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E. Madison goes on to make one of the most brilliant and bold assertions regarding republican government. Until the Federalist Papers, it was generally believed that a republic (a government composed of representatives of the people, rather than rule by aristocrats or a monarch) could only function in a small territory, and for a small group of people. Madison recognizes that sometimes “men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain [election], and then betray the interests, of the people.” The threat of such betrayal could be reduced, however, if the republic was large in territory and composed of many people. In such a territory, noxious factions would cancel each other out, and result in representatives “whose enlightened views and virtuous sentiments render them superior to local prejudices, and to schemes of injustice.” Madison also suggests “the increased variety of parties,” will “consist in the greater obstacles opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an unjust and [self-]interested majority (No. 10).”

F. The arguments in the Federalist Papers are all about controlling the government and avoiding an abusive government. Still, the Federalist Papers, and the Constitution itself, are as much about duty and responsibility as they are about the preservation of individual rights. A well-balanced and ordered government is the only guarantee of really important rights, such as those to security of person and property. The Framers of the Constitution and the writers of the Federalist Papers knew history revealed republics