Madisonian Democracy

High School ・Political Science ・APA ・2 Sources

The Concept of the Madisonian Democracy and Madison’s Ideas about the Problem of Faction

 In the federalist papers, the main thesis that guides Madison’s argument is “How shall the separation of power be maintained in practice.” In the federalist paper numbers 47 and 51, Madison discussed the institutional makeup that was included in the draft constitution that had been proposed then. In the federalist paper number 47, Madison discusses the constitution of government and show that power should be distributed among the three branches of government that include the judiciary, executive and legislative branches (Straw 325-326). The main reason was to deal with the criticism that the power of the three factions of government were conflicting, and the branches were not entirely independent. The main argument Madison made was that no colonies at the time or the government of England had a political system with a strict separation of power in the three arms of government (Straw 325-326).

 In federalist paper number 51, Madison argues that the constitutors of government must come up with proper system of check of balances that will ensure that there are checks and balances in different department of government, and he argues that it is the key to understanding the American democracy (Straw 325-326). Madison’s argument is based on the premise that each government department should have the freedom to come up with a will of its own (Straw 325-326).

 Concerning factions, Madison held the belief that factions that seek to fulfill personal agenda are the main challenge democratic governments are facing. Madison’s understanding of the representative government emanated from experimenting with the concept of self-rule before and after the American Revolution.  Before the revolution, there were complaints that the parliament dominated the political scene and the people in the colonies were not represented in the system (Straw 325-326). After the war ended, most colonies were cautious and they did not want to live under another monarch. The factions in the colonies engaged in abuse of powers with the majority undermining the freedoms and rights of the minority, and hence, they substituted the “tyranny of the executive” with the “the tyranny of the legislature (Straw 325-326).

 Madison was aware of the fact that factions cannot be eliminated, and his solution was to prevent one faction from growing to become the majority. The aim of Madison was not to prevent the formation of political parties, but ensure that any act passed by the Congress reflects the views of the different factions in society (Straw 325-326). Madison supported the views of Hamilton when he stated that political theorist like Montesquieu were wrong when they stated that democracy could only succeed in tiny geographic area (Straw 325-326).

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The Relationship between the Important Political Events and the Eventual Policy Outcome of the Civil Rights Movement

 Most scholars agree that the ruling in the Brown v. Board Education of Topeka case in 1954 was one of the most important political events in the history of the civil rights movement that progressed in the 1960s. In 1995, civil rights activists in Montgomery, Alabama started a movement that sought to boycott businesses and buses owned by white people (Patterson 10-13). The boycott was led by Rosa Park and Nixon E.D, and it started after a bus driver call the cops because Rosa Parks had refused to adhere to the rule that required black people to seat at the back of the bus, whenever white people had no places to seat. This event also made Martin Luther King Jr. to assume the leadership of the civil rights movements. Moreover, King established the SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) to assist in the struggle (Patterson 10-13).

 Two other significant developments that took place in 1957 also motivated the advocates of the civil rights movements. One of these major events was the enactment of the Civil Rights Act, and it was the first Congress had ever passed from the time of reconstruction (Patterson 10-13). The Civil Rights Act enabled the establishment of the Civil Rights Commission at the federal level, and it was given the mandate of researching racial problems and coming up with appropriate solutions.  A third significant event in the civil rights movement is was the decision of President Eisenhower to translocate federal troops to Little Rock town in Arkansas to enable the implementation of a partial segregation plan that saw nine Black student being admitted in the Central High School that a had a white majority (Patterson 10-13).

 Nevertheless, the above move did not end social segregation. By 1964, black children only constituted one percent of all students in the Southern public schools. The white violence that had been increasing in the south discouraged the proponents of the civil rights movement in the 1950s (Patterson 10-13). In addition, most black people especially the younger ones were impatient because the movement was progressing rather slowly due to several legal hurdles. Based on the Madison’s conceptualization of democracy, it can be said that different factions with different interests characterized the civil rights movement. The factions included blacks fighting for their civil rights, the judiciary, the legislature and the Congress (Patterson 10-13).

  The change in the tactics used by civil rights activists such as the CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) led to the revival of old civil rights movement groups and the establishment of new ones, for example, SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating). In May 1961, the pioneering bus carrying mixed-raced passengers was dispatched, and the aim of the trip was to make authority in the South to adhere to the decision that demanded the ending of racial segregation in the bus terminal (Patterson 10-13).

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The Quality of the American Democracy

 Based on the analysis of the civil rights movement, it can be said that the quality of the American Democracy is the best in the world because it considers the interest of the minorities and all other conflicting factions in society. For instance, there was disagreement between the Congress and the courts on civil rights issues. The Congress wanted a speedy resolution of the matter, while the courts preferred a slow approach based on the argument that many legal issues existed. Young black people wanted a speedy resolution of the matter just like the Congress. However, the leaders of the civil rights movement decided to move with the progress of the courts. In the end, all the parties agreed and a reached a decision that was acceptable to all the parties involved.

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Works Cited

Patterson, James T. The Civil Rights Movement: Major Events And Legacies. 6 January 2017. Https://Www.Gilderlehrman.Org/History-By-Era/Civil-Rights-Movement/Essays/Civil-Rights-Movement-Major-Events-And-Legacies. 6 December 2017.

Straw, Christopher M. "The Role Of Electoral Accountability In The Madisonian Machine." Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, 1. 2 (2008): 321-363.

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