February 2, 2009
The complaints Madison points out are â€œthat 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.â€ In Madison's view these complaints have foundation and they cannot be denied.
â€œBy 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, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.â€
The two methods are â€œdestroying the liberty which ...view middle of the document...
â€œTheoretic 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.â€
No he say, â€œEnlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.â€
â€œIf 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.â€
â€œThe 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.â€
â€œHence, 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 republicâ€
â€œand consequently should be so constituted that the members of each should have as little agency as possible in the appointment of the members of the others.â€
â€œAmbition must be made to counteract ambition.â€ â€œThe interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government.â€
â€œthe legislative authority necessarily predominates.â€
â€œIn a single republic, all the power surrendered by the people is submitted to the administration of a single government; and the usurpations are guarded against by a division of the government into distinct and separate departments.â€
â€œThe second method will be exemplified in the federal republic of the United States.â€