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Factionalism According To James Madison Essay

1179 words - 5 pages

The writers of “The Federalist Papers,” Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, strongly opposed the oftentimes negative effects of factionalism on government efficiency. Within “The Federalist Paper No. 10,” Madison explains factionalism, what causes it, its effect on American society and how to limit the damage cause by opposing factions.
The nation’s original constitution was being re-evaluated by the various delegates present during the Constitutional Convention of 1787. The Articles of Confederation, as the preliminary constitution was christened, had been the bylaws of the United States for six years. It was intended to govern the nation until 1790. However, it was determined to be simply too ineffective because it lacked the power to levy taxes, required the unanimous approval of all thirteen states to be amended meaning it was virtually impossible for changes to be made, and regulate commerce which caused competition between states. According to the first president of the United States, George Washington, the original constitution was “a half-starved, limping Government, that appears to be always moving upon crutches and tottering at every step” (qtd. in Smith 11). Delegates convened for a Constitutional Convention to begin drafting a new, more-effective constitution. In September, copies of the proposed Constitution were given to the delegates to be presented to their respective state legislatures for ratification. The proponents of the new Constitution, christened Federalists, actively sought after its passage. While its opponents, christened Antifederalists, feared the perceived loss of states’ rights and the absence of a bill of rights. Hamilton, Jay, and Madison were fervent Federalists. Thus, they were in full support of the passing of the proposed Constitution. They supported is adoption for a number of reasons. To the Federalists, their most important duty as politicians was to defend the social gains of the Revolution and limit the damage being caused by the various factions that had begun to appear as a result of various political squabbles. In an effort to convince the people to support the passage of the Constitution, Hamilton, Jay, and Madison collaborated to write what are now known as “The Federalist Papers.” These essays were published within New York newspapers from October 1787 to April 1788. The essays were signed “Publius,” a collective pseudonym adopted by the three men. However, their true identities were widely known. Published on November 22, 1787 was “Paper No. 10,” a piece written solely by Madison. The paper contains Madison’s reasons for adopting the new Constitution.
At the onset of arguably the most renowned of the Federalist Papers, Madison immediately declares that the passage of the Constitution will create a national government capable of controlling the violence and damage caused by factions. Both the supporters and detractors of the Constitution are concerned about the...

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