The Federalist No.10
Madison begins perhaps the most famous of the Federalist papers by stating that one of the strongest arguments in favor of the Constitution is the fact that it establishes a government capable of controlling the violence and damage caused by factions. The possibility of an oppressive majority to be the greatest danger in a political society such as ours was Madison's main concern. Federalist#10 is one of the most important Federalist Papers and is essential to our understanding of the framer's vision for the country and fears about the dangers of factions.
Madison defines that factions are groups of people who gather together to protect and promote their special economic interests and political opinions. Although these factions are at odds with each other, they frequently work against the public interests, and infringe upon the rights of others. Because of the nature of man, such groups are inevitable.
Moreover, in a free society, they are unavoidable, because they result from the different interests and opinions that arise from persons differently situated, especially with respect to the ownership of property.
Madison wrote Federalist#10 in response to Brutus' attack on the proposed constitution on October 18, 1787. Brutus argues that a republic would not work in a country as large as the United States since its citizens are so diverse. Such diversity would "retard the operations of government" as a multitude of opinions would "clash." To Brutus, a republic can only succeed in a small, homogenous society. Madison turns the argument on Brutus by pointing out that in actuality large republics have more of a chance at finding success than small in that there is less likelihood of the government devolving into a tyranny. Madison sees factions as being the most dangerous force to liberty and democracy in general. If...