James Madison: Federalist 14

(1787)

Please purchase for access to the document text and study guide

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...