Federalist Papers Essay

Submitted By horneb03
Words: 1170
Pages: 5

Three of the Founding Fathers of the United States wrote a group of articles addressed to the people of New York. James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton wrote these from 1787 to 1788, in order to encourage the ratification of the United States Constitution. The Federalist Papers, as they became known, were a series of eighty-five articles, seventy-seven of which were published in The New York Packet and The Independent Journal. “Federalist No. 10” and “Federalist No. 51” were written by Madison, and arguably remain to be the most significant comments made about the ratification of the Constitution. In these articles, he showed how the government of the nation, if it were set up by the Constitution of the United States, would benefit the individuals by protecting their rights, without becoming too powerful and balancing itself.
In “Federalist No. 10”, Madison continued on the topic from “Federalist No. 9”, the fears of factions. Madison defined a faction as an amount of citizens, majority or minority, which are combined by some common interest or passion. Factions put the liberties of others at risk, and could influence the government as they wished. He stated that many believed the majority was overbearing and decisions were made unjustly, causing the government to be unstable. He presented two ways of fixing the wrong doings of factions: one, by eliminating the causes and two, by managing the effects. He also offered two methods of ridding the causes. The first was to demolish liberty, which in his eyes was fundamental, and the second, by giving all citizens similar passions, interests, and beliefs. Liberty was essential to political life, but went hand in hand with faction. Men were at liberty to exercise their reasons; therefore, various opinions would of course be formed. The concepts of liberty and diversity were the most important part of defending liberty in the first place.
Men, who are imperfect human beings, made up factions and were unable to keep themselves in check, especially if these factions were able to rise with little notice. Madison believed a direct democracy could not cure the problems of factions. He defined this type of democracy as a society which consisted of a small amount of people who gathered and directed the government. He put his trust into a republic, defining it as a government where the method of representation took place, discussed various views, and supplied the people with the cure of the problem(s). Madison believed his ideas for a republic would offset the risk of small factions because the republic would merely out vote them. For a larger faction, he believed by having absolute rights defined in the Constitution, along with the system of Federalism put into place, no faction would have been able to overpower those whom do not have the same opinions. Madison then backed up why he felt the republic was the most superior type of government.
He made note of how electing the sensible to represent would allow those chosen to differentiate between the real interests of the nation, and not give into momentary considerations caused by emotions or outward forces. To protect civil liberties, he pointed out that a large republic would keep any single group from uniting greatly throughout the country to push their interests on the government. With a small government, it would have been rather easy for an undesirable passion to pass through a majority. However, with a larger government, the passion would have to go through a much larger number of members to become a majority. The rights and liberties of minorities would be lost and unprotected in a direct democracy. Therefore, he was able to show people that through a republic, the rights of all groups would be secured through compromise.
“Federalist No. 51” dealt with worries about how to divide the power amongst the three branches of government so that a single branch would not become too dominant. He talked of how the separation…