Of the many issues that Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay sought to confront and explain in their Federalist Papers, one of the overriding matters of contention was the new Constitution's focus on expanding the proposed size and scope of the republic. The Federalists believed that one of the decisive causes for the failure of the previous Articles of the Confederation was that the small, isolated and homogonous state republics created by the Articles heightened the noxious effects of factions, which were considered to be close bedfellows to tyranny and oppression. Along with recognizing flaws inherent in a small republic, the Federalist also notes the strong advantages of instituting a larger republic; they believed that a republic of a greater scope, well organized and well-run, could effectively manage itself, as there is inherent in its design the ability to eradicate faction, tyranny and oppression, while simultaneously promoting an efficient means of attaining public well-being.
[...] In Federalist number ten, Madison writes that he has been witness to infinite complaints “that our governments are too unstable, that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties, and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority” in the current state of Government under the Articles of the Confederation (Rossiter 72). Madison attributes these glaring issues to the prolific growth of faction in small, homogonous republics, as the “smaller the society, the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and interests composing it . [...]
[...] However, a large republic can flourish in virtuous or non-virtuous societies, as it has, inherent in its design, the ability to function in any social atmosphere. Although the Constitution the Framers created was unprecedented and radically different in comparison to its predecessor, the new design for a large republic was free of the inherent flaws that were carried by the Articles of the Confederation. It would seem that a complete overhaul of the republican concept was much more appropriate and effective than attempting in vain to remedy the doomed and altogether faulty Articles, as the framers abandoned the necessity of an [...]
[...] That is, just as Smith described an “invisible hand” that would cause the economy to function best when its constituents were acting selfishly, Madison and Hamilton believed that an expansive republic would function best when “ambition . made to counteract ambition.” In a larger republic where there would be innumerable opinions and competing ambitions, no single, oppressive ambition could take hold because that single interest would be in competition with such a multitude of other, opposing interests. With all citizens focusing on their own ambitions and self-interest, only the broadest and most agreeable overlapping interests, or issues agreed upon by compromise, would ever be able to take hold, thereby insuring the extinction of any powerful, oppressive faction. [...]
[...] The Anti- Federalists noted two main fundamental disagreements with the idea of an expansive republic: they believed that a large republic would be impractical and impossible to govern, as the giant scope of the republic would eventually lead the unwieldy nation to either fall into chaos or despotism, and that an expansive republic would destroy the concept of representation as, in the large scope of the proposed republic, representatives would become disconnected with their constituency and thereby misrepresent his people. [...]
[...] Furthermore, in Federalist fifty-five, James Madison confronts the Anti- Federalist's belief that too few men representing the people would prove inadequate and harmful to the greater population. Madison asserts that, “Sixty or seventy men may be more properly trusted with a given degree of power than six or seven. But it does not follow that six or seven hundred would be proportionably a better depositary . the number ought at most to be kept within a certain limit, in order to avoid the confusion and intemperance of a multitude” (Rossiter 340). [...]
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