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Federalist Papers Summary No. 10

Federalist No. 10

❶Does this advantage consist in the substitution of representatives, whose enlightened views and virtuous sentiments render them superior to local prejudices, and to schemes of injustice?

Federalist Essays No.10 - No.17

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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, first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended.

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 most favourable to the election of proper guardians of the public weal; and it is clearly decided in favour 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 constituents, and being proportionally greatest 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 practise 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. By enlarging too much the number of electors, you render the representative too little acquainted with all their local circumstances and lesser interests; as by reducing it too much, you render him unduly attached to these, and too little fit to comprehend and pursue great and national objects.

The federal constitution forms a happy combination in this respect; the great and aggregate interests, being referred to the national, the local and particular to the state legislatures. The other point of difference is, the greater number of citizens, and extent of territory, which may be brought within the compass of republican, than of democratic government; and it is this circumstance principally which renders factious combinations less to be dreaded in the former, than in the latter.

The smaller the society, the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and interests composing it; the fewer the distinct parties and interests, the more frequently will a majority be found of the same party; and the smaller the number of individuals composing a majority, and the smaller the compass within which they are placed, the more easily will they concert and execute their plans of oppression.

Extend the sphere, and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens; or if such a common motive exists, it will be more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength, and to act in unison with each other.

Besides other impediments, it may be remarked, that where there is a consciousness of unjust or dishonourable purposes, communication is always checked by distrust, in proportion to the number whose concurrence is necessary. Hence it clearly appears, that the same advantage, which a republic has over a democracy, in controling the effects of faction, is enjoyed by a large over a small republic.

Does this advantage consist in the substitution of representatives, whose enlightened views and virtuous sentiments render them superior to local prejudices, and to schemes of injustice? It will not be denied, that the representation of the union will be most likely to possess these requisite endowments. Does it consist in the greater security afforded by a greater variety of parties, against the event of any one party being able to outnumber and oppress the rest?

In an equal degree does the increased variety of parties, comprised within the union, increase this security. Does it, in fine, consist in the greater obstacles opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an unjust and interested majority?

Here, again, the extent of the union gives it the most palpable advantage. The influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular states, but will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other states: In the extent and proper structure of the union, therefore, we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government.

And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being republicans, ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit, and supporting the character of federalists. Carey and James McClellan Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, , Federalist 10 is part of a remarkable public discussion, spawned by the ratification debates, between Federalists and Antifederalists on the nature of republican government.

Many Antifederalists believed that the Constitution would lead to a large, consolidated nation and abolish the republican governments in the states, which in turn would lead to violations of the rights of citizens.

Madison turned that argument on its head by pointing out that in republican governments, in which the majority must rule, an all-powerful majority often sacrifices the natural rights of the minority to their own selfish interests. Tyranny was just as possible in republican governments as under monarchies; and smaller republics — that is, republics the size of the American states — were especially prone to the danger of majority faction. The paper itself suggests that the government must either limit the forming of factions or control their effects.

He says that the only ways to prevent the forming of factions are to eliminate liberty or to create a homogenous society, and since both are impossible, the government must choose to control the effects of the factions. In summary, Madison wrote Federalist Paper 10 to argue that a representative republic system will prevent factions from attaining too much power and going against the best interests of the public.

What is a summary of Federalist 10? Related Questions What did the authors of The Federalist believe in? Read the study guide:. Begin typing the name of a book or author: Madison believed that the problem was not with the Articles, but rather the state legislatures, and so the solution was not to fix the articles but to restrain the excesses of the states.

The principal questions before the convention became whether the states should remain sovereign, whether sovereignty should be transferred to the national government, or whether a settlement should rest somewhere in between. Madison's nationalist position shifted the debate increasingly away from a position of pure state sovereignty, and toward the compromise.

September 17, marked the signing of the final document. By its own Article Seven , the constitution drafted by the convention needed ratification by at least nine of the thirteen states, through special conventions held in each state. Anti-Federalist writers began to publish essays and letters arguing against ratification, [7] and Alexander Hamilton recruited James Madison and John Jay to write a series of pro-ratification letters in response.

It was first printed in the Daily Advertiser under the name adopted by the Federalist writers, "Publius"; in this it was remarkable among the essays of Publius, as almost all of them first appeared in one of two other papers: Considering the importance later ascribed to the essay, it was reprinted only on a limited scale. On November 23, it appeared in the Packet and the next day in the Independent Journal.

Outside New York City, it made four appearances in early Though this number of reprintings was typical for The Federalist essays, many other essays, both Federalist and Anti-Federalist, saw much wider distribution.

On January 1, , the publishing company J. McLean announced that they would publish the first 36 of the essays in a single volume. This volume, titled The Federalist , was released on March 2, George Hopkins' edition revealed that Madison, Hamilton, and Jay were the authors of the series, with two later printings dividing the work by author.

In , James Gideon published a third edition containing corrections by Madison, who by that time had completed his two terms as President of the United States. Dawson's edition of sought to collect the original newspaper articles, though he did not always find the first instance. It was much reprinted, albeit without his introduction. The first date of publication and the newspaper name were recorded for each essay.

Of modern editions, Jacob E. Cooke's edition is seen as authoritative, and is most used today. Hamilton there addressed the destructive role of a faction in breaking apart the republic.

The question Madison answers, then, is how to eliminate the negative effects of faction. Madison defines a faction as "a number of citizens, whether amounting to a minority or majority of the whole, who are united 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".

At the heart of Madison's fears about factions was the unequal distribution of property in society. Ultimately, "the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property," Madison argues Dawson , p. Since some people owned property and others owned none, Madison felt that people would form different factions that pursued different interests.

Providing some examples of the distinct interests, Madison identified a landed interest, a manufacturing interest, a mercantile interest, a moneyed interest, and "many lesser interests" Dawson , p. They all belonged to "different classes" that were "actuated by different sentiments and views," Madison insists Dawson , p. In other words, Madison argued that the unequal distribution of property led to the creation of different classes that formed different factions and pursued different class interests.

Moreover, Madison feared the formation of a certain kind of faction. Recognizing that the country's wealthiest property owners formed a minority and that the country's unpropertied classes formed a majority, Madison feared that the unpropertied classes would come together to form a majority faction that gained control of the government.

Against "the minor party," there could emerge "an interested and overbearing majority," Madison warns Dawson , p. Specifically, Madison feared that the unpropertied classes would use their majority power to implement a variety of measures that redistributed wealth. There could be "a rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project," Madison warns Dawson , p. In short, Madison feared that a majority faction of the unpropertied classes might emerge to redistribute wealth and property in a way that benefited the majority of the population at the expense of the country's richest and wealthiest people.

Like the anti-Federalists who opposed him, Madison was substantially influenced by the work of Montesquieu, though Madison and Montesquieu disagreed on the question addressed in this essay. He also relied heavily on the philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment , especially David Hume , whose influence is most clear in Madison's discussion of the types of faction and in his argument for an extended republic. Madison first assessed that there are two ways to limit the damage caused by faction: 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.

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The Federalist Papers study guide contains a biography of Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

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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.

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This paper is considered an important document in American history for it lays out how the writers of the constitution defined the form of government that would protect minority rights from organized and united factions that intended to pass legislation injurious to the liberty of the minority or detrimental to the good of the country. Federalist 10 is part of a remarkable public discussion, spawned by the ratification debates, between Federalists and Antifederalists on the nature of republican government.

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Federalist Paper 10 is one of the most popular and recognizable of the collection. It is one of history's most highly praised pieces of American political writing. The paper itself was written by James Madison for the collection of papers arguing for the ratification of the United States Constitution. Summary of Federalist Paper 10 of The Federalist Papers 10 and Get a line-by-line breakdown of this section of the text to be sure you're picking up what The Federalist Papers 10 and 51 is putting down.