A View and Interpretation of Federalist Paper No. 10

Here is a link to Federalist Paper No. 10:http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed10.asp As presented by “Federalist Paper No. 10” James Madison views the matter of public opinion with many different attitude. From one perspective Madison acknowledges the necessity of division between people's’ beliefs and opinions and he also concedes that a society in which every citizen hold the same beliefs and views in truly impossible. Therefore, acknowledges the need for division that creates a healthy divide between parties which allow loyalty to be granted to citizens, allowing the average man to align with a party and faction that fits his perspective. However, Madison also acknowledges the fact that public opinion can often be extremely disparate leading to divides that are unhealthy for the unity of the nation and can undermine the power and control of the state. This often occurs, as Madison claims, when factionalism and partisanism occurs, dividing the nation along a line which can split the populace into two belligerent, opposing sides. Madison also presents the fact that when such division in public opinion occurs it can often tear apart the fabric of the newly established democratic systems often causing a division that can potentially mitigate the efficacy of the national government. This all originates from the fact that America was at the time very unique, for globally this experiment of a democratic government allowed the people's opinions to have a large stake in the running of the government, which can be extremely detrimental when the nation is divided and severely separated and can lead to problems in national administration. Similarly, Madison believed that the nation could potentially fall under an injurious rule of the people in which the people of the nation, who in many ways are the source of the nation’s sovereignty can become tyrannical and force the government to be hindered by their opinions and actions, mitigating the power held by “enlightened statesmen”. In many respects, Madison presents a blatant negative perspective towards the separation and destruction that could be made via the divisions of the public opinions and their predisposition to given factions. Additionally, Madison clearly concedes the fact that in a representative democracy such state divisions on public opinion are inevitable, regardless of the destruction and inefficacies Madison claimed they caused. Likewise, Madison presented the system of a republic as a way that the nation can attain a balance between control and/or hinderance by public opinion and can save the nation from the tyranny of a few despotic leaders. Madison also claimed that sovereignty should rest with the people however factions that create division were inherently damaging to the nation. Consequently, Madison established the idea that although the forces of public opinion may at times hinder (as Madison clearly stated that he perceived factionalism and division in public opinion to fetter the government) the unity and progress of the union, it is perpetually vital for the government to be able to set aside what is “popular” to do what they deem is right for the people of nation while supporting the spirit and underlying passion of a popular government.


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