2 -- Part 10: AMERICAN CITIZENS AND POLITICAL CULTURE
Madison tried to convince Americans that a large country was not more likely to be affected by special interests than a small one.
He said that the greatest danger to a republic was from groups of people who were not interested in the country as a whole.
Farmers are interested in keeping food prices high, even though it will make most Americans worse off.
Business people prefer high import duties because they make foreign goods more expensive for the rest of us.
A minority of the population can be offset by majority rule.
They become problematic when they are a majority.
The most basic being between the haves and have-nots in society is the economic roots of the groups.
The mass of propertyless people that Madison was worried about were threatening to property holders under the Articles of Confederation.
To control the causes of the groups would be to restrict individual liberty.
In a large republic, the effects of factions were easy to manage.
If the territory was large, there would be so many of them that no one would be a majority.
It would be difficult for people with the same interests to find each other if they lived in different places.
Madison didn't anticipate social media or the telegraph.
In the topic of interest groups, we discuss Madison's argument.
Madison relied on mechanical elements of politics to remedy a flaw in human nature, the tendency to form divisive factions.
The importance of institutions as well as rules in bringing about desired outcomes in politics is typical of the Federalists' approach to government.
The institutions proposed in the Constitution would not lead to corruption or tyranny according to Madison.
The solution was the separation of powers.
Madison's explanation of why checks work is worth looking at, even though we discuss them in Chapter 4.
He said thatmbition must be made to counteract ambition.
If men tend to be ambitious, give them the job of watching over each other, and neither will the other have an advantage.
Hamilton wrote 84.
It doesn't reflect great principles, but it's interesting because the Constitution was ratified even though it didn't reflect great principles.
The Federalists argued that a federal Bill of Rights would be redundant because some state constitutions had them.
Many of the rights that would be included in a Bill of Rights were already in the body of the text, and the limited government set up by the federal Constitution didn't have the power to violate individual rights.
The Anti-Federalists were afraid of the power of the national government and were horrified by the omission.
The Bill of Rights was argued against by Hamilton.
Hamilton said that the limited national government didn't have the power to interfere with citizens' lives in many ways.
The government would assume it had the power to do anything that wasn't forbidden if the Constitution had a list of things it couldn't do to individuals.
Government would be more likely to violate its citizens' rights if it had a Bill of Rights.
The Federalists were forced to give in to AntiFederalist pressure because of this unpersuasive argument.
The Bill of Rights, which was added to the Constitution as the first ten amendments, was the price of ratification exacted by several states.
In Chapter 5, we look at the limits on fundamental American liberties.
The compromise that gave equal representation in the Senate to the smaller states made them feel better about being part of a strong nation.
In Delaware, New Jersey, and Georgia, the vote was unanimous.
The convention votes in Connecticut and Pennsylvania were in favor of the Constitution.
It is possible that this helped to tip the balance for Massachusetts.
In the spring of 1787, Maryland and South Carolina voted in favor of the Constitution, leaving only one more state to make it law.
The battles were much tighter in the remaining states.
The Virginia convention gave the decisive vote and the Federalists threw a lot of their effort into securing it.
Madison and his colleagues promised to support a Bill of Rights when they debated George Mason and Patrick Henry.
After New Hampshire voted 57 to 47 to approve the Constitution, Virginia voted 89 to 79 to approve it.
The law of the land was established with the approval of ten states.
The Constitution was narrowly passed by New York, but it was defeated by North Carolina.
Rhode Island, which did not send delegates to the Constitutional Convention, did not call a state convention to put it to a vote.
Rules are important in determining outcomes.
The states had to approve the Articles of Confederation.
The Constitution may have been defeated if the Constitutional Convention had chosen a similar rule of unanimity.
The adoption of the Constitution is more likely now that the Federalists decided to require only nine of the thirteen to approve it.