An analysis of factions in federalist 10 by james madison

The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern Legislation.

To remove the causes of faction, there are only two options: destroy the liberty that allows for differences of opinion or give every citizen the same opinions, passions, and interests. He will not fail, therefore, to set a due value on any plan which, without violating the principles to which he is attached, provides a proper cure for it. By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community. It will be found, indeed, on a candid review of our situation, that some of the distresses under which we labor have been erroneously charged on the operation of our governments; but it will be found, at the same time, that other causes will not alone account for many of our heaviest misfortunes; and, particularly, for that prevailing and increasing distrust of public engagements, and alarm for private rights, which are echoed from one end of the continent to the other. On the theoretical side, they leaned heavily on the work of Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu. They wanted a republic diverse enough to prevent faction but with enough commonality to maintain cohesion among the states. The solution is not to be found in direct democracy, Madison warns. In fact, the theory he advocated at Philadelphia and in his Federalist essays was developed as a republican substitute for the New Yorker's "high toned" scheme of state. Federalist 10 written by Madison is perhaps the best known of the essays. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions. The effect of the first difference is, on the one hand, to refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations. But Madison's greatness as a statesmen rests in part on his ability to set his limited personal experience in the context of the experience of men in other ages and times, thus giving extra insight to his political formulations. For instance, in Democracy in America , Alexis de Tocqueville refers specifically to more than fifty of the essays, but No. Instead, large republics are governed by fleeting and loosely adhering majorities. He argued in his "Notes on Confederacy," in his Convention speeches, and again in Federalist 10 that if an extended republic was set up including a multiplicity of economic, geographic, social, religious, and sectional interests, these interests, by checking each other, would prevent American society from being divided into the clashing armies of the rich and the poor.

Also, in a republic, the delegates both filter and refine the many demands of the people so as to prevent the type of frivolous claims that impede purely democratic governments. Given the nature of man, factions are inevitable. The second was to give everyone the same opinions, passions, and interests.

The rich and poor, creditors and debtors, have different interests from one another.

Federalist papers

Also ask them to identify areas where they do not overlap with their fellow classmates. In a large republic, where the number of voters and candidates is greater, the probability to elect competent representatives is broader. Government must not only protect the conflicting interests of property owners but must, at the same time, successfully regulate the conflicts between those with and without property. And what are the different classes of legislators but advocates and parties to the causes which they determine? Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy, and we shall comprehend both the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from the Union. Madison defines factions as groups of people who gather together to protect and promote their special economic interests and political opinions. Majority faction, then, is the biggest threat to popular government. Although these factions are at odds with each other, they frequently work against the public interest, and infringe upon the rights of others. Madison offers two ways to check majority factions: prevent the "existence of the same passion or interest in a majority at the same time" or render a majority faction unable to act. Factious leaders might "kindle a flame" in one state, but would be unable to spread a general conflagration throughout the states. Later, when the people of Rome began to mistrust him for flaunting his power and riches by building his home on a well-known landmark, he tore down his house and rebuilt it on lower lands. If the framers had abolished the state governments, the opponents of the proposed government would have a legitimate objection. The Scot casually demolished the Montesquieu small-republic theory; and it was this part of the essay, contained in a single page, that was to serve Madison in new-modeling a "botched" Confederation "in a distant part of the world. The government created by the Constitution controls the damage caused by such factions.

Instead, large republics are governed by fleeting and loosely adhering majorities. This, as he stated in Federalist 10, would provide a "republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government.

what are factions

Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. How might a potential tyrant or ambitious politician play on these similarities and differences?

James madison federalist papers

Here, again, the extent of the Union gives it the most palpable advantage. This volume, titled The Federalist, was released on March 2, Either the existence of the same passion or interest in a majority at the same time must be prevented, or the majority, having such coexistent passion or interest, must be rendered, by their number and local situation, unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression. The immediate object of the constitution is to bring the present thirteen states into a secure union. It could never be more truly said than of the first remedy, that it was worse than the disease. Those who are creditors, and those who are debtors, fall under a like discrimination. When Madison made this prophecy, the accepted opinion among all sophisticated politicians was exactly the opposite. Men of greater ability and talent tend to possess more property than those of lesser ability, and since the first object of government is to protect and encourage ability, it follows that the rights of property owners must be protected. Men who are members of particular factions, or who have prejudices or evil motives might manage, by intrigue or corruption, to win elections and then betray the interests of the people. Under such a regulation, it may well happen that the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people, will be more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves, convened for the purpose. It was David Hume's speculations on the "Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth," first published in , that most stimulated James Madison's' thought on factions. The question Madison answers, then, is how to eliminate the negative effects of faction. A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it; in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district, than an entire State.

In this essay Hume disclaimed any attempt to substitute a political utopia for "the common botched and inaccurate governments which seemed to serve imperfect men so well. This makes it more difficult for the candidates to deceive the people. Madison defines factions as groups of people who gather together to protect and promote their special economic interests and political opinions.

Madison defines a faction as "a number of citizens, whether amounting to a minority or majority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community".

The smaller the society, the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and interests composing it; the fewer the distinct parties and interests, the more frequently will a majority be found of the same party; and the smaller the number of individuals composing a majority, and the smaller the compass within which they are placed, the more easily will they concert and execute their plans of oppression.

Federalist no 10 pdf

In an equal degree does the increased variety of parties comprised within the Union, increase this security. Buy Study Guide Summary Madison begins perhaps the most famous of the Federalist papers by stating that one of the strongest arguments in favor of the Constitution is the fact that it establishes a government capable of controlling the violence and damage caused by factions. Is a law proposed concerning private debts? The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps, no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice. Students should do a quick scan of their part of the document with a highlighter, pen, or pencil in hand. This, as he stated in Federalist 10, would provide a "republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.
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Federalist Papers No. 10