James Madison: Federalist 10

(1787)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

Madison begins Federalist 10 by arguing that the most important advantage of a “well-constructed Union” is its tendency to “break and control the violence of faction.” By “faction” Madison meant any combination of citizens united by a common interest “adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” The political order was unstable because rival factions brought “superior force” and “overbearing majority” to pass laws favorable to themselves, thus violating the rights of minorities....

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Federalist 10

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