Federalist Papers Essay, Research Paper
1. The Federalist #10, Madison’s problems with factions.
According to Madison, a faction is a number of citizens, whether a majority or a minority 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.
The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. Different opinions concerning religion, concerning Government, speculation of practice, an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for power, unequal distribution of property, creditors vs. debtors, all will contribute to the creation of factions. Their interests bias their judgments. The most powerful fraction will prevail over the lesser ones by regular vote. When a majority is included in a faction, both public good and the rights of other citizens will be sacrificed to the faction’s ruling passion or interest.
2. The Federalist #51:Madison’s suggestions for the separation of powers and the federal system.
According to Madison, separation of powers is essential to liberty. Each department should have a will of its own. The members of each should have as little influence in the appointment of the members of the others. The same authority should make legislative offices appointments for the supreme executive, judiciary. Especially in the judiciary department, a mode of choice should be selected, which best secures these qualifications, ad, because of the office for life part, there should be no dependence on the authority given to them. Members of each department should be as little dependent as possible on those of the others. Those who govern each department should be given the necessary constitutional means, and personal motives, to resist encroachments of the others.
The government should be enabled to control the governed as well as control itself. In a federal system, the legislative authority dominates, so it should be divided into different branches, which are elected through different modes and different principles of action. The executive branch should be strengthened by an absolute negative. In such republic, all the power surrendered by the people, should be submitted to administration of a single government; and usurpations are guarded against by a division of the government into district and separate departments. The government should guard the society not only against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other party as well. Create a community independent of the majority – the society itself. While authority in it will be derived for and dependent on the society, the society itself will be broke into so many parts, interest and classes that the rights of individuals or of the minority will be in little danger form interested combinations of the majority. The security for civil rights must be the same as for religious rights.