The 10th Federalist

Topics: Democracy, Representative democracy, Direct democracy Pages: 2 (677 words) Published: September 14, 2008
In James Madison’s, The 10th Federalist, Madison believes that in a nation a larger republic is safer and more efficient than that of a smaller republic. James Madison answers the question of how to eliminate the negative effects of faction. He defines a faction as, “a number of citizens, whether amounting to a minority or majority of the whole, who are untied and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” Madison believes the most serious source of faction is the diversity of opinion in political life, which leads to dispute over fundamental issues such as what system of government or religion should be preferred. Madison states that, “A pure democracy can admit no cure for the mischief’s of faction. A common passion or interest will be felt by a majority, and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party. Hence it is, that democracies have ever been found incompatible with personal security of the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent.” He saw that direct democracy can and will be a danger to individual rights so he advocated a representative democracy (also known as a republic) in order to protect what he viewed as individual liberty from majority rule. He believes there are two ways to limit the damage caused by factions, one, remove the causes of faction and, two, control its effects. There are also two ways to remove the causes of faction: eliminate liberty, which he rejects as unacceptable, or create a society homogeneous in opinions and interests, which he believes is impracticable. Madison concludes that damage caused by faction cam be limited only by controlling its effects, but then he argues saying that the only problem comes form majority factions because the principle of popular sovereignty should prevent minority factions from gaining power. He...
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