Madison's Great Error: Religion.

Essay by Anna1388High School, 10th gradeA+, April 2003

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Madison's Great Error: Religion

Slowly sipping his tea by the fire, James Madison planned the future of the United States, and explained the entire thing to the world in one document: "Federalist No. 10." In this document, Madison makes clear three major points that should be addressed, and explains why and how each point is important. His first point is that faction, or self-interest, is bad for a Democratic Republic. He wrote, "Among the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction. The friend of popular governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate, as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice."# In other words, when a group of members of society (big or small) get together to oppose the authority, they represent a threat to the government itself.

Madison then goes on to explain how faction can be dealt with: "There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests."# However, Madison recognizes that these two methods are completely impossible to accomplish. In turn, he validates the point that a government can only control the effects of faction, as a opposed to the causes, "The interference 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."# Madison decides that this most efficient in a big republic. He defends the idea that oligarchy is less likely in a large republic. When a larger republic is suggested, he...