Wills, G. (Ed.). (1982). Introduction. The Federalist papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay. (pp. vii – xxiv). New York: Bantam.
In today 's government political parties are a large part of government operations and how decisions are made in the government. In Madison 's The Federalist, No.10 Madison talked about how factions can control and cause harm to the government. A solution to this control was the use of a republic in order to limit the power of factions and keep them from having complete control. In our government however, factions have become a major part of the government system with political parties having complete control over the different branches of government. The use of this two political party system creates many problems within our government as the two parties fight for control over legislature and control over the government. Despite using a republic system as Madison mentions in his paper, factions continue to control and affect our government today. Madison 's views on government branches also affects our government today. Our government being in branches does help our government from being affected by corruption by each branch being independent from each other. These independent branches help prevent corruption by each branch having independent leadership and control and not being affected by the views of each other. At the same time these branches having unique views and control can lead to problems as the branches of government may not be able to interact properly with
In Federalist No. 10, James Madison stresses that “measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.” Madison philosophized that a large republic, composed of numerous factions capable of competing with each other and the majority must exist in order to avoid tyranny of majority rule.# When Federalist No. 10 was published, the concept of pluralism was not widely used. However, the political theory that is the foundation for United States government was the influential force behind pluralism and its doctrines.
Looking back in history (1781-1787) at the debate over ratification of the Constitution we can see that the making of the constitution was a long drawn out battle between the federalists and the Anti-Federalists. There were concerns as to the inherent weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation, such as the lack of action during Shay’s Rebellion, the issue over taxation, as well as the problematic consensus required by all states to change any one of the Articles. There was a fear that if given too much power the executive leader would become like the king they had just fought a revolution to free themselves from. This fear of giving too much power to a centralized government was what made the Articles so weak. The purpose of this paper is to examine the two sides of the debate of constitutional ratification, The Federalists (and the Federalist papers) as well as the Anti-Federalists (and the Anti-Federalist Papers) and look at their influence on the Constitution. By comparing the essentials of The Constitution as well as The Articles of Confederation we will be able to see the differences between the two. These differences will show us not only the weaknesses of the Articles but the strength of the new constitution. A second objective, where possible make what “if” statements as to what would have happened if the Articles were not replaced, and the Constitution was not written.
To Madison, there are only two ways to control a faction: one, to remove its causes and the second to control its effects. The first is impossible. There are only two ways to remove the causes of a faction: destroy liberty or give every citizen the same opinions, passions, and interests. Destroying liberty is a "cure worse then the disease itself," and the second is impracticable. The causes of factions are thus part of the nature of man and we must deal with their effects and accept their existence.
To the opponents of the Constitution, many warning signs of potential despotism were visible in the proposed government -- the sole power of taxation, the lack of protection of freedoms, the formation of a large military force, the dissolving of states' powers, and above all, the concentration of powers in the hands of a few. It is this last issue that seemed to be of greatest concern to the anti-Federalists, and logically so, because all other powers and laws prescribed by the Constitution were to be interpreted and e...
... could gain more power than the other-because the powers was distributed equally among the three branches of government; Executive, Legislative and Judicial- to overthrow the government. Some commentators on American political thought argue that the American political tradition is an inter-play between the Federalist and Anti-federalist perspectives. This means that both federalists and antifederalists brought up critical points when they were revising the Articles of Confederation. All political perspectives are relating to either one of them. Sometimes, the Federalists’ ideas prevail over the antifederalists’, and vice versa. Therefore, we can say that almost all of the political view can trace its’ origin back to one of these two group and we can see that sometimes one groups idea may succeed over the other, we can also say that this maybe the origin of debates.
In “Federalist #10”, Madison describes the dangerous effects that factions can have on Republican government and on its people. Madison defines a faction as a group of citizens who unite under a shared cause, and work against other groups in order to achieve their means. Their means of achieving their goals may achieve adverse effects upon the rights of other citizens. Put in more modern terms, a faction could be reasonably compared to a special-interest group. The sort of faction that most endangers the liberty inherent in United States society are factions that contain a majority of the whole. The weakness of a popular government is its susceptibility to the effects of factions. However, a well-constructed Union provides numerous advantages, and its ability to break and control factions is its most important and vital to the success of the Union. Factions arise due to the nature of man to be moved by different opinions and passions. Men will be diverse in their opinions as well as their social and economic classes, and just by the mere presence of dividing classes will factions arise. By means of factions, legislative measures are often decided by an overbearing majority, with little or no regard for others who do not share their interests. Protecting against factions will protect those in the minority, and ensure that the public good is served.
In Madison’s work of Federalist No. 10, he identifies factions were a problem. He views them as “a dangerous vice”, but at the same time saw factions as a necessary evil. He mentions that “The regulation of these various and interfering interest forms the principal task of modern legislation; and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of government.” Here Madison states that factions, opposed in spirit to democratic ideals, spreading “unsteadiness and injustice” which are actually necessary for the function of a representative government. Throughout his paper, Madison explains how pure democracy wouldn’t be able to work, because it had “no cure for the mischief of faction.” He believed that this type of government will give so much power to the majority that it was doomed to fail. He sounded very confident that the new constitution would work. He believed of having a representative and a republic system. He had no doubt in mind that new constitution would be the end of the states embarrassment to the world. Madison saw democracy not as an ideal but something that could be modified to be fitted.
In Madison's Federalist 10, it is evident that he was not in favor of the formation of factions. He states, "…The public good is often disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties…" Madison made the point that the dangers of factions can only be limited by controlling its effects. He recognized that in order to abolish political parties from the government completely, liberty would have to be abolished or limited as well. For this reason, the government had to accept political parties, but it did not have to incorporate them into being a major part of the government. He says that the inclination to form factions is inherent, however the parties effectiveness can be regulated. If the party is not majority than it can be controlled by majority vote. Madison believed that in the government established by the Constitution, political parties were to be tolerated and checked by the government, however the parties were never to control the government. Madison was absolutely convinced that parties were unhealthy to the government, but his basic point was to control parties as to prevent them from being dangerous.
While the government of the United States owes its existence to the contents and careful thought behind the Constitution, some attention must be given to the contributions of a series of essays called the Federalist Papers towards this same institution. Espousing the virtues of equal representation, these documents also promote the ideals of competent representation for the populace and were instrumental in addressing opposition to the ratification of the Constitution during the fledgling years of the United States. With further reflection, the Federalists, as these essays are called, may in turn owe their existence, in terms of their intellectual underpinnings, to the writings of the philosopher and teacher, Aristotle.
Next, Madison explains the reasons why unequal distribution of property leads to factions. Under the liberal society, people can freely practice their own faculties and experiment of life. Because people make decisions based on their reasoning and self-interest, they will focus on what is beneficial to them. When a group of people come together because they have the same interest, it becomes a faction. According to Madison’s writing “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… (Page 63)” He believes the unequal distribution of property will divide people into different group and eventually lead citizens to factions. Moreover, because faction is made by people who hold sim...
In Federalist Paper Number 10, Madison sees Factions as being inevitable. Humans hold differing opinions and are all living under different circumstances, and are likely to group together with those most like themselves. Some groups of people will attempt to work together to benefit themselves even if it goes against public interests and even if it infringes upon the rights of others. In the Federalist Paper Number 10, Madison feared that Factions could be detrimental to the common good and in order to minimize the effects and control the effects of Factions, the best form of government would be a large republic. According to Madison, to minimize the negative consequences of Factions, they must either be controlled or the causes of Factions must be removed. Since he describes the causes of Factions being the different interests and living conditions between individuals, it can be argued that this solution is not very feasible. It would be impossible to make sure every single person makes the same amount of money, has the same goals, and even goes through similar life experiences. The greatest source of Factions, the deepest and biggest cause of Factions, according to Madison, is the unequal distribution of property. The acquisition of property or lack of property creates class divisions the foster differing interests. Since it is not possible to
According to the Federalists in the early stages of the American republic, a strong central government was necessary to provide uniform supervision to the states thus aiding in the preservation of the Union. This necessity for a more organized central government was a result of the ineffectiveness of the Article of Confederation’s government that was without a unifying government body. One component of this philosophy was the creation of an executive and other federal branche...
During the construction of the new Constitution, many of the most prominent and experienced political members of America’s society provided a framework on the future of the new country; they had in mind, because of the failures of the Articles of Confederation, a new kind of government where the national or Federal government would be the sovereign power, not the states. Because of the increased power of the national government over the individual states, many Americans feared it would hinder their ability to exercise their individual freedoms. Assuring the people, both Alexander Hamilton and James Madison insisted the new government under the constitution was “an expression of freedom, not its enemy,” declaring “the Constitution made political tyranny almost impossible.” (Foner, pg. 227) The checks and balances introduced under the new and more powerful national government would not allow the tyranny caused by a king under the Parliament system in Britain. They insisted that in order achieve a greater amount of freedom, a national government was needed to avoid the civil unrest during the system under the Articles of Confederation. Claiming that the new national government would be a “perfect balance between liberty and power,” it would avoid the disruption that liberty [civil unrest] and power [king’s abuse of power in England] caused. The “lackluster leadership” of the critics of the new constitution claimed that a large land area such as America could not work for such a diverse nation.