The environment people live in influences people’s thought that forms with this environment. Machiavelli and Bodin had influenced on their own environment. Both of them had lived after medieval age, and they coincided same periods. Somewhere they think same, somewhere they think different. When we made comparison between Machiavelli and Bodin, I think that we will understand the period they live in and forms of their thoughts better.

First of all, According to Machiavelli, national army must be set up, and prince must do whatever it takes with consent of people or not for to set up national army. Machiavelli’s basis purpose in Prince was to establish state, but Bodin’s purpose was continuity of state. Purpose of Machiavelli was to ensure unity. On the other hand, Bodin thinks to, ‘I already ensured unity and thinks how I continue’.

According to Machiavelli, the most important and basis purpose is to keep state alive, and to increase power of state continuously. Every tool is innocence to realize this purpose, but Bodin objects understanding of ‘everything is permissible road to purpose.’ In Bodin’s opinion, virtue and morals are universal things, not relevant with beliefs. In the other words, he tries to close religious gap of state with virtue and morals. Shortly, state should been managed with trueness. Bodin claims that, every road is not permissible, and people should follow the rules. If this objectivity is provides, anybody do not ask ‘why do you manage?’ The state should be connective in here.

Law and morals are unthinkable without state. When state ended, law and moral will ended. There are law and morals for state. After medieval age, when principalities start to inosculation, some races, religions and sects were starting to live in same border. How does the state coexist without classification? Catholics and Protestants should feel being on their own state, so equal distance against religions and sects is important. According to Machiavelli, ıf state resists a nation, it can take sufficient power from nation. Church should not be against state or over state. Bodin thinks like Machiavelli, but he claims some thoughts of Machiavelli and Monarchs indecently, and he thinks that these thoughts will demolish the state.

Bodin claims that, potency of the state is permanent, but kings are temporary. Bodin bases family, therefore he had seen state as total of small families. Machiavelli’s difference from other thinkers in Medieval Age is to separate political thought from religious and ethical rules. The person who gives up doing what he is supposed to do for the sake of what is supposed to happen is bound to vanish.

Finally, Machiavelli and Bodin lived in same period, but thoughts of them are different because while Machiavelli only defeats wealth of the state, Bodin had defeated wealth and continuity of the state. As I mention above, Bodin had criticized thought of Machiavelli somewhere, on the other hand, Bodin had touched on virtue and morals. To sum up, Machiavelli and Bodin’s thoughts are very important to understand nation state.


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Yusuf Taner KILAVUZ

Istanbul Medeniyet University, Faculty of Political Science, Department of International Relations. [email protected]


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Küçük Çamlıca Mahallesi, Filiz Sokak, No:3