Federalist 51 Essay

1064 Words May 2nd, 2013 5 Pages
Federalist No. 51 is an essay by James Madison, the fifty-first of the Federalist Papers. It was published on Wednesday, February 6, 1788 under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all the Federalist Papers were published. One of the most famous of the Federalist Papers, No. 51 addresses means by which appropriate checks and balances can be created in government and also advocates a separation of powers within the national government. One of its most important ideas is the pithy and often quoted phrase, "Ambition must be made to counteract ambition."
The Federalist Papers, as a foundation text of constitutional interpretation, are frequently cited by American jurists. Of all the essays, No. 51 is the fourth most-cited.[1]
Purpose
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Usurpations and security
The government is guarded from usurpations because it is divided into distinct and separate departments.
In 1788, power over people was divided both through federalism (between the federal government and the state governments) and through branches (legislative, executive, and judicial) within the national (or federal) government. Because of the division of power, a "double security arises to the rights of the people. The governments will control each other, at the same time that each will be controlled by itself"[4].
Factions
Madison discusses at great length at the end the issue of political factions. He recognizes that factions will always be present and that the only way to counteract the effects of factions is to have numerous factions. In other words, even if individuals mingle with other members of the same social groups, ideals, and goals, no particular group should be able to become so strong as to thwart the interest of all other groups.
Factions had been further discussed in Federalist No. 10.
Two summaries of the Federalist papers No. 10 and No. 51.
The Federalist No. 10
James Madison starts of this paper by saying that the strong Constitution has the control to deal with violence and aggression caused by factions. Madison says these factions do not help those in favor of a democratic government because they cause

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