Federalist 10 By James Madison Summary Chapter 10

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Federalist No. 10 by James Madison addresses the framers’ fear of factions that naturally come from a democracy. He begins by defining what a faction is, referring to the institution of factions in government as “mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished…” Factions, he says, are the biggest danger to governments everywhere because of the problem that arises from any group gaining power over any other group, destroying the democracy so sought after and replacing it with rule by the majority group. An obvious solution to solving the problem of factions is to abolish them in government. However, this is impossible because the bases that factions lie upon are the same bases that a democratic government lie upon. Madison remarks, “Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires.” He says the two ways to remove factions are by destroying liberty or by giving everyone the same passions and interests. Impossible …show more content…

He says that a democracy in its roots is a breeding ground for factions. A democracy is too free, he says, and men left alone to govern themselves will inevitably create factions because of the reasons previously stated. He says “there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual.” However, the government set up by the Constitution is a Republic. A Republic, he argues, must have not too many but also not too few representatives to control factions. The Constitution did this, and the federalist system created can check the power of the few and the many at the same time. Factions are still possible, but they cannot take over because “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

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