Influence of Democracy and Factions on Citizens

Madison says that “complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens”—what are these complaints that people make. a. “…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 overbearing majority. ” 2. Are these complaints valid in Madison’s view? a. Yes, even though he wished that they were not true, he couldn’t deny the facts that showed all of these complaints to be true. . What is Madison’s definition of a faction? a. Groups of citizens who are passionate about a cause even when it may be harmful to the community as a whole. 4. What are the “two methods of removing the causes of factions”? What does Madison think of these two approaches? Is he in favor of removing the causes? a. “the one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects. ” He thinks the first one is unwise and the second one is impractical. He is not in favor of removing the causes, because the cause is liberty.

He does not wish to remove peoples’ liberty. 5. What is the “most common and durable source of factions” according to Madison? a. “…The various and unequal distribution of property. ” 6. Madison notes that factions are a serious problem in a republican form of government because a democracy is similar to a court. What is the problem with this court? a. The most powerful factions might prevail. 7. Madison suggests that a republic is better than a democracy at controlling the effects of a majority faction (or a direct democracy in modern language).

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What are the “two great points of difference” that give republics an advantage over direct democracies? a. “first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended. ” 8. Madison writes “extend the sphere, and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests. ” How does having a variety of interests benefit the republic? a. “You make it ess 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. ” Federalist 51 1. Madison says that the key is that “each department should have a will of its own”—how is it possible to ensure the independence of each department? . “it would require that all the appointments for the supreme executive, legislative, and judiciary magistracies should be drawn from the same fountain of authority, the people, through channels having no communication whatever with one another. ” 2. What does Madison rely on to prevent one branch of government from encroaching on another…virtue or ambition? What does this imply about the founders’ view of human nature? a. Ambition, human nature shows that men inherently put their own self above others. He does not look at this as a flaw, but as something to be accepted since it cannot be changed.

Humans are not angels, and that is the reason we need a government. 3. What is the greatest problem presented by a form of government in which men rule over other men, according to Madison? a. “You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. ” 4. Which branch of government is Madison most afraid will dominate? a. Legislature 5. Madison says that there are “two considerations” which make it less likely that power will become concentrated in under the federal Constitution.

What is the first consideration? a. They division of departments will guard against the usurpation of a single branch. 6. How will the second consideration reduce the problem of abuse of power? a. “There are but two methods of providing against this evil: the one by creating a will in the community independent of the majority — that is, of the society itself; the other, by comprehending in the society so many separate descriptions of citizens as will render an unjust combination of a majority of the whole very improbable, if not impracticable. ”

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Influence of Democracy and Factions on Citizens. (2016, Nov 28). Retrieved from