Federalist No. 10 (part 2) | US government and civics | Khan Academy
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Federalist No. 10 (part 2) | US government and civics | Khan Academy


– [Instructor] In the part
one video, we already saw James Madison and Federalist number 10. argue strongly that a
republican form of government is better for addressing
the issues of having an majority faction that might try to overrun minority groups. In this video, we’re
going to continue to see that argument that not
only is a republic better, but if you’re going to have a republic, it’s better to have a large republic. In the next place, as each
representative will be chosen by a greater number of
citizens in the large, the large republic, than
in the small republic. It will be more difficult
for unworthy candidates to practice with success the
vicious art by which elections are too often carried and
the suffrages of the people be more free will be more
likely to center in men who possess the most attractive merit. Once again, elite democracy,
and the most diffusive and established characters. Once again, elite democracy. So here, he is making the
argument that not only in a large republic will
you have a better choice of candidates, but because
the candidates have to appeal each to a large number of
people, that they are less likely to come to power through shady dealings and you’re mostly likely
to get the best folks. It must be confessed that in
this, as in most other cases, there is a mean on both
sides of which inconveniences will be found to lie. So you say hey look, there
is, as in all things, there is kind of a moderate middle ground. By enlarging too much
the number of electors, you render the representatives
to little acquainted with all their local circumstances
and lesser interests, as by reducing it too
much, you render him unduly attached to these and too
little fit to comprehend and pursue great and national objects. The federal Constitution
forms a happy combination in this respect. The great and aggregate
interests being referred to the national, the local and particular to the state legislatures. So what he’s saying is that
the Constitution offers this really nice balance here. You can have the people
participating at the national level who are interested in the
great and aggregate interests and it’s okay if those folks
aren’t completely attached to what is happening at
home, the local interests. In fact, he’d probably prefer
that they’re not attached too much to the local interests,
but the local interests could be focused at
the state legislatures, which the Constitution provides for. The other point of
difference, so once again, he is referring to the
difference between a republican government and a pure democracy. The greater number of
citizens in the extent of territory which may be
brought within the compass of republican than of
democratic government. So it’s that point that he believes the republican government
can better govern a large population than a pure democracy and it is this circumstance principally which renders the factious
combinations less to be dreaded in the former than in the latter. So he’s saying because a
republican model can govern over more people, it
better addresses this issue of factious combinations. The smaller the society,
the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and
interests composing it. The fewer the distinct
parties and interests, the more frequently will a
majority be found of the same party, and the smaller
the number of individuals composing a majority and
the smaller the compass within which they are
placed, the more easily will they concert and execute
their plans of oppression. Extend the sphere and you
take in a greater variety of parties and interests. You make it less probable
that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens. What Madison is saying here
is if you have too small of a society, you’re not going
to have enough pluralism, you’re not going to have
enough points of view, that it will be easy because
people will be very aligned for a majority to take over and infringe on the rights of a minority. So he is very pro pluralism here. He wants to see a large society
with many different views because he says if you
have a large society with many different views,
with many different parties, so to speak, well then it’s less likely that one party can just take
over and infringe on the rights of other people. This is the exact opposite of
what Brutus one argues for. Brutus one argues that
pluralism is a bad thing, that people are just going to
be bickering the whole time and decisions aren’t going to be made. Brutus one argues that in a
republic, people should be of roughly the same
opinion, to have roughly the same interests while
here in Federalist number 10, Madison is arguing that no,
pluralism is a good thing, it is a check on an overbearing faction, it is a check on majority rule. Hence, it clearly appears
that the same advantage which a republic has over
a democracy in controlling the effects of faction
is enjoyed by a large over a small republic,
is enjoyed by the Union over the states composing it. So the big picture of Federalist number 10 is how do you control faction? And faction is really
about how do you control a majority faction
that’s trying to control everyone else and trying
to oppress everyone else. Madison makes the argument that one, through a republican system,
you’re more like to do this, by having a representative government. And then if you have that,
you want to make it larger rather than smaller so that
you have a pluralist society, so you have many points
of view and you don’t have one group being able to dominate. And in order to have that larger society, the Union is more favorable over having 13 independent, sovereign states. In the extent and proper
structure of the Union, therefore, we behold a republican remedy for the diseases most incident
to republican government and according to the degree
of pleasure and pride we feel in being republicans
ought to be our zeal and cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists.

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