Small States vs. Large States

Federalists vs. Anti-federalists
Madison (#10) v. Brutus
Is democracy best served in large or small
Who is likely to be elected?
What is the greatest danger to democracy?
Madison, Federalist #10
Faction: "A number of citizens, whether
amounting to a majority or a minority of the
whole, who are united and actuated by some
common impulse of passion, or of interest,
adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to
the permanent and aggregate interests of the
Inherent characteristic of people.
Madison- Federalist 10
Latent causes of faction are thus sown in the
nature of man.
“the most common and durable source of faction
has been the various and unequal distribution of
property” p. 18
Pure democracy has no cure for the mischiefs of
Incompatible with personal security or the rights
of property. P. 20
Madison’s Solution
Republican government to refine and enlarge the
public views
Liberty is safest in large (extended) republics
many opinions and interests in large republic
makes it harder for a tyrannical majority to form
coalition formed in large republic are more
Liberty is threatened more by public passions and
popular factions than by strong government
Brutus’s Reply
In a republic, the manners, sentiments, and interest
of the persons should be similar (or else) constant
clashing of opinions
In a large republic “the people would be
acquainted with very few of their rules, the people
at large would know little of their proceedings,
and it would be extremely difficult to change
them. The consequence will be, they will have no
confidence in their legislature, suspect them of
ambitious views, be jealous of every measure they
adopt, and will not support the laws they pass.”
small republic is best
People are animated by a concern for public
strong national government would be
distant from the people
Madison, Federal #51
Is a large republic enough to prevent
tyranny of the majority?
Federalist #51, Madison
Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. If
men were angels, no govt would be necessary. If
angels were to govern men, neither external nor
internal controls on govt would be necessary
In framing a govt which is to be administered by
men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you
must first enable the govt to control the governed;
and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
Separation of Powers
Madison- accumulation of all powers,
legislative, executive, and judiciary in the same
hands, may justly be pronounced the very
definition of tyranny.
Legislature makes laws, executive administers,
and judiciary interprets
BUT Separation is not enough.
Checks and Balances
#51, Ambition must be made to counteract
ambition. The interest of the man must be
connected with the constitutional rights of
the place.
giving to those who administer each
department the necessary constitutional
means and personal motives to resist
encroachments of the others
Different Bases of Support
House of Representatives= only directly
elected officials; every two years
Senate= every six years; are selected by State
legislatures until 1913
President= selected by electoral college; state
legislatures; no popular vote
Judiciary= appointed by President, confirmed
by Senate. Life-time appointment
Checks and Balances
Federalist #51
Congress- veto, propose, appeal to people,
enforce laws
Courts- appoint justices, enforce law
Checks and Balances
Congress – “necessarily predominates”
Raise taxes, pass legislation
Impeach president and judges
determine number and jurisdiction of courts,
Senate confirms judges
House and Senate
Courts- “least dangerous branch”
can declare executive actions and laws unconstitutional.
Comparison with UK
Prime minister chosen by majority party.
No judicial review
control and responsibility concentrated in
Same electoral base
No checks and balances
difficult to act unless there is overwhelming
sustained consensus about course of action.
1994 GOP Revolution
Losers-- Efficiency and accountability
Continuing Battle over CnB
the War Power
Article I. Congress can “declare war”
Article II. President- commander in chief
How many declared wars?
Role of Courts
Separation of Powers
Limit the power of government
Limit democratic majoritarianism (aka
Tyranny of the Majority)
Policy should not reflect majority public
New Republicanism
OLD- positive political engagement – civic
virtue and small republics that required
some degree of equality
NEW- negative limitations on government –
the balance of interest based on the
“invisible hand” of self-interest and on the
equality of opportunity
Interpreting the Constitution
Assessing the Framers
Beard-- Elite Conspiracy
Federalists all wealthy planters and merchants
trying to get rich
Roche-- Sound Politicians
political expediency is the driving principle
Electoral college
Diamond -- Brilliant Political Theorists
How to prevent tyranny of the majority
Pluribus to Unum
Why is America Democratic?