Outline of Madisons Argument from The Federalist No. 10

Outline of Madisons Argument from The Federalist No. 10 -...

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James Madison’s Tenth Federalist Paper A Lecture by Alan R. Gibson James Madison Seminar I. Significance of Madison’s Argument A. Historical Significance 1. Addressed the leading objection to the ratification of the Constitution. – Montesquieu’s “small republic thesis” as adapted by the Anti-federalists. 2. Important in the construction of Madison’s constitutional reform program. In particular, the theory of the extended republic was the means in which Madison reconciled republicanism and nationalism and was integral to the “Federalist Persuasion.” The Framers believed that republicanism could only be saved by creating an extended republic and thus muting and moderating majority factionalism. 3. Theoretical Novelty – Madison’s Theory was a watershed in the history of political thought. Madison presented a novel definition of a republic, provided an analysis of the social structure of the American republic that made mixed government irrelevant, and paved the way for a transition from a politics of virtue to a politics of interest. B. Contemporary Significance: “Bristling with insights, No. 10 indeed has something for everyone today – an explicit reference to property rights and class conflict, a celebration of demographic and religious diversity, a sophisticated account of interest groups and electoral dynamics, and a prophetic sketch of the federal government’s role in protecting minority rights.” (Akhil Reed Amar, America’s Constitution: A Biography (New York: Random House, 2005, 43.) 1. Addressed one of the perennial problems in the history of American political thought: how can majority rule be reconciled with the protection of individual and minority rights. 2. Statement about the sources of political conflict and identity and how political conflict is best resolved. II. Outline of Madison’s Argument from The Federalist No. 10 A. The Problem of Faction – Within the states and throughout the history of republics.
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2 B. Definition 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.” 1. Majority and Minority Factions: Majorities pose the real problem.
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Outline of Madisons Argument from The Federalist No. 10 -...

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