Essay James Madison on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights

Essay James Madison on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights

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James Madison, an American statesman and political theorist that was present at the constitutional convention. Many of the ideas proposed by Madison are part of the reason that the Constitution has withstood the test of time. Madison was ultimately prepared to deal with one of the biggest problems this new government would face in his eyes, factions. Factions, which as defined by Madison are “a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority 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” (Madison 156). Madison addresses various ways that he sees factions can be cured of its mischiefs such as removing a faction’s causes and also controlling their effects. Madison points out that this is would potentially create an even bigger problem than the factions themselves by stating, “Liberty is to faction, what air is to fire, an ailment, without which it instantly expires” (Madison 156) Madison also stated that the way for a government to remove the cause of faction was either to destroy the liberty that causes factions to exist in the first place or to give every citizen the same beliefs and opinions. Madison deemed this impractical, because it is nearly impossible to give everyone in a given place the same opinions and destroying the liberty would take away the very thing that the colonies fought for 4 years earlier. The fact is Madison knew that the country wouldn’t be able to count on a well-educated statesman to be there any time a faction gets out of hand. Madison knew the only viable way to keep factions under control is not to get rid of factions entirely but to set a r...

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...his new nation we call home. Many look at Warren as a “Founding Mother” much like they look at James Madison as the “Father of the Constitution”. These figures helped mold the nation we call home into what it is today. If it wasn’t for James Madison being so well prepared going into the Constitutional Convention and Mercy Otis Warren for speaking out on problems she saw in the constitution, who knows the United States might have had a king instead of a president.

Works Cited

Madison, James, Federalist #10, in Michael P. Johnson, ed. Reading the American Past (Boston:
Bedford/ St. Martins, 2012): 155-160
Warren, Mercy, Observations of the New Constitution in Michael P. Johnson, ed. Reading the
American Past (Boston: Bedford/ St. Martins, 2012): 160-164
Morgan, Robert J. James Madison on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. New York:
Greenwood, 1988. Print.

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