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This Week’s Forum is all about the arguments made by James Madison in Federalist 10 (required reading). Madison argues that there are only 2 ways to deal with the problems relating to factions: eliminate the CAUSES or control the EFFECTS. Why does Madison argue that eliminating the causes would be worse than controlling the effects (cite the text)? Do you agree with his argument? Also, what are some strengths and weaknesses to his “control the effects” plan?

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The Federalist, Paper Number 10
James Madison
James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay wrote 85 anonymous articles for the
New York Journal in 1787 and 1788, with the aim of persuading the people of New York to
ratify the proposed Constitution. These articles are known as The Federalist Papers. In this
paper, Madison comments on the checks and balances of competing factions in American
politics and signs it “Publius.”
GUIDED READING As you read, consider the following questions:
• What are the differences between a pure democracy and a republic, according to
• What does Madison say is the advantage of a republic over a democracy?
mong 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. . . .
By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a
majority or 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 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. . . .
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. . . . 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
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The Federalist, Paper Number 10
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. . . .
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
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. . . .
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. . . .
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
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The Federalist, Paper Number 10
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. . . . 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. . . .
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 center 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. . . . 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. . . .
Hence, it clearly appears that the same advantage which a republic has over
a democracy, in controlling the effects of factions, is enjoyed by a large over a
small republic—is enjoyed by the Union over the states composing it. . . .
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The Federalist, Paper Number 10
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
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The Federalist, Paper Number 10

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