northanger (northanger) wrote,
northanger
northanger

Wikipedia Featured: Federalist No. 10

highly recommend reading both wiki article & Federalist #10 in light of recent events.

Liberty is to faction, what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires.

Federalist No. 10 continues a theme begun in Federalist No. 9; it is titled, "The Same Subject Continued: The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection." The whole series is cited by scholars and jurists as an authoritative interpretation and explication of the meaning of the Constitution. Jurists have frequently read No. 10 to mean that the Founding Fathers did not intend the United States government to be partisan.
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Federalist No. 10 continues the discussion of a question broached in Hamilton's Federalist No. 9. Hamilton had addressed the destructive role of faction in breaking apart a republic. The question Madison answers, then, is how to eliminate the negative effects of faction. He defines a faction as "a number of citizens, whether amounting to a minority or majority 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 community."
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In the first century of the American republic, No. 10 was not regarded as among the more important numbers of The Federalist ... Today, however, No. 10 is regarded as a seminal work of American democracy ... No. 10 (along with Federalist No. 51, also by Madison) was chosen as the 20th most influential document in United States history ... Douglass Adair attributes the increased interest in the tenth number to Charles A. Beard's book An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution, published in 1913. Adair also contends that Beard's selective focus on the issue of class struggle, and his political progressivism, has colored modern scholarship on the essay. According to Adair, Beard reads No. 10 as evidence for his belief in "the Constitution as an instrument of class exploitation." {more}

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