james madison Essay

james madison Essay

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James Madison begins his famous federalist paper by explaining that the purpose of this essay is to help the readers understand how the structure of the proposed government makes liberty possible. Each branch should be, for the most part, in Madison's opinion, independent. To assure such independence, no one branch should have too much power in selecting members of the other two branches. If this principle were strictly followed, it would mean that the citizens should select the president, the legislators, and the judges. But, the framers recognized certain practical difficulties in making every office elective. In particular, the judicial branch would suffer because the average person is not aware of the qualifications judges should possess. Judges should have great ability, but also be free of political pressures. Since federal judges are appointed for life, their thinking will not be influenced by the president who appoints them, or the senators whose consent the president will seek.
Madison furthers, the members of each branch should not be too dependent on the members of the other two branches in the determination of their salaries. The best security against a gradual concentration of power in any one branch is to provide constitutional safeguards that would make such concentration difficult. The constitutional rights of all must check one man's personal interests and ambitions. We may not like to admit that men abuse power, but the very need for government itself proves they do, "if men were angels, no government would be necessary." Unfortunately, all men are imperfect, the rulers and the ruled. Consequently, the great problem in framing a government is that the government must be able to control the people, but equally important, must be forced to control itself. The dependence of the government on the will of the people is undoubtedly the best control, but experience teaches that other controls are necessary.
Dividing power helps to check its growth in any one direction, but power cannot be divided absolutely equally. In the republican form of government, the legislative branch tends to be the most powerful. That is why the framers divided the Congress into two branches, the House of Representatives and the Senate, and provided for a different method of election in each branch. Further safeguards against legislative tyranny may be neces...


... middle of paper ...


...ports: Partition of powers
Each Department
·     Should have a will of its own
·     Thus members of each should have little to do with appointments of members of the other
·     Member of each should be as little dependent as possible of the others for the emoluments annexed to their offices.

In framing a government
1.     government needs to control the governed
2.     government needs to control itself

Each department should have different amounts of self-defense because some departments need it more than others.
Ex. Repersentative government legislative huge – divided into subgroups.

Two considerations:
·     Single - All the power surrendered by the people is submitted to the administration of a single government. Compound – power first divided by two distinct governments and then each portion subdivided among separate departments.
·     Guard society not only of oppression of its rulers, but also injustice of the other part. Need to guard minorities.
Keeps people from just electing someone on a whim.

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