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The Federalist

Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay

❶Were he to have too great influence over one, this would alarm the rest.

Why Were the Federalist Papers Written?

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What Is Madison's Thesis in Federalist Paper Number 10?
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Shall domestic manufactures be encouraged, and in what degree, by restrictions on foreign manufactures? The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps, no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice.

Every shilling with which they overburden the inferior number, is a shilling saved to their own pockets. It is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests, and render them all subservient to the public good. Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. Nor, in many cases, can such an adjustment be made at all without taking into view indirect and remote considerations, which will rarely prevail over the immediate interest which one party may find in disregarding the rights of another or the good of the whole.

The inference to which we are brought is, that the causes of faction cannot be removed, and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its effects. If a faction consists of less than a majority, relief is supplied by the republican principle, which enables the majority to defeat its sinister views by regular vote.

It may clog the administration, it may convulse the society; but it will be unable to execute and mask its violence under the forms of the Constitution. When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens.

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. Let me add that it is the great desideratum by which this form of government can be rescued from the opprobrium under which it has so long labored, and be recommended to the esteem and adoption of mankind.

By what means is this object attainable? Evidently by one of two only. Either the existence of the same passion or interest in a majority at the same time must be prevented, or the majority, having such coexistent passion or interest, must be rendered, by their number and local situation, unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression.

If the impulse and the opportunity be suffered to coincide, we well know that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control. They are not found to be such on the injustice and violence of individuals, and lose their efficacy in proportion to the number combined together, that is, in proportion as their efficacy becomes needful.

From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual.

Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.

Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions. A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking.

Let us examine the points in which it varies from pure democracy, and we shall comprehend both the nature of the cure and the efficacy which it must derive from the Union. The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: The effect of the first difference is, on the one hand, to refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations.

Under such a regulation, it may well happen that the public voice, pronounced by the representatives of the people, will be more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves, convened for the purpose.

On the other hand, the effect may be inverted. Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the interests, of the people.

The question resulting is, whether small or extensive republics are more favorable to the election of proper guardians of the public weal; and it is clearly decided in favor of the latter by two obvious considerations:.

In the first place, it is to be remarked that, however small the republic may be, the representatives must be raised to a certain number, in order to guard against the cabals of a few; and that, however large it may be, they must be limited to a certain number, in order to guard against the confusion of a multitude. Hence, the number of representatives in the two cases not being in proportion to that of the two constituents, and being proportionally greater in the small republic, it follows that, if the proportion of fit characters be not less in the large than in the small republic, the former will present a greater option, and consequently a greater probability of a fit choice.

In the next place, as each representative will be chosen by a greater number of citizens in the large than in the small republic, it will be more difficult for unworthy candidates to practice with success the vicious arts by which elections are too often carried; and the suffrages of the people being more free, will be more likely to centre in men who possess the most attractive merit and the most diffusive and established characters.

It must be confessed that in this, as in most other cases, there is a mean, on both sides of which inconveniences will be found to lie. The greatest source of factions had always been the various and unequal distribution of property, said Madison:.

Those who hold, and those who are without property, have ever formed distinct interests in society. Those who are creditors, and those who are debtors,. The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern Legislation. The inference to which we are brought, is, that the causes of faction cannot be removed; and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its effects. Such effects could be better controlled in a large society under a representative form of government than in a small society under a popular form of government.

The proposed constitution would check the power of factions by balancing one against the other. Factious leaders might "kindle a flame" in one state, but would be unable to spread a general conflagration throughout the states.

He then describes the two methods to removing the causes of faction: After all, Americans fought for it during the American Revolution. The second option, creating a society homogeneous in opinions and interests, is impracticable.

The diversity of the people's ability is what makes them succeed more or less, and inequality of property is a right that the government should protect. Madison particularly emphasizes that economic stratification prevents everyone from sharing the same opinion. Madison concludes that the damage caused by faction can be limited only by controlling its effects.

He then argues that the only problem comes from majority factions because the principle of popular sovereignty should prevent minority factions from gaining power. Madison offers two ways to check majority factions: Madison states, "The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man", [19] so the cure is to control their effects.

He makes an argument on how this is not possible in a pure democracy but possible in a republic. With pure democracy, he means a system in which every citizen votes directly for laws, and, with republic, he intends a society in which citizens elect a small body of representatives who then vote for laws. He indicates that the voice of the people pronounced by a body of representatives is more conformable to the interest of the community, since, again, common people's decisions are affected by their self-interest.

He then makes an argument in favor of a large republic against a small republic for the choice of "fit characters" [20] to represent the public's voice. In a large republic, where the number of voters and candidates is greater, the probability to elect competent representatives is broader. The voters have a wider option. In a small republic, it would also be easier for the candidates to fool the voters but more difficult in a large one.

The last argument Madison makes in favor of a large republic is that as, in a small republic, there will be a lower variety of interests and parties, a majority will more frequently be found. The number of participants of that majority will be lower, and, since they live in a more limited territory, it would be easier for them to agree and work together for the accomplishment of their ideas.

While in a large republic the variety of interests will be greater so to make it harder to find a majority. Even if there is a majority, it would be harder for them to work together because of the large number of people and the fact they are spread out in a wider territory.

A republic, Madison writes, is different from a democracy because its government is placed in the hands of delegates, and, as a result of this, it can be extended over a larger area. The idea is that, in a large republic, there will be more "fit characters" to choose from for each delegate.

Also, the fact that each representative is chosen from a larger constituency should make the "vicious arts" of electioneering [21] a reference to rhetoric less effective. For instance, in a large republic, a corrupt delegate would need to bribe many more people in order to win an election than in a small republic. Also, in a republic, the delegates both filter and refine the many demands of the people so as to prevent the type of frivolous claims that impede purely democratic governments.

Though Madison argued for a large and diverse republic, the writers of the Federalist Papers recognized the need for a balance. They wanted a republic diverse enough to prevent faction but with enough commonality to maintain cohesion among the states. He notes that if constituencies are too large, the representatives will be "too little acquainted with all their local circumstances and lesser interests". No matter how large the constituencies of federal representatives, local matters will be looked after by state and local officials with naturally smaller constituencies.

The Anti-Federalists vigorously contested the notion that a republic of diverse interests could survive. The author Cato another pseudonym, most likely that of George Clinton [24] summarized the Anti-Federalist position in the article Cato no. Whoever seriously considers the immense extent of territory comprehended within the limits of the United States, with the variety of its climates, productions, and commerce, the difference of extent, and number of inhabitants in all; the dissimilitude of interest, morals, and policies, in almost every one, will receive it as an intuitive truth, that a consolidated republican form of government therein, can never form a perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to you and your posterity, for to these objects it must be directed: Generally, it was their position that republics about the size of the individual states could survive, but that a republic on the size of the Union would fail.

A particular point in support of this was that most of the states were focused on one industry—to generalize, commerce and shipping in the northern states and plantation farming in the southern.

The Anti-Federalist belief that the wide disparity in the economic interests of the various states would lead to controversy was perhaps realized in the American Civil War , which some scholars attribute to this disparity. The discussion of the ideal size for the republic was not limited to the options of individual states or encompassing union.

In a letter to Richard Price , Benjamin Rush noted that "Some of our enlightened men who begin to despair of a more complete union of the States in Congress have secretly proposed an Eastern, Middle, and Southern Confederacy, to be united by an alliance offensive and defensive".

In making their arguments, the Anti-Federalists appealed to both historical and theoretic evidence. On the theoretical side, they leaned heavily on the work of Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu. The Anti-Federalists Brutus and Cato both quoted Montesquieu on the issue of the ideal size of a republic, citing his statement in The Spirit of the Laws that:.

It is natural to a republic to have only a small territory, otherwise it cannot long subsist. In a large republic there are men of large fortunes, and consequently of less moderation; there are trusts too great to be placed in any single subject; he has interest of his own; he soon begins to think that he may be happy, great and glorious, by oppressing his fellow citizens; and that he may raise himself to grandeur on the ruins of his country.

In a large republic, the public good is sacrificed to a thousand views; it is subordinate to exceptions, and depends on accidents.

In a small one, the interest of the public is easier perceived, better understood, and more within the reach of every citizen; abuses are of less extent, and of course are less protected. Greece and Rome were looked to as model republics throughout this debate, [31] and authors on both sides took Roman pseudonyms. Brutus points out that the Greek and Roman states were small, whereas the U. He also points out that the expansion of these republics resulted in a transition from free government to tyranny.

In the first century of the American republic, No. For instance, in Democracy in America , Alexis de Tocqueville refers specifically to more than fifty of the essays, but No. News and World Report , No. The historian Charles A. Beard identified Federalist No. In his book An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States , Beard argued that Madison produced a detailed explanation of the economic factors that lay behind the creation of the Constitution.

At the outset of his study, Beard makes his point when he writes that Madison provided "a masterly statement of the theory of economic determinism in politics" Beard , p. Later in his study, Beard repeated his point, only providing more emphasis.

Douglass Adair attributes the increased interest in the tenth number to Charles A. Beard 's book An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution , published in Adair also contends that Beard's selective focus on the issue of class struggle , and his political progressivism , has colored modern scholarship on the essay.

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The Federalist No. 10 The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection (continued) Daily Advertiser Thursday, November 22, [James Madison].

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These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison. A Close Reading of James Madison's The Federalist No. 51 and its Relevancy Within the Sphere of Modern Political Thought.

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Section II: Advantages of Union: Federalist No. 10 (James Madison) Section II: Advantages of Union: Federalist No. 11 (Hamilton) This essay, the first of Madison's contributions to the series, was a rather long development of the theme that a well-constructed union would break and control the violence of faction, a "dangerous vice" in. This web-friendly presentation of the original text of the Federalist Papers (also known as The Federalist) was obtained from the e-text archives of Project Gutenberg. For more information, see About the Federalist Papers. No. Title. Author. Publication. Federalist No. 10 ||.

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Federalist Paper No. 10, written pseudonymously by James Madison in support of the new United States Constitution, is about how to guard the new government of the union against factions, or groups of citizens with special interests. It is one of 85 letters written by some of the Founding Fathers to. The Federalist Papers were a series of essays published in newspapers in and by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay to promote the ratification of the Constitution. The Federalist Papers, were a series of 85 essays written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison between October and May