James Madison: Federalist 51

(1788)

Document Text

The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances Between the Different Departments

From the New York Packet, Friday, February 8, 1788

To the People of the State of New York:

TO what expedient, then, shall we finally resort, for maintaining in practice the necessary partition of power among the several departments, as laid down in the Constitution? The only answer that can be given is, that as all these exterior provisions are found to be inadequate, the defect must be supplied, by so contriving the interior structure of the government as that its several constituent parts may, by their mutual relations, be the means of keeping each other in their proper places. Without presuming to undertake a full development of this important idea, I will hazard a few general observations, which may perhaps place it in a clearer light, and enable us to form a more correct judgment of the principles and structure of the government planned by the...

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James Madison (Library of Congress)

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