AP World History Question 51: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 51

1. Which of the following best characterizes the author's attitude in the passage?

  • A. Cynicism about the loyalty of a ruler's subjects
  • B. Optimism about the fair-mindedness of political leaders
  • C. Criticism of the religious establishment
  • D. Ambivalence about the future of his economic prospects

Correct Answer: A


In the passage, Machiavelli states that "this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous." Because people are disloyal to their rulers, according to this line of thinking, it is better for rulers to be feared than to be loved (so as to ensure obedience). Thus, (A) is the best answer.