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Federalist paper - Essay Example

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The Federalist Papers were a series of articles written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. Madison, widely recognized as the Father of the Constitution, would later go on to become President of the United States. Jay would become the first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court…
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Download file to see previous pages It was published on November 22, 1787, under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all the Federalist Papers were published. The essay is the most famous of the Federalist Papers and among the most highly regarded of all American political writings (qtd from Federalist No. 10 2005).
Federalist Paper No. 10 addresses the question of how to guard against "factions," groups of citizens with interests contrary to the rights of others or the interests of the whole community (Federalist No. 10 2005). Madison defines "factions" as 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, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community (Madison 1787). Madison begins his essay by arguing that a well-constructed Union can have the tendency to break and control the violence of faction. Moreover, he continues that instability, injustice, and confusion introduced into the public councils, have, in truth, been the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished as they continue to be the favorite and fruitful topics from which the adversaries to liberty derive their most specious declamations (Madison 1787).
Madison takes the position that there are two ways to limit the damage caused by faction: removing the causes of faction or controlling its effects. He contends that there are two ways to remove the causes that provoke the development of factions. One, the elimination of liberty, he rejects as unacceptable (Federalist No. 10 2005). The other, creating a society unified in view and interest, he sees as impractical because the causes of faction, among them variant economic interests, are inherent in a free society. Madison concludes that the damage caused by faction can be limited only by controlling its effects (Federalist No. 10 2005). He continues to argue that Liberty is necessary to its survival. Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. However, it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it breeds faction, than it would be to wish the extinction of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency (Madison 1787). As long as the connection subsists between man's reason and man's self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a give-and-take influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which the latter will connect themselves. The variety in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an undefeatable barrier to an equality of interests (Madison 1787). By controlling its effects in order to secure the public good and private rights against the danger of such a faction, and at the same time to preserve the spirit and the form of popular government, is then the great object to which our inquiries are directed (Madison 1787).
A republic, Madison writes, differs from a democracy in that its government is delegated to representatives, and because of this, it can be extended over a larger area. The fact that a republic can encompass larger areas and populations is strength of that form of government (Federal No. 10, 2005). Madison believes that larger societies will have a greater variety of diverse ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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