As we have been discussing, throughout history, many people were not fans of pure democracy. One of the reasons for this was the idea of factions, as addressed in Madison’s Federalist No. 10. So what is the definition of a faction?
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The original definition provided by James Madison revolves around the idea that a faction is designed to restrain the people’s liberties and comfort. The very first factions that appeared on the territory of the United States were the result of disagreements within the Government concerning the citizens’ rights (Bond & Smith, 2016). The two opposing opinions among the forefathers led to the creation of factions.
Why are factions a threat to a democratic government?
The problem with the political factions consists in the fact that the political maneuvers performed by the government tend to disregard the interests of the citizens of the United States (Bond & Smith, 2016). The Americans and their needs are neglected due to the fact that the factions are not looking for political domination and not a compromise.
According to Madison, what are the two ways to remove the cause of a faction?
The first way to remove the cause presented by Madison is the withdrawal of the idea of liberty. Destroying liberty means to approve and certify the existence of a faction (Bond & Smith, 2016). The second way to eradicate the cause is to enforce the same views and interests on the mainstream population of the US citizens.
From your reading, please distinguish why the two ways to remove a faction are not effective.
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When addressing the issue of removing a faction, we should remember that the citizens of the United States fought for their freedom. On a bigger scale, this means that the government cannot take it away (Bond & Smith, 2016). The two ways to remove a faction will not be effective due to the fact that they are based on limitations and not freedoms.
What is it about human nature that causes factions to form?
Human nature is one of the core drivers of faction creation because human beings are used to compiling into groups (Bond & Smith, 2016). The existence of the majority and opposition is a natural process and cannot be reverted. Factions are formed because people find other people with similar interests.
Differentiate the characteristics of a pure democracy from a republic.
Madison’s ideas concerning pure democracy reflected a supposition that it disregarded individual rights and subjugated the opposing minorities by default (Bond & Smith, 2016). Moreover, pure democracy can only be deployed within smaller communities and does not give the government the opportunity to influence the citizens.
In referencing Madison, provide at least two reasons explaining why a republic can do a better job of controlling the effects of faction than a pure democracy.
The Republic government is better than pure democracy due to the fact that republican-minded leaders are able to make smart decisions and take responsibility for their actions (Bond & Smith, 2016). Another advantage of a republic is that the citizens themselves choose the leader they want and allow them to make critical decisions on the citizens’ behalf.
Assess Madison’s argument. Do you find that a republican form of government is the best way to control factions, in contrast to pure democracy? And how do you think this system has worked in controlling the factions over time?
I believe that a republican form of government is more efficient in terms of controlling factions because republican leaders realize the long-term implications of every decision they make.
Bond, J., & Smith, K. (2016). Analyzing American democracy politics and political science. New York, NY: Routledge.
Jillson, C. (2013). American government: Political development and institutional change. New York, NY: Routledge.