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Essay #10 Of The Federalist Papers


The practical advantages of the union held together by the U.S. Constitution include a reduction of factions, proactive promotion of trade and wealth, and a more cost-effective government. In theory, as well as in practice, the new plan of government is far superior to the old and more likely to be sustained.

A republican form of government provides the closest remedy for factions without eliminating liberty altogether. A faction is defined as any number of citizens that are inspired by some common passions to act adversely towards the rights of other citizens. The republican form of government works to prevent factions because a higher number of representatives guard against the attempts of the few, and because the extended sphere of the republic makes it less probably that a faction will become a majority of the whole.

The union serves as a better means to promote commerce, especially in competition with Europe. It allows for uniform prohibitory trade regulations that would eventually lead to privileged trading in the British markets. It also provides for a federal navy that will assist the United States in establishing commercial privileges in this hemisphere.

The union serves as the best means of promoting the overall wealth of the young nation. Revenue in the whole nation will benefit from the consistency of commerce brought about by the union. The ability of the citizens to pay taxes is proportional to the overall amount of wealth, and this increases with commercial success as well. If there is no union, it will be easy for states to trade illicitly amongst themselves and smuggle contraband, both undermining the national revenue. With a single union, there's only one border to protect for trade violations--the Atlantic side.

If there is no national revenue, then taxes will not be taken from commerce and instead will be placed on the land. Landowners will become the most burdened class in society.

It is more cost-efficient to run a union government than to support 13 separate governments. It will be more expensive to staff the separate governments, especially because each would have to worry about inter-state threats to their own security and defense.


The Set-Up

The Constitution's on its way, and people need to be on board with the drafters' ideas of what the Government should look like.

Hamilton, Jay, and Madison are tasked with publishing essays in the newspaper to get people on board with the new Federal Government. They need to get nine out of the thirteen states to support the Constitution, so a lot is riding on them being convincing as humanly possible.

The Text

While each Federalist paper was published anonymously, Federalist papers 10 and 51 were most likely written by James Madison, because they mostly deal with things about the government that he introduced. (Not so sly, JM.)

Federalist Paper 10 is all about warning the power of factions and competing interests over the United States Government.

Since everyone has their own self-interests, and people's self-interests clash with others', governments have to be able to pass laws for the common good instead of any one specific group.

To do that, the United States needs a Democratic Republic instead of a true Democracy, to cut down the power of the majority and filter it through (hopefully) qualified statesmen. This system is also made better by having a larger republic, which the United States hoped to be shortly.

Federalist Paper 51 proposes a government broken into three branches: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.

Each branch should be self-sufficient, but each should have some kind of power over the other in order for them to keep each other from taking over the government. The Legislative branch needs to be split further into the House of Representatives and the Senate because it's the most powerful branch, and members of the Judicial branch need to be chosen by the President with the Senate's approval because they want qualified candidates for a position that lasts for life.

This style of government also helps keep down the power of factions, a recurring theme from Federalist 10.


A three-branch Democratic Republic will be able to preserve American liberties, while also stopping the Anti-Federalists from throwing rocks at our windows.

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