Federalist #10


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PowerPoint I use to teach Federalist #10 to my government students.

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  • HUMAN NATURE: As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. HUMAN NATURE: The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man; and we see them everywhere 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; an 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.
  • FACTIONS NOT FIT TO GOVERN: No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity. With equal, nay with greater reason, a body of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time; MISCHIEF IS INEVITABLE: It is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests, and render them all subservient to the public good.
  • Madison concluded that factions arise out of human nature, and are rooted in human liberty and the unequal distribution of property. So any attempt to eliminate them was doomed to fail. CAN STOP FACTIONS BY ELIMINATING LIBERTY: It could never be more truly said than of the first remedy, that it was worse than the disease. Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency. CONCLUSION: 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 .
  • Federalist #10

    1. 1. Federalist #10
    2. 2. Learning Outcomes• Define a political faction and identify factions in contemporary society• Understand the problems that shaped the Founders thought when creating the new US Constitution• Explain how a democratic republic provides safeguards against factions
    3. 3. Influence of Ancient Democracies• The Founders believed that by looking back at the history of the ancient democracies of Rome and Greece, they could learn from past mistakes and prevent the new United States democracy from becoming infected The Parthenon, symbol of Greek by the problems that Democracy destroyed past societies.
    4. 4. Problem of Tyranny• Democracies and Republics are generally short-lived and prone to majorities establishing a dictatorship Julius Caesar, “Veni, vedi, vici.” “I came, I saw, I conquered.”
    5. 5. Problem of Conspiracy• Reading Herodotus, Plutarch and Livy’s histories of the ancient world revealed to the Founding Fathers that conspiracy in government, is not the exception but the rule.• Philosopher and Statesmen Marcus Tullius Cicero 106 BC-43 BC
    6. 6. Federalist #10 Reading Questions• What is a faction and why are they formed?• According to Madison what are the chief causes of faction?• http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=QcWaCsvpikQ
    7. 7. Factions• By a faction, I mean a group of citizens, either a majority or minority, united by some passion or interest adverse to the rights or other citizens or to the aggregate interests of the community.
    8. 8. Why are factions to be feared? • Self-love is an inherent aspect of human nature. People are: – Selfish – Biased – Often overcome with emotion – Often do unreasonable things • Groups can amplify all of these bad tendencies.
    9. 9. Dangers of Factions • Even the most virtuous citizens, “complain our (democratic) governments are too unstable. They say the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties. Too often measures are decided by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority rather than the rules of justice and the rights of the minority party.”James Madison, author ofFederalist #10
    10. 10. Dangers Continued • When a faction gains political power, it is likely to: – Pursue its own interests zealously. – Trample the rights of others. – Govern without concern for the “public good.”
    11. 11. What can be done to remedy factions?• There are two possibilities: 1.Take steps to stop factions from forming 2.Accept factions and take steps to keep them from gaining too much political power
    12. 12. Air is to Fire• Destroy the liberty essential for it to exist of give every citizen the same opinions, passions, and interests.• The first remedy is worse than a disease. Liberty is to faction what air is to fire. Without the nourishment of liberty, faction instantly dies. But abolishing liberty, an essential of political life, is as silly as the wish to annihilate air, as essential of animal life, because it gives fire its destructive agency.
    13. 13. Equal Passions• The second cure is as impractical as the first is unwise. As long as man’s reasoning remains fallible and he’s free to use it, different opinions will be formed. As long as self-love exists, opinions and passions will influence each other.• Property Rights – The Diversity of Property ownership divides societies into groups with different interests and concerns.
    14. 14. Inherent in Human Nature• Therefore, faction is part of the very nature of man. We see different degrees of it in different circumstances. Differing opinions in religion and government in both theory and practice, the various ambitions of leaders, human passions, and diversity of interests have, at various times, divided mankind into parties and inflamed animosity, making them more apt to oppress each other than cooperate for their common good.• The obvious inference is that the causes of faction cannot be removed and relief can only be sought in the means of controlling its effects.
    15. 15. Second Set of Questions• Why can’t a pure democracy control factions?• According to the Madison what are the benefits of a Republic in controlling factions?• Is the size of the United States a safeguard against faction?
    16. 16. Majority Factions• If a faction isn’t a majority, relief comes from the republican principle that enables the majority to defeat the sinister views by vote. When a faction is a majority, popular government enables it to sacrifice public good and the rights of other citizens to their passions and interests.
    17. 17. Pure Democracy• Pure Democracies are always spectacles of turbulence and contention.• The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, in a republic a small number of delegate are elected by the rest of the citizens, secondly, a republic can be composed of a greater number of citizens over a larger country.
    18. 18. Representation• Representation refines and enlarges public views by passing them through the chosen body of citizens.• The representatives’ wisdom may discern the true interest of their country and their Senator Robert La Follette of patriotism and love of Wisconsin, ran for president in justice will make it less 1912 campaigning against likely to sacrifice it to World War I. temporary or partial considerations.
    19. 19. Small Nations• The smaller the society, the fewer the distinct parties and interests, and the more frequently they will be a majority. The smaller the number of individuals composing a majority and the smaller area they inhabit, the more easily will they combine and execute their plans of oppression.
    20. 20. Expand the Size • Expand the size adds a greater variety of parties and interest. It becomes les probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens. • Even if a common motive exists, it will be more difficult for those holding it to discover their combined strength and act in unison with each other.
    21. 21. Laboratories of Democracy• Factious leaders may kindle a flame within their specific States, while not able to spread a general conflagration through the other States. A religious sect may degenerate a political faction in a part of the Confederacy. But the varied sects dispersed over the entire country secures the national councils against danger from this source.