The Prince embodies Machiavelli's response to the Italian crisis of disunity and foreign domination. Out of its pages, as George Bull put it in his introduction to the work, "strides the figure of the autocrat, the new man, ruthless, efficient, and defiant, the literary forerunner of the new monarchs of the sixteenth century."
Machiavelli's aim in the Prince is to tell the new rulers how to remain in power once they have gained it. The best way is to rule well. If this is not possible, then Machiavelli presents a variety of strategems for remaining in power. It is these which have given us the adjective "Machiavellian."