Federalist No. 10 and No. 51 by James Madison Essay

Federalist No. 10 and No. 51 by James Madison Essay

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Federalist No. 10 and No. 51 were a series of essays written by James Madison, arguing for the ratification of the U.S Constitution. Before the ratification, the Articles of Confederation only bounded the thirteen colonies, uniting them as military alliance rather than a cohesive government. The central government lacked authority; the national government could not collect taxes or force states to comply with their laws. The lack of a strong central government made it difficult for states to operate effectively as one single nation. The state legislatures had too much power under the Articles, so Madison’s goal was to restrain the power of the states. Madison, Jay, and Hamilton, wrote the Federalist Papers to encourage the citizens to support the ratification of the Constitution. Federalist No.10 and No. 51 are highly regarded in comparison to the rest of the essays. Federalist No.10 is the introduction to Madison’s contributions of the series. Madison addresses the question of "factions" and disastrous effect to our liberties. Madison argues that a strong and large republic would best control the effects of factions, rather than a smaller republic. Madison also argues for representation in government rather than direct democracy. With delegates, the passions of the people would-be filtered, and only the ideas that are good for the majority of the people would prevail. Madison expands his argument in Federalist No.10 by having three separate branches of government, the judicial, legislative, and executive. Each branch would be independent and have equal power. Madison also notes that people are fundamentally flawed, so government needs to be able to control their passions. Madison states, “If men were angels, no government would b...


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...diverse republic, where it would be difficult for factions to gain majority power. However, Madison knew that to large of a republic would lead to a country with no cohesion among its states. Madison notes that if the republic would get too large, their representatives would take little notice of local issues. In federalist 10, Madison states that Federalism would solve the problem of a large republic. Madison argues that no matter how large constituencies of representatives in the federal government, state and local officials will look after local matters. These local officials will have smaller constituencies, which will take care of any local problems that may arise. In federalist 51, Madison continues his argument of federalism, stating that federalism is supposed to protect liberty; by making sure one department or branch of government does not grow to large.

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