Many historians believe federalist Paper 10 to be the most important of all the Federalist Papers and one of the most important American documents of all. Whether or not this true, Federalist Paper 10 does illustrate a very sagacious point James Madison was trying to get through to all of us. Namely, this point is that factions have the potential of ruining any government and bringing down any country. In order to prevent this he favored a Republican form of government over one that was purely Democratic.
Here are 2 versions of Federalist Paper Number 10. You could call it “Federalist Paper 10 Then and Now.” Instead of posting this important document and and trying to explain it paragraph by paragraph or sentence by sentence, we posted the full original version word by word as written by James Madison and followed it with what we feel is an identical thesis only written in 2012 language. We hope you and enjoy it and we hope it helps bring to you a better upstanding of the message James Madison was trying to convey all his fellow Americans, like you and me, over 220 years ago.
America is at a great crossroad in its history and if all Americans understood Federalist Paper 10, we will undoubtedly save ourselves from the demise our ingniorance may be leading us to. Reading this document requires deep thought and concentration. We suggest you don’t short change this great piece of
literary genius. Whether you decide to read the first version, the second version or both, try not to just scan through it and dismiss it. Read it, re-read it savor it and slowly digest. Doing so will do a great service to your country.
First, here is the original Federalist Paper Number 10.
FEDERALIST No. 10
(The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and
From the Daily Advertiser.
Thursday, November 22, 1787.
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, adversed to the rights of
other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the
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
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 pre-eminence 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 co-operate 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
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
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
two 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 practice 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
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 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 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 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 Federalists.
Here is Federalist Paper Number 10 written in 2012 language,
To the People of the State of New York:
Needless to say, the citizens of our country will benefit greatly if we construct its government in a way that will insure its stability and at the same time the liberty for everyone for countless generations to come. An important part of accomplishing this goal is making sure our government will naturally limit the discord and violence that can potentially be spurred on by the development different factions within a country.
When witnessing all the forms of governments that have come and gone and even those that still stand throughout the world, we find nothing is more destructive and even fatal to a country than the effect of factions developing within its borders. Therefore, as we plan our new form of government, it is of utmost importance we do so while considering the dangers of factions.
We must bear in mind factions alone can take down a government; even one that strives to provide freedom and liberty to each of its citizens. We know many governments throughout the ages have perished because of them. This is true due to the fact instability; injustice and confusion can all be caused by factions.
Also, very important to note is the fact the citizens of countries whose governments have collapsed have been left in great peril while suffering many hardships such as famine and extreme poverty as a result. Sadly, dictators, czars and other adversaries to liberty talk positively about the benefits of strengthening factions because they realize individual freedoms are jeopardized by them. They recognize those who have the ability to organize these factions are the ones who benefit most as these organizers tend to wrest control from the masses while allocating this power to themselves.
America’s state constitutions show an improvement to the most popular forms of governments both ancient and modern. However, even these documents leave room for the formations of factions. We would certainly hope a way to eradicate their development would be possible while forming a constitution of the Union of the states.
Complaints are heard even from our most considerate and virtuous citizens who wholly endorse individual freedom, that our governments are too unstable and that rules have been made so as to favor the party having superior force and not by the principles of true justice. Remedying this situation will be the ultimate mandate of the new Union’s constitution. When constructed properly, law could not be decided by the overwhelming force of the majority while leaving behind the rights of an innocent individual who happens to either stand alone or be greatly outnumbered.
Even though we wish these complaints of injustice had no basis, after thorough examination we find they have merit. Because of the growing mistrust and the constant demand for the safekeeping of private rights, many times it is implied an overstepping or poorly working government is to blame for every problem that occurs. However, it is often splintered groups forming inside the government itself who are sympathetic or somehow beholden to certain factions which drive the injustices.
A faction, in short, is a number of citizens united by a common impulse, passion or interest that is in opposition to the equal rights of one or some other citizens or to the good of the community as a whole. A faction can be a large number of people; indeed even the majority of the people or a very small number of people or any number of people between these two extremes.
There are two possible methods of preventing mischief from factions. One method is to remove any cause that may bring about a faction, while the other is to restrain any effect a faction may have.
There are two methods of removing anything that may cause a faction. One would be to destroy the liberty which is essential to its existence while the other is to force everyone to share the same opinions, passions and interests. Of course the first remedy is worse than the disease. Liberty is to faction the same as oxygen is to fire. Without oxygen, a fire cannot exist. Without liberty, faction could not exist, either. However, starving the country’s population of liberty is as undesirable as it would be to starve the population of oxygen.
The second method of preventing factions, forcing everyone to share the same opinions, passions and interests, is as impractical as the first method is repulsive. As long as man continues to be fallible, he should be at liberty to exercise this human condition. People will form different opinions and these opinions will tend to flame their passions and their passions will serve to make their opinions stronger.
Since people tend to have many different interests and abilities, it is foolhardy to believe everyone could come to the same conclusion on very many issues. There will always be those who want to own property and those who will not. Likewise there will always be people who want to rise to the top of the business sphere and those who only aspire to just get by. These differences underscore the reality no two people are exactly alike. Therefore, it stands to reason very few people will share identical opinions and interests.
The protection of people’s right to have and display their opinions as well as to own property or not is the top priority of our government. The fact these rights will be protected insures there will be divisions in society defined by how much one owns as well as general interests shared by different groups. This means the underlying cause of factions is a simple fact of life. We see divisions everywhere in society whether they are geographically based, based on financial worth or any other points of interest or circumstance either inherited or decided upon.
A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, government, and many other points will work to divide a population into parts. These different parts or groups of people tend to easily become inflamed with mutual animosity toward one another thus rendering them much more disposed to irritate and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good. This will lead to different groups becoming attached to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power. So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, it takes very little provocation to kindle unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts.
By far the most common and polarizing source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property form 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 other types of interests tend to form and in doing so could divide a country into different classes with differing sentiments and views to perpetuate and ultimately grow to divide a nation. The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation. Understanding faction is necessary to understanding the framework needed for an enduring government.
No one is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and this could very well corrupt his integrity. Equally important is the fact members of a particular group or cause cannot be left to make judgments on matters involving the groups or causes of which they are a part of. It is imperative to keep in mind many determinations are rendered on large bodies of citizen and not always just a single citizen. In short, we must guard against members of factions making determinations regarding factions to which they belong. After all, when we have different classes of legislators we tend to develop advocates to the causes of which they will be making decisions in favor of, or against.
If a law is proposed concerning creditors on one side and debtors on the other, in order to be just, we must have perfect balance between them. Naturally, the judges will most like be either or a creditor or a debtor themselves. Therefore, the cause that includes the largest number of people, probably the debtors, will prevail. In other words, unless we make previsions to deal with this, debtors will most likely always prevail in judgments being made against creditors.
If domestic manufacturing is to be encouraged within our new Union, how much should foreign manufacturers be put at a disadvantage? Can a land ownership issue be decided by land owners when the other side of the judgment involves a single non-land owner or simply the public good? Likewise, can a manufacturing business judgment be made by a manufacturing business person when the other side involves a non-business person or simply the common 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 large party to trample on the rules of justice. In this case, the larger party will always be the ones who have the smaller net worth. The fact is every dollar the less well to do can burden the better off people with is a dollar saved in their own pocket. This, in essence, gives the indecorous amongst them the right to steal; at least as they see it. 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.
Also, enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm. So, in the majority of cases, judgments will be made with the immediate interest of one party in mind while ignoring the rights of another or the good of all. The only conclusion we can make 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 republican principle, which enables the majority to defeat this faction’s sinister views by regular vote. It may clog the administration and it may cause anxiety to the society as a whole, but it will work. The problem is this solution will be unable to hide the “mob rule” aspect provided under the current forms of the state Constitutions. In other words, a smaller, sinister faction may be quelled but only because it is very much outnumbered by the non-factious populace.
A much larger problem occurs when a faction is made up of a majority of the populace. In such cases, the interest of the faction will take precedence over the public good and the rights of those citizens who do not belong to the larger, thus more powerful faction. Therefore, securing the public good and the private rights of the fewer citizens from the dangers of such a faction are of great interest to the Constitution of the Union. It is the desideratum, or essential concern we are faced with as we construct a Constitution that we preserve the rights of everyone from the very undesirable results of having certain individual’s rights stripped from them simply because they are in the minority.
How can we achieve this goal? Evidently, this can only be done using one of two possible methods. 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. Of course, it is possible moral or religious convictions could prevent uprisings by large factions, but such convictions cannot be relied upon. This true because a certain percentage of the faction may possess these moral and religious convictions, but as the number of persons belonging to the faction increases, the moral and religious may be overridden.
When taking these things into account, one must conclude a pure democracy is not the most effective form of government. This is true because when all the people of any government make laws simply by majority rule, large factions will always be the beneficiary. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be shared by a majority of the whole. Therefore, there is nothing to check any inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or one person who insists on standing alone. Hence, it is that such democracies tend to be spectacles of turbulence and contention and have never been found to be the best way of protecting personal security or the rights of property. In general they have been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.
Theoretic politicians, who support the democratic form 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. However, in reality, this has not been the case.
A representative Republic opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking. Let us examine the points in which the republican form of government differs from the pure democracy. By doing so, we will better understand both the nature of the cure and how this cure can be a most effective solution for the Union.
The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are. First, in a Republic, a small number of citizens are elected by the populace. These elected people become the delegation who represents all who have elected them. Secondly, when a greater number of citizens are contained in an electorate, or populace, a greater number the representatives may be elected. Therefore, a delegate of representatives will always be able to adequately represent any size electorate.
The effect of the electing representatives is, it will refine and enlarge the public views, by passing all issues through the medium of a chosen body of citizens whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country instead of a popular or powerful faction. This is true because, having been elected by an entire segment of a populace; these representatives will become obligated to represent this entire populace and their common good. They should not be willing to sacrifice their love of justice and patriotism in favor of partial considerations or interests that will, in the long run be detrimental to the common good. This tendency for a representative to favor the common good will be much stronger than a single person’s would most likely be when this person represents him or herself. This is so because of the tendency for one to act in his/her sole best interest.
Also, since the same representative will be speaking on behalf of the common good of all in the republic, factions, themselves, will not be able to sway legislation unless they are able to indoctrinate the representative into their causes. We will hope all elected representatives will display enough patriotism and concern for the good of the whole so as not to be influenced by some odious enticement of a faction.
However, in a pure democracy, members of any faction can be counted on to work in favor of their causes and the common good will be ignored altogether. If a faction becomes strong enough it could possibly vote its country into oblivion. Even a minority faction could garner enough votes to give their causes support strong enough so as to make their advancement difficult to stop.
On the other hand, There are problems with a republican structure that must be dealt with as well. For instance, persons of factious tempers, local prejudices, or sinister designs, may by intrigue, corruption, or by other means, first obtain the voters’ confidence, and then betray their interests and those of the common good entirely. Needless to say, this must be guarded against.
Also, it is to be remarked that however small the republic may be, there must be a minimum number of representatives representing this small electorate. A minimum number would guard against possible cabals that a small number could carry out. On the other hand, however large the electorate may be, they must be limited to a certain number. This is because too large of a number will possibly cause confusion and disarray and increase the chance of factions developing within the body of representatives itself. The question resulting is whether a small republic or an extensive republic would be more favorable to the election of proper guardians of the public as a whole.
After it is examined, it is concluded a larger republic is, overall, advantageous compared to a small one. As each representative will be chosen by a greater number of citizens in the larger republic, it will be more difficult for unworthy candidates to be successfully elected due to a very small number of people voting. With the votes of the people coming from the larger sampling the larger republic induces, the election will tend to accurately elect qualified candidates. The people elected in this case will tend to be reliable and most acceptable simply because of the larger pool they will be chosen from. Also, the larger has an advantage in simply that many representatives would be less likely to be influenced by one another than a smaller number would. These advantages to a larger republic hold up as long as the number of representatives does not become large enough to develop into different factions inside the government.
Also, it is possible a republic could become so large its representatives could become detached from the electorate, their local circumstances and smaller interests. On the other hand, when the number of representatives to constituents becomes too small you render him/her unduly attached to these things thus hinder his/her pursuits of national issues.
The concept of a federal Constitution forms a happy combination in this respect because the great and aggregate interests will be referred to the national representatives and the local and particular issues to the State legislatures.
The other point of difference between the large and small republic is the greater number of citizens and extent of territory which may be brought within the compass of republican government, the less the dreaded possibility will be that a majority faction will exist. It stands to reason that the smaller the society, the fewer will be the distinct parties and interests composing it. The fewer the distinct parties and interests, the more frequently will a majority be found amongst the populace. So, with a smaller number of individuals composing a majority, and the smaller the compass within, the more easily will they concert and execute their plans of oppression.
However, when you extend the sphere of a republic 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. At least, 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. It may also be remarked that, where there is a consciousness of unjust or dishonorable purposes, communication tends to be kept in check when a larger number of people must come into total agreement to act upon this dishonorable purpose.
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. This same advantage 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 schemes of injustice? It will not be denied that the representation of the Union will be most likely to possess these requisite endowments.
Is there an advantage to greater security afforded by a greater variety of parties, against the event of any one party being able to outnumber and oppress the rest? Equally as important, does the increased variety of parties comprised within the Union, increase this security?
Will a larger republic create a greater obstacle against 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 they will be unable to spread quickly through the other States. A religious sect may degenerate into a political faction in a part of the Confederacy; but the variety of sects isolated over the entire face of The Union would certainly send an alarm to 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. This is true in the same way such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district than an entire State. So will the wanton demands of a large faction be less like to gain traction in a State than in the Republic of the Union.
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, it ought to be our zeal to cherish the spirit and support the character of Federalists.
- Obama’s Coalition of the Enraged (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- Obama is creating factions… (onemorecup.wordpress.com)
- Can the Republic stand? (noxforchristmas.wordpress.com)
- Obama administration blocks Texas voter ID law…with Holder and Perez (onemorecup.wordpress.com)
No related posts.