Federalist 10













Federalist Papers—85 essays in defense of the proposed Constitution and published in New York City newspapers between October 1787 and May 1788 under the pseudonym “Publius.” They were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay and were originally titled The Federalist

The Case for the Large Republic In Federalists 9 and 10, Publius directly challenged the Anti-Federalists’ preference for small republics. In the former, Publius made the telling point that when Montesquieu argued for small republics, he had in mind political communities much smaller even than most of the American states. Thus, if Montesquieu was right, Americans would have to choose between monarchy and, as Publius colorfully put it, “splitting ourselves into an infinity of little, jealous, clashing, tumultuous commonwealths, the wretched nurseries of unceasing discord and the miserable objects of universal pity or contempt. Genuine small republics were not a realistic option in the United States. Publius also argued that the historical record of republican governments, whatever their size, was rather dismal. Ever since the ancient world, republics had been unstable and torn apart by disorder and revolutions. Even in the new state governments established after independence, self-interested majorities too often undermined “the public good,” ignored “the rules of justice,” and violated “the rights of the minor party.” The “great object” before the American people was to “secure the public good and private rights against the danger of . . . a [majority] faction, and at the same time to preserve the spirit and the form of popular government.” This issue was the focus of Madison’s famous argument in Federalist 10, Wherever there is freedom, people will have different opinions concerning religion and government, will attach themselves to different leaders, and will have conflicting interests because of the different types and amount of property they own. They form groups based on these opinions and interests, and sometimes these groups take actions “adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.

Madison believed that property differences were “the most common and durable source of factions.” Some have a lot of property; others have little or none. Some are creditors who lend money; others are debtors. Some are farmers; others make their living through manufacturing or trade. The problem in a republican government is that legislators may see themselves as advocates of a particular interest and pass laws that advance that interest in a way that unfairly harms others or undermines the good of the whole country. Unfortunately, according to Madison, “neither moral nor religious motives” will generally keep an interested majority from acting unjustly. What, then, is the solution? The key, Madison maintained, was to have a large republic, which had two great advantages over a small one. First, in large republics the actual governing is done by representatives elected by the people. The framers hoped that elected representatives would use their “wisdom,” “patriotism,” and “love of justice” to “refine and enlarge the public views.” The resulting laws would better promote the public good than if the people had made them directly. For this reason, representative democracies are preferable to direct democracies. Also, large representative democracies are better than small ones because they are more likely to have a sufficient number of “fit characters” to serve in the legislature.

The other advantage of a large territory is that it can take in a greater diversity of groups and interests, making it unlikely that a majority of citizens would share an unjust desire or be able to act upon it. As Madison elaborated in Federalist 51, “the society itself will be broken into so many parts, interests and classes of citizens, that the rights of individuals, or of the minority, will be in little danger from interested combinations of the majority.” Thus, it is not so much republican virtue that keeps the majority from acting unjustly as it is the sheer number and variety of groups within the society and the logistical difficulties of fashioning a majority for some sinister end. Madison believed that majorities devoted to just ends would have an easier time of it than those with unjust goals: “a coalition of a majority of the whole society could seldom take place on any other principles than those of justice and the general good.” But he did not completely rule out unjust majorities; for to say that they would “seldom” occur is not to say that they would never occur. Although Madison extolled the benefits of a large republic, he also recognized the importance of the states in the new system. The Constitution did not establish a single consolidated republic but a federal system in which the states retained substantial powers (see especially the next chapter). As Publius explained in Federalist 39, the jurisdiction of the new national government “extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignty over all other objects.” Nonetheless, everyone understood that the states would be less powerful under the Constitution than they had been under the Articles of Confederation.

To the People of the State of New York:

AMONG the numerous advantages promised by a well-constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction. The friend of popular Governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate, as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice. He will not fail, therefore, to set a due value on any plan which, without violating the principles to which he is attached, provides a proper cure for it. The instability, injustice, and confusion introduced into the public councils, have, in truth, been the mortal diseases under which popular Governments have everywhere perished; as they continue to be the favorite and fruitful topics from which the adversaries to liberty derive their most specious declamations. The valuable improvements made by the American Constitutions on the popular models, both ancient and modern, cannot certainly be too much admired; but it would be an unwarrantable partiality, to contend that they have as effectually obviated the danger on this side, as was wished and expected. Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith, and of public and personal liberty, that our Governments are too unstable; that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties; and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice, and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority. However anxiously we may wish that these complaints had no foundation, the evidence of known facts will not permit us to deny that they are in some degree true. It will be found, indeed, on a candid review of our situation, that some of the distresses under which we labor have been erroneously charged on the operation of our Governments; but it will be found, at the same time, that other causes will not alone account for many of our heaviest misfortunes; and, particularly, for that prevailing and increasing distrust of public engagements, and alarm for private rights, which are echoed from one end of the continent to the other. These must be chiefly, if not wholly, effects of the unsteadiness and injustice, with which a factious spirit has tainted our public administrations.

By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to 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.


There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction: the one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects.

There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests.

It could never be more truly said than of the first remedy, that it was worse than the disease. Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.

The second expedient is as impracticable, as the first would be unwise. As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which the latter will attach themselves. 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. The protection of these faculties is the first object of Government. From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results; and from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors, ensues a division of the society into different interests and parties.

The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man; and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of activity, according to the different circumstances of civil society. A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning Government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for preëminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other, than to coöperate for their common good. So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions, and excite their most violent conflicts. But the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold, and those who are without property, have ever formed distinct interests in society. Those who are creditors, and those who are debtors, fall under a like discrimination. A landed interest, a manufacturing interest, a mercantile interest, a moneyed interest, with many lesser interests, grow up of necessity in civilized nations, and divide them into different classes, actuated by different sentiments and views. The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern Legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the Government.

No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause; because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity. With equal, nay with greater reason, a body of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time; yet what are many of the most important acts of legislation, but so many judicial determinations, not indeed concerning the rights of single persons, but concerning the rights of large bodies of citizens? and what are the different classes of Legislators, but advocates and parties to the causes which they determine? Is a law proposed concerning private debts? It is a question to which the creditors are parties on one side and the debtors on the other. Justice ought to hold the balance between them. Yet the parties are, and must be, themselves the judges; and the most numerous party, or, in other words, the most powerful faction, must be expected to prevail. Shall domestic manufactures be encouraged, and in what degree, by restrictions on foreign manufactures? are questions which would be differently decided by the landed and the manufacturing classes; and probably by neither, with a sole regard to justice and the public good. The apportionment of taxes on the various descriptions of property is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps, no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party, to trample on the rules of justice. Every shilling, with which they overburden the inferior number, is a shilling saved to their own pockets.

It is in vain to say, that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests, and render them all subservient to the public good. Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm: Nor, in many cases, can such an adjustment be made at all, without taking into view indirect and remote considerations, which will rarely prevail over the immediate interest which one party may find in disregarding the rights of another, or the good of the whole.

The inference to which we are brought is, that the causes of faction cannot be removed; and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its effects.

If a faction consists of less than a majority, relief is supplied by the republican principle, which enables the majority to defeat its sinister views by regular vote. It may clog the administration, it may convulse the society; but it will be unable to execute and mask its violence under the forms of the Constitution. When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular Government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens. To secure the public good, and private rights, against the danger of such a faction, and at the same time to preserve the spirit and the form of popular Government, is then the great object to which our inquiries are directed: Let me add, that it is the great desideratum, by which this form of Government can be rescued from the opprobrium under which it has so long labored, and be recommended to the esteem and adoption of mankind.

By what means is this object attainable? Evidently by one of two only. Either the existence of the same passion or interest in a majority, at the same time, must be prevented; or the majority, having such coexistent passion or interest, must be rendered, by their number and local situation, unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression. If the impulse and the opportunity be suffered to coincide, we well know that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control. They are not found to be such on the injustice and violence of individuals, and lose their efficacy in proportion to the number combined together; that is, in proportion as their efficacy becomes needful.

From this view of the subject, it may be concluded, that a pure Democracy, by which I mean a Society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the Government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of Government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party, or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is, that such Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives, as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of Government, have erroneously supposed, that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.

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 more favorable to the election of proper guardians of the public weal; and it is clearly decided in favor 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 greater 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 representatives 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 Fœderal 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 dishonorable 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 controlling the effects of faction, is enjoyed by a large over a small Republic,—is enjoyed by the Union over the States composing it. Does the 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: A religious sect may degenerate into a political faction in a part of the Confederacy; but the variety of sects dispersed over the entire face of it, must secure the National Councils against any danger from that source; A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union, than a particular member of it; in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district, than an entire State.

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 Fœderalists.

PUBLIUS.



commentary


Faction= groups with shared interests or views which may be adverse to the interest of the majority or oppressive to a minority.: He describes factions as a vice.


Madison begins perhaps the most famous essay of The Federalist Papers by stating that one of the strongest arguments in favor of the Constitution is the fact that it establishes a government capable of controlling the violence and damage caused by factions.

Popular Governments=those chosen by elections

The danger of factions are used by those who oppose popular government (liberty) to ague falsely (speciously) that it can not work

The constitution (Articles of Confederation) made valuable improvements on previous form of popular government but have not ended the danger of factions.




Our current government is too unstable and this is because of factions.



Factions lead to division and argument, instability and bad government.


Both supporters and opponents of the plan are concerned with the political instability produced by rival factions. The state governments have not succeeded in solving this problem; in fact, the situation is so problematic that people are disillusioned with all politicians and blame the government for their problems. Consequently, any form of popular government that can deal successfully with this problem has a great deal to recommend it.






Madison defines factions as groups of people who gather together to protect and promote their special economic interests and political opinions. Although these factions are at odds with each other, they frequently work against the public interest and infringe upon the rights of others.


Madison say he will decribe two methods of solving the problem of factions.


First remove the causes of factions-the first cause is liberty. Take away freedom and factions are snuffed out. The second cause is differences of opinion so make everyone believe the same thing.

So no factions in N Korea...

But this cure is worse than the disease.


Freedom gives life to politics





Given the nature of man, factions are inevitable. People will always have different opinions.

People are lead by their emotions (passions) and form opinions which align with these passions.


As long as men hold different opinions, have different amounts of wealth, and own different amounts of property, they will continue to form factions.

It is natural that people have different abilities which will mean some will be rich- ie own property and some will be poor. Government should protect these differences since inequality is natural but it will result in a division of interests in society





He sums up the argument so far: human nature means that differences of opinion on religion and politics are inevitable

These will form factions around leaders and will conflict with other factions`








Both serious and trivial reasons account for the formation of factions, but the most important source of faction is the unequal distribution of property. Men of greater ability and talent tend to possess more property than those of lesser ability, and since the first object of government is to protect and encourage ability, it follows that the rights of property owners must be protected. Property is divided unequally, and, in addition, there are many different kinds of property. Men have different interests depending upon the kind of property they own. For example, the interests of landowners differ from those of business owners. Governments must not only protect the conflicting interests of property owners but also must successfully regulate the conflicts between those with and without property.



























Madison first theorizes that there are two ways to limit the damage caused by faction: either remove the causes of faction or control its effects. He then describes the two methods to remove the causes of faction: first, destroying liberty, which would work because "liberty is to faction what air is to fire", but it is impossible to perform because liberty is essential to political life, just as air is "essential to animal life." After all, Americans fought for it during the American Revolution. To destroy liberty or give every citizen the same opinions, passions, and interests. Destroying liberty is a "cure worse then the disease itself," and the second is impracticable. The causes of factions are thus part of the nature of man, so we must accept their existence and deal with their effects. The government created by the Constitution controls the damage caused by such factions.

The framers established a representative form of government: a government in which the many elect the few who govern. Pure or direct democracies (countries in which all the citizens participate directly in making the laws) cannot possibly control factious conflicts. This is because the strongest and largest faction dominates and there is no way to protect weak factions against the actions of an obnoxious individual or a strong majority. Direct democracies cannot effectively protect personal and property rights and have always been characterized by conflict.


Madison particularly emphasizes that economic stratification- rich, poor, property owners and tenants- debtor and creditors. prevents everyone from sharing the same opinion. Men fall out over religion and politics but the root cause is economic inequality.










Madison's view of humanity ( the nature of man) is that they are easily subject to arguments, animosities and perceived injustices which lead them to form groups and resent other groups. The nature of man is frivolous and divisive- easily prone to unfriendly passions and violent conflicts. Link to Liberalism- The State: A necessary evil





So these difference are inevitable therefore Madison concludes that the damage caused by faction can be limited only by controlling its effects.











Human being can not be trusted to be unselfish

see liberal views on egotistical Individualism




If the new plan of government is adopted, Madison hopes that the men elected to office will be wise and good men,­ the best of America. Theoretically, those who govern should be the least likely to sacrifice the public good for temporary conditions, but the opposite could happen. Men who are members of particular factions or who have prejudices or evil motives might manage, by intrigue or corruption, to win elections and then betray the interests of the people. However, the possibility of this happening in a large country, such as the United States, is greatly reduced. The likelihood that public offices will be held by qualified men is greater in large countries because there will be more representatives chosen by a greater number of citizens. This makes it more difficult for the candidates to deceive the people. Representative government is needed in large countries, not to protect the people from the tyranny of the few, but rather to guard against the rule of the mob.

In large republics, factions will be numerous, but they will be weaker than in small, direct democracies where it is easier for factions to consolidate their strength. In this country, leaders of factions may be able to influence state governments to support unsound economic and political policies ­as the states, far from being abolished, retain much of their sovereignty. If the framers had abolished the state governments, then opponents of the proposed government would have had a legitimate objection.

The immediate object of the constitution is to bring the present thirteen states into a secure union. Almost every state, old and new, will have one boundary next to territory owned by a foreign nation. The states farthest from the center of the country will be most endangered by these foreign countries; they may find it inconvenient to send representatives long distances to the capital, but in terms of safety and protection, they stand to gain the most from a strong national government.

Madison concludes that he presents these previous arguments because he is confident that many will not listen to those "prophets of gloom" who say that the proposed government is unworkable. For this founding father, it seems incredible that these gloomy voices suggest abandoning the idea of coming together in strength—after all, the states still have common interests. Madison concludes that "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."





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: prevent the "existence of the same passion or interest in a majority at the same time" or render a majority faction unable to act. Madison concludes that a small democracy cannot avoid the dangers of majority faction because small size means that undesirable passions can very easily spread to a majority of the people, which can then enact its will through the democratic government without difficulty.









Madison states, "The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man", 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 (direct democracy), and, with republic, he intends a society in which citizens elect a small body of representatives who then vote for laws (representative democracy). 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" 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. Even if there is a majority, it would be harder for them to work together because of the large number of people and the fact they are spread out in a wider territory.

A republic, Madison writes, is different from a democracy because its government is placed in the hands of delegates, and, as a result of this, it can be extended over a larger area. The idea is that, in a large republic, there will be more "fit characters" to choose from for each delegate. Also, the fact that each representative is chosen from a larger constituency should make the "vicious arts" of electioneering (a reference to rhetoric) less effective. For instance, in a large republic, a corrupt delegate would need to bribe many more people in order to win an election than in a small republic. Also, in a republic, the delegates both filter and refine the many demands of the people so as to prevent the type of frivolous claims that impede purely democratic governments.

Though Madison argued for a large and diverse republic, the writers of the Federalist Papers recognized the need for a balance. They wanted a republic diverse enough to prevent faction but with enough commonality to maintain cohesion among the states. In Federalist No. 2, John Jay counted as a blessing that America possessed "one united people—a people descended from the same ancestors, the same language, professing the same religion".[23] Madison himself addresses a limitation of his conclusion that large constituencies will provide better representatives. He notes that if constituencies are too large, the representatives will be "too little acquainted with all their local circumstances and lesser interests".[22] He says that this problem is partly solved by federalism. No matter how large the constituencies of federal representatives, local matters will be looked after by state and local officials with naturally smaller constituencies.