POL203Y1 Chapter Notes -The Federalist Papers

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11 Apr 2012
POL203Y1: U.S. Government and Politics September 22nd, 2011.
The Federalist Papers #10: The Same Subject Continued
Page 122
An advantage by a well constructed Union is its tendency to break and control the
violence of faction (group)
The instability, injustice, and confusion introduced into the public councils have
been the mortal diseases under which popular gov’ts have everywhere perished,
as they continue to be the favourite and fruitful topics form which the adversaries
(opponents) to liberty derive their most specious (inaccurate) declamations
Page 123
Complaint about American Consitution: gov’ts are too unstable, public good is
disregarded in the conflict of rival parties, and that measures are too often
decided, not according to the rules of justice and he rights of the minor party
A faction: where a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or
minority of the whole, 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
2 methods for removing the causes of factions: by destroying the liberty which
is essential to its existence, or by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the
same passions, and the same interests
Liberty to faction is an ailment w/o which it instantly expires
Liberty is essential for political life and nourishes faction
As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it,
different opinions will be formed
Page 124
As long as the connection exists b/w his reason and his self-love, his opinions and
his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be
object to which the latter will attach themselves
The protection of these faculties of men from which the rights of property
originate is the first object of the gov’t
From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the
possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results; and
from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective
administrators follows a division of the society into different interests and parties
The latent causes of faction are sown in the nature of man; and we see them
everywhere brought into different degrees of activity, according to the different
circumstances of civil society
E.g. a zeal for different opinions regarding religion, concerning gov’t, etc, and a
speculation of practice. An attachment to different leaders ambitiously
contending for supremacy and power, or to the person of other descriptions whose
fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have divided mankind into
parties, inflamed them w/ mutual hostility and leave them much more disposed to
vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good
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POL203Y1: U.S. Government and Politics September 22nd, 2011.
The most common and durable source of faction has been the various and unequal
distribution of property
Those who hold and those who are w/o property have ever formed distinct
interests in society
Those who are creditors, and those who are debtors, fall under a like
A landed interest, a manufacturing interest, a mercantile interests, a moneyed
interest, w/ many lesser interests, grow up of necessity in civilized nations, and
divide them into different classes, actuated by different sentiments and views
The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of
modern legislation and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary
and ordinary operations of gov’t
No man is allowed to be a judge to his own cause, because his interest would
certainly bias his judgment, and not improbably, corrupt his integrity
Thus a body of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time
Page 125
Justice ought to hold the balance b/w creditors and parties, yet the parties are, and
must be, themselves the judges, and the most numerous party, to the most
powerful faction must be expected to prevail
The causes of faction cannot be removed and that relief is only to be ought in the
means of controlling its effects
If a faction consists of less than a majority, relief is supplied by the republican
principle, which enables the majority to defeat its sinister views by regular vote
It may clog the administration, it may convulse the society, but it will be unable to
execute and mask its violence under the forms of the Constitution
When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular gov’t enables it to
sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of
other citizens
To secure public good and private rights against the danger of such a faction, and
preserve the spirit and the form of popular gov’t, is then the great object to which
our inquiries are directed
It is the great ambition by which alone this form of gov’t can be rescued from the
disgrace under which it has long laboured and be recommended to the esteem and
adoption of mankind
This object is attainable by either the existence of the same passion or interest in a
majority at the same time must be prevented, or the majority, having such a
coexistent passion or interest, must be rendered by their numbers and local
situation, unstable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression
Page 126
If the impulse and the opportunity be suffered to coincide, we know that neither
moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control
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