A prince in a conquered country must place colonies and garrisons, especially in the strongest places, to chase away the natural and old inhabitants thereof. (The Prince, chapter 3)
The best remedy to conserve a newly conquered country or province is to erect colonies, placing strangers there, and from thence banishing all the prince’s ancient and natural inhabitants. For by that means the prince should keep that country with a small charge, without troubling the country with great garrisons, only injuring those he expels from those places to make room for new inhabitants. And as for those who are chased away, he need not fear them, for they will be but some small portion of the inhabitants of that province, who remaining poor and exiled shall from thenceforth be little able to hurt. And as for those who shall be left in peace, it is likely that they will enterprise nothing, fearing by their rebellion to procure a banishment also to themselves as the others have. For men must be tamed by a certain kindness, either in not soiling or altogether discouraging those left in the province; or else he ought to utterly destroy and impoverish them all, as in chasing away and exiling the inhabitants of those places where he will establish colonies. For injuries done to a man ought to be executed in such sort that they may not be subject to fear of vengeance. The Romans knew well how to observe this maxim, sending colonies to all the nations which they vanquished, by the means of which colonies they held the most feeble in their weakness, not suffering them to gather strength; and they also weakened the power of those who were great and most eminent.
The distinction of the property of the goods of this world, whereby every man ought to be master and assured possessor of his own, has been introduced by the law and right of nature, which wills that to every man be yielded what belongs to him; or else by the right of the nations, which all comes to one end. This distinction of property maintains the commerce and traffic among men; it entertains buying and selling, permutations, loans, and such like, which are the bonds of all human society. And if the distinction of property is not maintained in the world, all commerce is destroyed, and all society decayed and resolved. For although some poets and philosophers praise the community of goods, remembering us of that golden world of Saturn, yet it is plainly evident to all people of judgment that communism induces and brings a carelessness, idleness, discord, and confusion into the commonwealth, as learnedly Aristotle demonstrates in his Politics. Therefore it is very necessary that the natural right therein be observed, and every man be maintained in the enjoyment of his own goods, and that to every man be rendered that which is his own. This right ought to be so observed that it is not lawful for the prince to break or violate it, because by reason of natural right it is inviolable, and none can derogate from it. And hereunto agrees the divine right, whereby it is showed to us, that king Ahab ought not to take away the vineyard from Naboth his subject. And hereunto also accord the rules of civil right, whereby it is said that the natural right and the right of nations are inviolable, in such sort that the civil right neither can nor ought to derogate anything from them.
Hereby therefore is seen the absurdity and manifest iniquity of this maxim of Machiavelli, who counsels a prince, as soon as he has conquered a new country, to dispossess the masters and right owners of their goods, in towns and places where he knows it to be expedient to make himself strong; and to place there other new masters and possessors of his own nation, in place of those who are dispossessed and banished. For if the prince uses this maxim, certain it is, first that he violates the right and law of nature, which he ought not do; secondly, he acquires the enmity of the inhabitants of that new conquered country, which may be a means to deject him from all. For in the love of subjects and in their voluntary obedience lies the firmness and assurance of a prince’s estate, as we shall speak in another place. It is folly to allege that there will be no malcontents but those who are driven away. For Machiavelli says those who remain in the country will be satisfied because they abide still; but I say it is folly to think so. For certainly, people fear what they see happen to their neighbors; and further, not only our own losses engender in us discontentment, but also others’ losses, as of our parents, friends, allies, yea, of those not joined to us with any other bond than of our own country, tongue, or religion, although in all these there is a distinction of more and less. Thirdly, those whom the prince chases from their possessions and goods will ever be so deadly enemies that all their lives they will leave no stone unturned to have right and vengeance of such injustice done against the law of nature. And the prince has no cause to think they cannot hurt him because they are poor banished people; for it is certain that there is no little enmity but will be hurtful. Of how small a beginning did Sertorius arise? He was but a simple Roman gentleman, without authority and means; yet with certain troops of barbarians, trained as well as he could, he possessed a good part of Spain. The Romans sent against him Metellus, with a great host, which could do nothing to him; they were forced to send Pompey with an army, whom Sertorius braved, calling him the little apprentice of Silla. And it appeared that if Sertorius had not been slain by his own people, he would sooner have overcome Pompey than Pompey him. Yet Sertorius was a simple soldier, who had neither silver nor treasure; he had no authority to command, neither did any obey him against their will. Spartacus was also but a poor slave, who escaped from his master, gathered together a great number of people and made strong war upon the Romans, who he vanquished many times. But for Pompey and Crassus, with great armies greatly busied to hinder his designs, he would have made himself master of Italy. And was not Cleon another poor slave, yet he gathered an army of 70,000 other slaves, wherewith he almost took all of Sicily? And Viriatus was but a shepherd on the mountains of Spain, and gathering together a great number of shepherds and thieves, he made infinite work for the Romans. Yet in the end certain Roman captains who were sent against him, otherwise unable to overcome him, caused him traitorously to be slain. This the Senate found not good, but greatly blamed those captains who overcame by such villainous means. After Viriatus was slain, his people did not disband, but made full war upon the Romans; the Romans were constrained to give them in appeasement the territory of Valencia in Spain; and so they were satisfied, and gave over their arms. Of late memory, Philibert de Chaton, prince of Orange, Antony de Leva, Andrew Doria, the Marquis of Mantua, and many others whereof we have spoken in other places, revolted against Francis I and did him more hurt than all the forces of the emperor Charles V; yet they were no great lords in comparison with the king. Therefore he who is a wise prince will estimate no enemy to be petty and little, but will guard himself from justly offending any man, fearing lest by that means he procure enemies. For enmities will come too fast on a man, before he looks for them.
As for what he says, that the Romans had colonies in countries which they conquered; they did it not to serve for fortresses in that country, as Machiavelli says, but to disburden the city of Rome of their too great a multitude of people, who were still stirring up rebellions and seditions in the town; as in the time of the consulship of Marcus Valerius and Quintus Apuleius. The town, says Livy, was brought to a great quiet and tranquility by discharging it of a great part of the common people, by deduction of colonies. When they were sent into any country that the Romans had conquered, the public and common fields were divided among them; yet the old inhabitants were not chased away, neither were their goods taken from them, but only mingled with the Romans’ goods, who dwelled with them in their towns and houses. The Romans also set up colonies as a multiplication of their race, but not to serve them for fortresses in conquered countries. And that it was so appears because they did not erect colonies in all the countries they conquered, not even in the strongest places, but rather in the amplest, fattest, and most fertile places. These said colonies also were no more faithful unto them than other subjects, but often rebelled, as was seen after the battle that the Romans lost at Cannes against Hannibal. For then twelve Roman colonies revolted and entered league with Hannibal. And it is commonly seen that citizens transported into other countries immediately degenerate, taking the manners and conditions of the country, as came to pass in the towns of Alexandria in Egypt, Seleucia in Syria, and Babylon in Parthia, which were colonies of the Macedonians; and to the town of Tarentum, a colony of the Lacedaemonians. All these towns straight despoiled them of the manners, natures, and original generosity of their nation, and they became as soft, effeminate, and cowardly as those into whose countries they removed.
A great and memorable calamity fell to Philip King of Macedonia, by removing to other places the natural inhabitants of the maritime and sea towns of his country. This king, fearing to enter into war with the Romans, because many of his neighbors complained of him to the Senate of Rome, thought it good to stand upon his guard; and distrusting the inhabitants of towns near the sea, he took away their natural inhabitants and gave them land in Emathia to dwell in, and in their places planted the inhabitants of Thrace, in whom he trusted. This caused in all Macedonia a great discontentment, for to their great grief everyone saw their ancient poor dislodged, carrying their children on their shoulders, weeping and lamenting their calamities and making execrations and imprecations against the king, that it might happen to the king and his race to be driven from his kingdom. The king being advised of this universal murmur began to distrust every man, and especially the children of certain gentlemen who he had killed. And he feared that the said children, making use of the people’s discontent, would attempt some enterprise against him; therefore he determined to kill the children of the slain gentlemen, for his better assurance. Theoxena, the widow of Herodicus, a great lord who was slain by the king, resolved rather to kill her children than that they should come into the hands and power of the king. So she resolved to save herself and them at Athens, and yet if the worst fell, she provided good swords and poisons. After she had embarked with her children toward Athens, she was followed by another boat of the king’s people, and when she saw that they rowed with great diligence to the bark wherein she was, said: “Lo, my children, you have now no other means to shun the tyranny of king Philip but death, which you may see (showing the swords and poison), choose which you had rather die on, either on sharp whetted swords, or to swallow this poison; let the eldest show themselves most hardy and courageous.” This exhortation persuaded so much, that they slew themselves, some with swords, some with poison. Then she caused them all to fall into the water, even when they yet had breath, and cast herself in after them. The king’s people joined to the bark, but they found it empty of the people they looked for. The cruelty of this fact added a new flame of envy and evil will towards the kin, so that it seemed to everyone that they heard the infernal furies preparing themselves to bring upon the king and his race the imprecations which all the world made against him. And indeed it came to pass, by the just judgment of God, that as this poor woman had caused her own children to die, so Philip made to die by poison his lawful son Demetrius, a prince of exceeding great towardness, by the false accusation of Perseus, his bastard son. After some time, this king having discovered that by a false accusation he had murdered his own son, he would have disinherited Perseus; and being continually tormented with the shadow and resemblance of his son Demetrius, which his conscience always brought before his eyes, he died desperately, detesting and execrating that wicked Perseus. Perseus, then his only son, who remained to succeed him in his kingdom, after a few years’ reign was taken prisoner by the Romans, and led in a triumph to Rom, where he miserably died in a prison. So the imprecations and curses which poor people, chased from their country and goods by the king, poured out against him and his race, fell upon him and his. Is this not an example to make the hairs stand upright on princes’ heads, when men persuade them to dispossess natural inhabitants of their country and goods? Yet at this day there are too many Machiavellians who say it is good to chase away the natural inhabitants of France, or at least from certain places and corners, and to people them with some race that is good, faithful, and loyal, as Italians and Lombards. But what wants there of an Italian colony at Lyons? A great part of the inhabitants are Italians, and other people of the country conform themselves little by little to their actions, behaviors, manner of life, and language; scarcely shall you find any so vile or paltry an artisan but will study to speak Italian. For these magnificent Machiavellians will give no countenance, nor willingly hear any but those who use their own language; by that means seeking to bring credit both to themselves and their tongue. The towns also of Paris, Marseille, Grenoble, and many others of France, are they not full of Italians?