If A Faction Consists Of Less Than A Majority, Relief Is Supplied By The Republican Principle. What Is The Meaning?


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From Federalist 10 it can be gleaned that James Madison defined republican principles as, that which is to control the effects of faction.

Madison defines faction as, "...a number of citizens whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community."

In other words, republican principles can be said to be: Principles incorporated into the workings of government which help guard against the excesses or tyranny of both the majority and minority factions; principles that promote the general welfare of the community as a whole by treating every person equally and guarding each individual persons rights.

He goes on to state that, "There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction: The one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects.
There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: The one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests.
It could never be more truly said than of the first remedy [destroying liberty] that it was worse than the disease. Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be a less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency."

Madison also rules out giving the citizens the same opinions, passions, and interests. He states that it, "...is as impracticable as the first [the destruction of liberty] would be unwise. As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other."

So there you go ...can't believe you do not remember Mrs. Morris discussing that in tenth grade government class...and you thought I was asleep!

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