Two summaries of the Federalist papers No. 10 and No. 51.
The Federalist No. 10
James Madison starts of this paper by saying that the strong Constitution has the control to deal with violence and aggression caused by factions. Madison says these factions do not help those in favor of a democratic government because they cause instability in the government. He makes this clear by saying “The friend of popular governments, never finds himself so much more alarmed for their character and fate, as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice.” However, Madison knows that no matter what, there will always be factions in the American society because of the vast opinion differences. One of the biggest sources that factions come from are from the distribution of land. There are two main ones, those with lots and land and those with little land. Even though these groups conflict, the government is obliged to guard the interests of each group. Madison stated two ways to control factions, which were to remove its causes and controlling its effect. Madison says next that he worries about corruption of members of the new government, but says it is less likely because representative will be chosen by a large population. He also discusses the differences between a republic and a democracy, along with that the main goal of the Constitution is to make all 13 states secure from threats and invasion.
James Madison makes very good arguments in this essay about adopting the Constitution, especially by starting off with ways to control factions like in the Shay’s Rebellion incident. Justice must be served and these factions cannon control government like that. However, he makes it clear that protecting individual rights is important. Even though there would be large populations voting for a representative, I do not think that will necessarily stop corruption of high ranked officials based on faction influence.
The Federalist No. 51
Madison begins this essay with talk of having three separate branches of government, the Judicial, Legislative, and Executive. He explains that each branch should be independent and have the same amount of power. He later talks about why there should be restrictions on power. He says that “if men were angels, no government would be necessary.” He stresses that the government must be able to control the people, but also control itself. Madison later says that in most republic governments the legislative branch is the most powerful, so that’s why there is a Senate and House of Representatives. He also comes back to the point of protecting individual rights, specifically the minority. The government cannot support large groups ganging up on smaller groups and ultimately getting whatever they desire. Madison ends with the idea that majority must agree on justice and general good for society to be balanced.
I think the idea of three separate branches with equal amounts of power is a great idea. You can’t let one branch of government have more authority than the others. Also I agree with Madison’s statement that the government must be able to control the people. Although he stresses individual rights, if the government is unable to control its citizens, there is no point of it. I think minority rights are important on lesser political issues, unlike liberty or individual rights.