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Federalist No. 10

The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection (continued)

❶The perpetual menacings of danger oblige the government to be always prepared to repel it; its armies must be numerous enough for instant defense. The history of Great Britain is the one with which we are in general the best acquainted, and it gives us many useful lessons.

What Is Madison's Thesis in Federalist Paper Number 10?

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Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay
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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 becomes needful. 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: 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 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 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 instability, injustice and confusion introduced into the public councils, have in truth been the mortal diseases under which popular governments have every where 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 every where 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 over-bearing 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 the 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 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 interest of the community.

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 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 every where 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; and 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 monied 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 Government.

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. Madison, George Washington , Benjamin Franklin and others feared a break-up of the union and national bankruptcy. In this view, Shays' Rebellion , an armed uprising in Massachusetts in , was simply one, albeit extreme, example of "democratic excess" in the aftermath of the War.

A national convention was called for May , to revise the Articles of Confederation. Madison believed that the problem was not with the Articles, but rather the state legislatures, and so the solution was not to fix the articles but to restrain the excesses of the states.

The principal questions before the convention became whether the states should remain sovereign, whether sovereignty should be transferred to the national government, or whether a settlement should rest somewhere in between.

Madison's nationalist position shifted the debate increasingly away from a position of pure state sovereignty, and toward the compromise. September 17, marked the signing of the final document. By its own Article Seven , the constitution drafted by the convention needed ratification by at least nine of the thirteen states, through special conventions held in each state.

Anti-Federalist writers began to publish essays and letters arguing against ratification, [7] and Alexander Hamilton recruited James Madison and John Jay to write a series of pro-ratification letters in response. It was first printed in the Daily Advertiser under the name adopted by the Federalist writers, "Publius"; in this it was remarkable among the essays of Publius, as almost all of them first appeared in one of two other papers: Considering the importance later ascribed to the essay, it was reprinted only on a limited scale.

On November 23, it appeared in the Packet and the next day in the Independent Journal. Outside New York City, it made four appearances in early Though this number of reprintings was typical for The Federalist essays, many other essays, both Federalist and Anti-Federalist, saw much wider distribution. On January 1, , the publishing company J. McLean announced that they would publish the first 36 of the essays in a single volume. This volume, titled The Federalist , was released on March 2, George Hopkins' edition revealed that Madison, Hamilton, and Jay were the authors of the series, with two later printings dividing the work by author.

In , James Gideon published a third edition containing corrections by Madison, who by that time had completed his two terms as President of the United States.

Dawson's edition of sought to collect the original newspaper articles, though he did not always find the first instance. It was much reprinted, albeit without his introduction. The first date of publication and the newspaper name were recorded for each essay.

Of modern editions, Jacob E. Cooke's edition is seen as authoritative, and is most used today. Hamilton there addressed the destructive role of a faction in breaking apart the republic.

The question Madison answers, then, is how to eliminate the negative effects of faction. Madison defines a faction as "a number of citizens, whether amounting to a minority or majority 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".

At the heart of Madison's fears about factions was the unequal distribution of property in society. Ultimately, "the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property," Madison argues Dawson , p.

Since some people owned property and others owned none, Madison felt that people would form different factions that pursued different interests. Providing some examples of the distinct interests, Madison identified a landed interest, a manufacturing interest, a mercantile interest, a moneyed interest, and "many lesser interests" Dawson , p. They all belonged to "different classes" that were "actuated by different sentiments and views," Madison insists Dawson , p.

In other words, Madison argued that the unequal distribution of property led to the creation of different classes that formed different factions and pursued different class interests. Moreover, Madison feared the formation of a certain kind of faction.

Recognizing that the country's wealthiest property owners formed a minority and that the country's unpropertied classes formed a majority, Madison feared that the unpropertied classes would come together to form a majority faction that gained control of the government. Against "the minor party," there could emerge "an interested and overbearing majority," Madison warns Dawson , p. Specifically, Madison feared that the unpropertied classes would use their majority power to implement a variety of measures that redistributed wealth.

There could be "a rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project," Madison warns Dawson , p. In short, Madison feared that a majority faction of the unpropertied classes might emerge to redistribute wealth and property in a way that benefited the majority of the population at the expense of the country's richest and wealthiest people. Like the anti-Federalists who opposed him, Madison was substantially influenced by the work of Montesquieu, though Madison and Montesquieu disagreed on the question addressed in this essay.

He also relied heavily on the philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment , especially David Hume , whose influence is most clear in Madison's discussion of the types of faction and in his argument for an extended republic.

Madison first assessed that there are two ways to limit the damage caused by faction: He then describes the two methods to removing the causes of faction: After all, Americans fought for it during the American Revolution. The second option, creating a society homogeneous in opinions and interests, is impracticable. The diversity of the people's ability is what makes them succeed more or less, and inequality of property is a right that the government should protect. Madison particularly emphasizes that economic stratification prevents everyone from sharing the same opinion.

Madison concludes that the damage caused by faction can be limited only by controlling its effects. He then argues that the only problem comes from majority factions because the principle of popular sovereignty should prevent minority factions from gaining power. Madison offers two ways to check majority factions: Madison states, "The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man", [19] so the cure is to control their effects. He makes an argument on how this is not possible in a pure democracy but possible in a republic.

With pure democracy, he means a system in which every citizen votes directly for laws, and, with republic, he intends a society in which citizens elect a small body of representatives who then vote for laws. He indicates that the voice of the people pronounced by a body of representatives is more conformable to the interest of the community, since, again, common people's decisions are affected by their self-interest.

He then makes an argument in favor of a large republic against a small republic for the choice of "fit characters" [20] to represent the public's voice. In a large republic, where the number of voters and candidates is greater, the probability to elect competent representatives is broader.

The voters have a wider option. In a small republic, it would also be easier for the candidates to fool the voters but more difficult in a large one.

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Federalist No. 10 is an essay written by James Madison as the tenth of The Federalist Papers: a series of essays initiated by Alexander Hamilton arguing for the ratification of the United States Constitution.

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The Federalist No. 10 The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection (continued) Daily Advertiser Thursday, November 22, [James Madison]. Federalist Paper No. 10, written pseudonymously by James Madison in support of the new United States Constitution, is about how to guard the new government of the union against factions, or groups of citizens with special interests.

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Question: In Federalist No. 10, James Madison argued that. The Federalist Papers. Prior to the Constitution's ratification, three men . The Papers of James Madison (10 vols. to date; Chicago, ——). description ends, IX, –57). See also JM’s first speech of 6 June and his first speech of 26 June at the Federal Convention, and his letter to Jefferson of 24 Oct.