Federalist No. 10 (James Madison) Page 1 of 21. Madison considered faction to be a primary concern, and tendency of the union to both break these factions and control their violence as the most dangerous vice. This particular vice was, in his eyes, something that could lead to the downfall of a society, as various members of a government take sides with different factions, sometimes destroying themselves from within. 2.
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Madison defines faction as a group of citizens who unite and act under a shared interest or passion that act in opposition to other citizens or to the interests of the entire community. 3. He believed that there were only two remedies for curing the evils of faction.
One he believed to be destroying the liberty that allows faction to take hold and grow. The other remedy he believed to be finding a way to cultivate the same interests, passions and opinions in all citizens of a community. The first he considered not acceptable, and the second as impractical due to a diversity of human beings. Since these are really not viable, he believed then that the effects must instead be controlled.
4. Madison considered the latent causes of faction to be part and parcel of the nature of man. People are, as a rule, varied and different from each other, and these traits naturally put them in opposition to each other, breeding both friendship and animosity, and thus cultivating faction. 5.
He considered the actual source of faction to be that diversity of opinion in politics. This leads to a wide variety of disputes over such fundamental issues as the governmental regime itself or religion. The most common source, in his eyes, was that of the unequal distribution of property, which, according to human nature, splits one groupFederalist No. 10 (James Madison) Page 1 of 2apart from another as it makes a great division between the two. The more people are divided, the better chance that faction will evolve and start to tear things apart. 6. Madison considered the principle tasks of government to be to find a way to increase the size of the community and the population and to have adequate representation for all, all the better to keep a majority from feeling passionately about causes that might bring about dangerous faction.
The larger the body of the population, as well as the wider the expanse of the community, the less chance that the majority will form factions that could prove dangerous to the whole. However, the number and the expanse must be controlled to some extent, for too much would likely result in any representatives feeling detached from the whole and thus less inclined to take a personal interest. He considered a republic to be superior to a democracy in bringing about this goal, and urged those in power to take this fact into serious consideration and act upon it.
7. The conclusion that controlling the effects of faction must be the solution was brought about by his belief that man will always have differences in attitude, beliefs, and ambitions, and these would necessarily clash with each other from time to time. However, by controlling the effects of faction that comes from these, disputes could be defused, and the government would have no need to take sides in the matter. If the majority could be kept from consorting against the minority regarding some interest, then there would be no need for the elimination of causes of faction, which are an important part of being both an individual and a citizen as well.