Federalists #10, 39, 45, 51, 70 Test Questions

Flashcard maker : Lily Taylor
This essay addresses the question of how to guard against “factions”, or groups of citizens, with interests contrary to the rights of others or the interests of the whole community. James Madison argued that a strong, big republic would be a better guard against those dangers than smaller republics—for instance, the individual states.

Rather than a strictly national or federal constitution, james Madison argues, the government will be a hybrid of both. Initially, he states that past as well as contemporary history provides no examples of a true republic, despite the history of the Roman Republic among others, and that the republicanism in itself which is being attempted by America in the proposed constitution is a totally new idea. Then he begins by redefining the term “republic,” stating three principles that must be present for a true republic to exist:
1. The power to govern must be derived from the consent of the people.
2. Representatives elected from the people are the administrators of the government.
3. The terms of service of the Representatives must be limited by time, good behavior, or as long as the favor of the people is maintained (as would be the case in impeachment).

James Madison argues that the strength of the federal government under the proposed United States Constitution does not pose a danger to the individual states, a major concern of the Anti-Federalists.

Madison writes that the new Constitution does not in principle enlarge the powers of the Federal government, but merely renders that government more effective in carrying out its existing duties (an invigoration of original powers).

Central to administering these powers, Madison argues, is the power to tax. Further, he states that this power has precedent in the Articles of Confederation.

Madison also argues that the National Government is indeed subservient to the State Governments, yet the Federalist structure serves as a method of disguising this truth. Madison argues that the National Government must rely on the states to pass amendments, and the states themselves can propose and pass amendments at their choosing.

addresses means by which appropriate checks and balances can be created in government and also advocates a separation of powers within the national government.

1. Dependency and encroachment
James Madison suggests that “the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department” is to enable each department (or the leader of the department) to fend off attempts to encroach upon each other’s departments’ government.

2. Legislature
In a republican form of government, Madison asserts, the legislative branch is the strongest, and therefore must be divided into different branches, be as little connected with each other as possible, and render them by different modes of election.

3. Usurpations and security
To protect from usurpations:
In 1788, power over people was divided both through federalism (between the federal government and the state governments) and through branches (legislative, executive, and judicial) within the national (or federal) government. Because of the division of power, a “double security arises to the rights of the people. The governments will control each other, at the same time that each will be controlled by itself”

5. Factions
Madison recognizes that factions will always be present and that the only way to counteract the effects of factions is to have numerous factions. In other words, even if individuals mingle with other members of the same social groups, ideals, and goals, no particular group should be able to become so strong as to thwart the interest of all other groups.

Alexander Hamilton.
The essay deals with the question of a plural executive. Hamilton argues that a plural executive, having more than one president, “tends to conceal faults, and destroy responsibility”, and states that a singular president would better be suited to wield the full potential of his power in a quick and efficient way, without falling into endless squabbling and dispute with other executives with the same power. He also warns that when dealing with more than one leader, “there is always difference of opinion”.

A strong and energetic executive branch requires unity, duration in office, adequate resources, and sufficient powers.

Get instant access to
all materials

Become a Member