A Democracy, or a Republic? The Founding Fathers’ Big Debate
Democracy… • In “pure democracy” popular opinion was translated directly into public policy • Ultimate authority is based on the will of the majority • Every person votes, every poor soul! • Direct participation
What is best? • The Federalists believed in the idea of a republic • The Roman republic inspired them the most • Promotion of the public (common) good through chosen representatives
Why did Federalists fear of the masses! • Protect the rights of minority (like the rich) • Act as trustees, where obliged to serve the interests of those whom elected, but ultimately their decision!
What can we do about factions? • Madison in particular was fearful of them • “Federalist #10” he writes that they are not concerned with public good. • A direct democracy cannot protect from them! • It wouldn’t be right or possible to remove them… • CONTROL their effects!
Interesting thoughts… • Some of these ideas didn’t fit in with enlight • How do you organize for public good? • Divided and balanced power among the classes (Montesquieu) • Federalist #51: Checks and balances