Excerpts from Federalist No. 51
The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances Between the Different Departments
❝ Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” Why do you think Madison believed a separation of powers was so necessary? 3. In Federalist No. 47, James Madison wrote, “The accumulation of all powers legislative, executive and judiciary in the same hands, whether of one, a few or many, and whether hereditary, self appointed, or elective, may justly be 1. In Federalist No. 51, James Madison states, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” What does this statement imply when it comes to creating a government? What words does the author use to answer this question? Now put those thoughts into your own words. 2. The authors of the Federalist papers — Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay — were nationalists who favored a strong central government with authority over the state governments. Yet Anti-Federalists feared the Constitution would encroach upon individual rights and liberty. If you were alive during the time before the Constitution was ratified, would you be a Federalist or Anti-Federalist? Why?
“Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself ..." "It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part ..." "Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been and ever will be pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit. In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature, where the weaker individual is not secured against the violence of the stronger; and as, in the latter state, even the stronger individuals are prompted, by the uncertainty of their condition, to submit to a government which may protect the weak as well as themselves ...”
FEDERAL I ST NO. 51
"Portrait of John Jay" by Gilbert Stuart
AMER I CA’ S LEGACY PRESENTED BY STUDENT GOVERNMENTAL AFFA I RS PROGRAM | 35
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