James Madison: Federalist 14(1787)
Explanation and Analysis of the Document
In Federalist 14 Madison argues for a large republic on practical grounds. He accuses the Antifederalists of exploiting the prejudice against large republics by pointing to the small democracies of antiquity. He refutes this by referring to the actual territory of the proposed United States of America.
Madison formulates a geometrical axiom that states that “the natural limit of a republic is that distance from the centre which will barely allow the representatives to meet as often as may be necessary for the administration of public affairs.”...
James Madison (Library of Congress)View Full Size