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M. Another feature of the political theory of the Constitution’s Framers and the authors of the Federalist Papers is that it was important to restrain the exercise of power by government officials. This could be handled several ways: creating a system of checks and balances among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches to minimize the impact of untrustworthy persons; giving power to both state and federal governments to further divide the various centers of power in the nation; and finally, designing a system of regular and frequent elections to increase turnover among those in power, preventing consolidation and corruption. The Founders at the Constitutional Convention knew that since independence, demagogues seeking power for its own sake or to use in corrupt financial schemes carried a disproportionate influence in the state governments. It was his fear that such men might lead factions in the states or in the federal government. This led to Madison’s clear condemnation of faction and his theory that factions could best be controlled in a large territory.

N. Parallels exist between our modern national and cultural commitment to diversity and Madison’s vision of what was necessary for the eighteenth century American republic. Likening the manner in which religious freedom is preserved by tolerance for many religions, he states:

in a free government the security for civil rights must be the same as for religious rights. It consists in the one case in the multiplicity of interests, and in the other in the multiplicity of sects. The degree of security in both cases will depend on the number of interests and sects; and this may be presumed to depend on the extent of country and number of people comprehended under the same government. (No. 51)

Elaborating on this theme, and brilliantly and historically creating a new argument that the best guarantee of proper functioning in a republic is to have a large one, he wrote:

in the extended republic of the United States, and among the great variety of interests, parties, and sects which it embraces, a coalition of a majority of the whole society could seldom take place on any other principles than those of justice and the general good; whilst there being thus less danger to a minor from the will of the major party, there must be less pretext, also, to provide for the security of the former, by introducing into the government a will not dependent on the latter, or, in other words, a will independent of the society itself. (No. 51)