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How Madison Proposes to Solve the Problem of Factions - Essay Example

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The Federalist #10 Introduction While today the United States Constitution represents one of the most significant documents in the country’s history, it was through the philosophical and intellectual efforts of individuals such as James Madison that ensured it was adopted…
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How Madison Proposes to Solve the Problem of Factions
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"How Madison Proposes to Solve the Problem of Factions"

Download file to see previous pages In response to these challenges Madison proposed a number of solutions. This essay considers Madison’s proposed solutions to the problem of factions, and considers how the contemporary legislative branch of government comports to these Madison’s insights. How Madison Proposes to Solve the Problem of Factions There are a number of means by which James Madison proposes to solve the problem of factions. He begins this discussion by first indicating that are two major ways that the causes of factions can be removed; in these regards, he states, “the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests” (Madison). He continues his discussion indicating that in removing the first faction would be a sincere travesty, as liberty is as important as air. In regards to the second method of eliminating faction, he indicates that while this might be the preferred approach, it is entirely impracticable. In these regards, Madison’s main contention is that the essence of factions are so deep-rooted into the souls of humanity and the fabric of the nation that removing them is warranted next to impossible. While Madison indicates that removing the causes of factions is impossible, he argues that in dealing with factions they must be managed and controlled with knowledge of the general human motivation that underlies their existence. For Madison, the problem then becomes structuring this managing of governing body in a way that preserves the rights of individuals that may not currently be in majority power. While it is easy to consider the nature of a pure democracy in these regards, it’s clear that Madison is indicating such a governing structure based on majority vote would ultimately result in factions and subsequent violence. Madison also indicates that it is impossible to simply rely on an enlightened leader to manage this form of factional structure, as it will result in them ultimately capitulating to majority concerns. Through acknowledging the impossibility of a pure democracy, Madison goes on to consider the aspects of the democractic structure that fail to address factionalism and the means by which these problems can be amended. In these regards, Madison proposes a Republic. Within the Republic structure, Madison indicates that an appropriate number of representatives will be appointed to guard against factional interests of the majority. As a wide-variety of citizens will be voting on the potential representatives, Madison argues that it will be much more difficult for these representatives to resort to treachery that oftentimes becomes individuals of power. In these regards, Madison gives great consideration to the proportion of representatives to the number of electors, as, “enlarging too much the number of electors, you render the representatives too little acquainted with all their local circumstances and lesser interests; as by reducing it too much, you render him unduly attached to these, and too little fit to comprehend and pursue great and national objects” (Madison). He argues that the proposed Constitution presents a powerful articulation of this ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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