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Video transcript

in other videos we have talked about how ratification of the US Constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation was not a slam dunk after the Constitution was drafted during the Constitutional Convention in mid 1787 you actually have a significant group of people who are against the ratification and we study some of their writings in another video on the anti-federalist papers in particular on Brutus one which is the most prominent of them in this video we're gonna focus on the other side on the folks who are aggressively advocating for ratification of the Constitution Alexander Hamilton James Madison John J were some of the most prominent of these and they were the ones that wrote the Federalist Papers that were focused on convincing everyone to adopt the Constitution and what we're going to look at in this video is perhaps the most famous of the Federalist Papers this is Federalist number 10 or at least an excerpt of a Federalist number 10 that we're going to look at right over here it was published November 23rd 1787 and if you remember the video on Brutus one this is only a few weeks after Brutus won which is now considered a famous anti-federalists paper was published so it's right in this time period right over here where people are going back and forth deciding do we ratify this Constitution and James Madison published under the pen name Publius and Publius is making reference to one of the ancient Roman aristocrats who overthrew the Roman Kingdom in the late 6th century to establish the Roman Republic so one way to think about it is he is viewing himself and the other Federalists as trying to establish a strong Republic this is in comparison to Brutus which we see as the pen name for some of the significant anti-federalist papers and Brutus played a significant role in the assassination of Julius Caesar to keep him from corrupting the Republic ending the Republic and turning it into an empire but now let's read this excerpt of Federalist number 10 and as I read this keep in mind some of these ideas these flavors of democracy that we have talked about other videos does Madison in Federalist number 10 does he seem Pro participatory democracy or anti participatory democracy does he seem to think that pluralism is a good idea or a bad idea and is he more Pro Elite democracy or anti elites running a democracy to the people of the state of New York and like Brutus one it's addressed to the people of the state of New York because one New York was a significant state and he's trying to convince them in this case and to support the US Constitution among the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union none deserves to be more accurately developed than his tendency to break and control the violence of action so well constructed Union needs to be able to control the violence of a faction in fact this is in the title the Union as a safeguard against domestic faction and insurrection complaints are everywhere heard from our most considered and virtuous citizens 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 so already outlining some of the problems as problems of faction this problem of majority rule over running minorities or the rights of the minorities it is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests the clashing interests of faction and render them all subservient to the public good enlightened statesman will not always be at the helm it may be concluded that a pure democracy by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens who assemble and administer the government in person can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction so a pure democracy which is about as close as you can get to a participatory democracy madisyn here is claiming that it can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of a faction that it doesn't really help the situation a common passion or interest will in almost every case be felt by a majority of the whole and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of people and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths so what does Madison think of participatory democracy x' right he doesn't think too highly of them he says look a majority is going to take over and they're going to trample over the rights of everyone else so clearly he thinks that a participatory democracy not not good a republic by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place opens a different prospect and promises the cure for which we are seeking so in his definition of Republic it's a situation where you have the people being represented by others the two great points of difference between a democracy or a pure democracy and a republic are first the delegation of the government in the latter to a small number of citizens elected by the rest so he's saying in a republic you're delegating the government to a small all number of citizens elected by the rest secondly the greater number of citizens and the greater sphere of country over which the latter the Republic may be extended so this is interesting because in Brutus one the argument is made that Republic's aren't good at ruling over large territories here Madison is claiming that a republic is better at ruling over a greater sphere of country over a greater number of citizens the effect of the first difference and so this is the notion of having these representatives having a representative democracy is to refine and enlarge the public views by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens whose wisdom may best discern the true interests of their country and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations under such a regulation it may well happen that the public voice pronounced by the representatives of the people will be more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves so this is really really interesting because we already saw that Madison is not a fan of participatory democracy and here he's saying look if you take the views and pass them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens that these people might represent the public good better than the people themselves this is really Madison being very Pro Elite democracy where you have a limited number of people who are really participating and he's making the argument that they might be better at representing the needs of the people than the people themselves on the other hand the effect may be inverted so he is giving some credence to the other side of the argument Menna factious tempers of local prejudices or of sinister designs may by intrigue by corruption or by other means first obtain the suffrages and then betray the interests of the people the question resulting is whether small or extensive Republic's are more favorable to the election of proper guardians of the public weal and it is clearly decided in favor of the latter so large Republic's by two obvious considerations in the first place however small the Republic may be the representatives must be raised to a certain number in order to guard against the cabal's of a few and that however large it may be they must be limited to a certain number in order to guard against the confusion of a multitude so this is really interesting he says look no matter how large your Republic you're going to need a certain number of Representatives you have to small then they're just going to be able to control everything but if you have too many representatives it's just going to be confusing hence the number of Representatives in the two cases not being in proportion to that of the two constituents they're not going to keep the same proportion depending on population and being proportionally greater in the small Republic it follows that if the proportion of fit characters be not less in the large than in the small Republic the former will present a greater option and consequently a greater probability of a fit choice so what he's really saying is in a large Republic you're more likely to find fit and good representatives than you will in a small Republic once again he wants people who he considers to be elite in some way the more educated whatever you might consider elite to be for the sake of time I'll leave you there in this part 1 video and in part 2 we'll see James Madison continued to argue not only for a republic but for a large Republic which the US Constitution provides for arguing that you'll have better people representing in government and you will also have a more pluralist Society which we'll see is very different than the view of the anti-federalists