James Madison: Federalist 51

(1788)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

In Federalist 51, Madison explains how the separation of powers between the branches of government will check the power of each branch. He first argues that the branches must be absolutely separate for separation of powers to work. Each branch is like a person needing a “will of its own” to have its separate identity and to protect itself from the incursions of others. Since the members of each branch are absolutely separate, each branch should have nothing to do with the appointment of members of the other branches. This can best be...

Image for: James Madison: Federalist 51

James Madison (Library of Congress)

View Full Size