government was the most important element in society.
Mercenaries and auxiliaries were often as dangerous as the enemy itself.
They are "disorganized undisciplined, ambitious and faithless" wrote Machiavelli about hired troops, because "they have no tie of devotion, no motive for taking the field except for their meager pay." The problem with the use of mercenaries was that a lack of money could lead to their raiding the hiring nation for loot or being hired by an enemy that could offer more money.
He witnessed the corrupt popes of Rome attempting to gain power just as the wealthy families did.
These events and people left impressions on him that would become recommendations for strong, ruthless, central government in his writings.
He goes onto say that "Nothing so much honors a man newly come to power as the new laws and new ordinances he brings into being." If a prince is able to create and enforce new laws that bring good, then he will be known as a capable ruler.
There is, however, a flip side; if a ruler cannot create beneficial laws he is quickly labeled unworthy of his position.
To retain control of a city is much more difficult than acquiring control of a city according to Machiavelli.
After a city is acquired, there are three ways of keeping control of it, "the first is to destroy it, the second is to go there in person, and the third is...