Skip Nav

What is a summary of Federalist 10?

Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay

❶Please Choose a Product.

Citation Information

You must create an account to continue watching
The Pentagon Papers
From the SparkNotes Blog

One of the biggest problems resulting from the Articles of Confederation was that there was no means to enforce unity amongst the states. This led to competition between the states over land, commerce, and repayment of public debt. Over time, this would naturally lead to further competition, and an inability to provide for the common defense. Additionally, individual states would seek to increase their own military strength to defend themselves against foreign invasions and invasions by their neighbors, leading to more wars, and to the suppression of civil liberties by military despotism.

The confederate republic form of government is ideal for the United States because it extends the advantages of popular government, in the form of the central government, without reducing the compactness, in the form of the state governments that retain much of their sovereignty. Factions are less likely in this form of government because the base of representation is spread over a much larger population. The proposed plan of government will also improve commerce and the wealth of the nation because European nations will be compelled to follow uniform trade regulations enforced by a single navy.

They will become inclined to negotiate for more mutually beneficial trade. The wealth of the nation will improve and the government's revenue will increase, thereby reducing the likelihood for property taxes. The most important function of the government is to provide for the common defense, and the central government should be given as much power as necessary to match the responsibility of providing for the common defense. The confederacy failed to effectively provide for the common defense because the responsibility fell upon the central government, while the power rested with the states.

The central government must be able to maintain standing armies, provide for a national militia, and be able to levy direct taxes to support its common defense and provide for national prosperity.

Fears about the central government becoming too powerful and abusing its military authority or right to tax should be soothed by understanding the role of legislature, or the representatives of the people, in determining the central government's authority to raise an army and levy taxes.

Allowing both the federal and state government to levy taxes will ensure that they both have enough funds to effectively plan to meet their different needs. Critics claim that the Constitutional Convention was not authorized to remove the Articles of Confederation. In fact, resolutions of both the Annapolis Convention and the Confederation Congress allowed for any changes consistent with the needs of the nation.

It contains many of the same powers, only strengthened, and differs only in the number of states required to ratify the changes, requiring only 9 instead of the formerly required Furthermore, the Constitution requires that the people, not the states, are needed to ratify the document and decide whether they will take the advice of the framers or not. The framers did the best within their abilities to provide a plan that would best ensure the happiness of the American people.

Even if the convention was unauthorized, that does not mean that the states should not take the good advice of the delegates to the convention. In a small republic, it would also be easier for the candidates to fool the voters but more difficult in a large one. The last argument Madison makes in favor of a large republic is that as, in a small republic, there will be a lower variety of interests and parties, a majority will more frequently be found.

The number of participants of that majority will be lower, and, since they live in a more limited territory, it would be easier for them to agree and work together for the accomplishment of their ideas. While in a large republic the variety of interests will be greater so to make it harder to find a majority.

Even if there is a majority, it would be harder for them to work together because of the large number of people and the fact they are spread out in a wider territory. A republic, Madison writes, is different from a democracy because its government is placed in the hands of delegates, and, as a result of this, it can be extended over a larger area. The idea is that, in a large republic, there will be more "fit characters" to choose from for each delegate.

Also, the fact that each representative is chosen from a larger constituency should make the "vicious arts" of electioneering [21] a reference to rhetoric less effective. For instance, in a large republic, a corrupt delegate would need to bribe many more people in order to win an election than in a small republic. Also, in a republic, the delegates both filter and refine the many demands of the people so as to prevent the type of frivolous claims that impede purely democratic governments.

Though Madison argued for a large and diverse republic, the writers of the Federalist Papers recognized the need for a balance. They wanted a republic diverse enough to prevent faction but with enough commonality to maintain cohesion among the states. He notes that if constituencies are too large, the representatives will be "too little acquainted with all their local circumstances and lesser interests". No matter how large the constituencies of federal representatives, local matters will be looked after by state and local officials with naturally smaller constituencies.

The Anti-Federalists vigorously contested the notion that a republic of diverse interests could survive. The author Cato another pseudonym, most likely that of George Clinton [24] summarized the Anti-Federalist position in the article Cato no.

Whoever seriously considers the immense extent of territory comprehended within the limits of the United States, with the variety of its climates, productions, and commerce, the difference of extent, and number of inhabitants in all; the dissimilitude of interest, morals, and policies, in almost every one, will receive it as an intuitive truth, that a consolidated republican form of government therein, can never form a perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to you and your posterity, for to these objects it must be directed: Generally, it was their position that republics about the size of the individual states could survive, but that a republic on the size of the Union would fail.

A particular point in support of this was that most of the states were focused on one industry—to generalize, commerce and shipping in the northern states and plantation farming in the southern. The Anti-Federalist belief that the wide disparity in the economic interests of the various states would lead to controversy was perhaps realized in the American Civil War , which some scholars attribute to this disparity.

The discussion of the ideal size for the republic was not limited to the options of individual states or encompassing union. In a letter to Richard Price , Benjamin Rush noted that "Some of our enlightened men who begin to despair of a more complete union of the States in Congress have secretly proposed an Eastern, Middle, and Southern Confederacy, to be united by an alliance offensive and defensive". In making their arguments, the Anti-Federalists appealed to both historical and theoretic evidence.

On the theoretical side, they leaned heavily on the work of Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu. The Anti-Federalists Brutus and Cato both quoted Montesquieu on the issue of the ideal size of a republic, citing his statement in The Spirit of the Laws that:.

It is natural to a republic to have only a small territory, otherwise it cannot long subsist. In a large republic there are men of large fortunes, and consequently of less moderation; there are trusts too great to be placed in any single subject; he has interest of his own; he soon begins to think that he may be happy, great and glorious, by oppressing his fellow citizens; and that he may raise himself to grandeur on the ruins of his country.

In a large republic, the public good is sacrificed to a thousand views; it is subordinate to exceptions, and depends on accidents. In a small one, the interest of the public is easier perceived, better understood, and more within the reach of every citizen; abuses are of less extent, and of course are less protected.

Greece and Rome were looked to as model republics throughout this debate, [31] and authors on both sides took Roman pseudonyms.

Brutus points out that the Greek and Roman states were small, whereas the U. He also points out that the expansion of these republics resulted in a transition from free government to tyranny.

In the first century of the American republic, No. For instance, in Democracy in America , Alexis de Tocqueville refers specifically to more than fifty of the essays, but No. News and World Report , No. The historian Charles A. Beard identified Federalist No. In his book An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States , Beard argued that Madison produced a detailed explanation of the economic factors that lay behind the creation of the Constitution.

At the outset of his study, Beard makes his point when he writes that Madison provided "a masterly statement of the theory of economic determinism in politics" Beard , p. Later in his study, Beard repeated his point, only providing more emphasis. Douglass Adair attributes the increased interest in the tenth number to Charles A.

Beard 's book An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution , published in 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. Garry Wills is a noted critic of Madison's argument in Federalist No. In his book Explaining America , he adopts the position of Robert Dahl in arguing that Madison's framework does not necessarily enhance the protections of minorities or ensure the common good.

But these weapons for delay are given to the minority irrespective of its factious or nonfactious character; and they can be used against the majority irrespective of its factious or nonfactious character. What Madison prevents is not faction, but action. What he protects is not the common good but delay as such". For instance, United States Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens cites the paper for the statement, "Parties ranked high on the list of evils that the Constitution was designed to check".

See The Federalist, No. Madison's argument that restraining liberty to limit faction is an unacceptable solution has been used by opponents of campaign finance limits. Justice Clarence Thomas , for example, invoked Federalist No. Rather than adopting the repressive 'cure' for faction that the majority today endorses, the Framers armed individual citizens with a remedy".

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Accessed January 22, See also "The Federalist Papers: Volume 1, Chapter 4, Document University of Chicago Press. Retrieved January 22, Referenced November 20, Volume 1, Chapter 17, Document Volume 1, Chapter 7, Document 7.

The Grecian republics were of small extent; so also was that of the Romans. Both of these, it is true, in process of time, extended their conquests over large territories of country; and the consequence was, that their governments were changed from that of free governments to those of the most tyrannical that ever existed in the world".

Jones , U. Brown , U. Fame and the Founding Fathers. The Federalist with Letters of "Brutus". The MacMillan Company, Are We to Be a Nation? Harvard University Press, University Press of Kansas, De Pauw, Linda Grant. New York State and the Federal Constitution. Cornell University Press, The Political Theory of The Federalist. University of Chicago Press, The Authority of Publius: A Reading of the Federalist Papers.

Politics, Literature, and the American Language, Yeoman Politician of the New Republic. State Historical Society of Wisconsin, The Summer of The Men Who Invented the Constitution. The Creation of the American Republic, — The Idea of America:

Navigation menu

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

The Federalist Papers study guide contains a biography of Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

Privacy FAQs

A short summary of The Founding Fathers's The Federalist Papers (). This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of The Federalist Papers ().

About Our Ads

The Federalist Papers consist of eighty-five letters written to newspapers in the late s to urge ratification of the U.S. Constitution. With the Constitution needing approval from nine of thirteen states, the press was inundated with letters about the controversial document. Read the Federalist Papers The best way to determine the intent of the founders when drafting the US Constitution is to read them for yourself. Then you can be the judge of whether or not the federal government is abusing the power afforded it by the US Constitution.

Cookie Info

The Federalist Papers were a collection of essays in support of the Constitution of the United States. They were written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay in order to persuade New York State to ratify the Constitution. The Federalists supported the new constitution, and encouraged the people to ratify it through a collection of 85 coordinated essays known as the Federalist Papers. The Anti-Federalists opposed the new constitution, and argued that it needed to be fixed before being ratified.