18 August 2010
Federalist Paper # 51
James Madison begins his paper stating that he believes that each branch of the government should be independent from one another. If possible the branches would have as little agency with one another as possible. He believed that members from the different branches of the government should not be able to appoint each other or decide on other salaries. If these rules were followed the people would be in more control of the government by picking the best representative in each branch of the government. Madison and the Framers realized that every position couldn’t be elective because of political pressures and certain needed qualifications, such as in the judicial branch.
Madison further states that, “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.’ Meaning you must create checks and balances to keep one man or groups interests from deviating from the constitutional purpose of that branch. We may not like to admit that men abuse power, but the very need for government itself proves they do, "if men were angels, no government would be necessary." The interest of the man must be connected to that of the constitution. While the checks and balances previously mentioned are in place in a republican government the legislative branch is always larger and more powerful than the other two. By dividing the legislative branch into lower ( House of Representatives) and upper (Senate) branches the possible abusive of power is a lot less likely.
Madison concedes that justice and representation are the purpose of the government it not only guard against oppression by the rulers but also by the people. It’s the governments job to protect the minorities and establish a “community will.” This “will’ will be independent from the majority and help keep the factions from controlling the country.
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