In Federalist No. 51, James Madison argues that, “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.” Madison was rejecting traditional claims that democracy required virtuous citizens who actively participated in the political life of the country to be successful. Rather, Madison’s argument held that the way that power was divided within a government could provide a more successful mechanism to protect democracy. In other words, Madison rejected the idea that American democracy was dependent on virtuous citizens.
How does Madison’s assertion relate to the idea of citizenship and popular participation? How was Madison’s argument operationalized in the U.S. Constitution? Be sure to provide specific examples in your answer.
Explain Madison’s argument in Federalist No. 51 that the three branches of government could serve as a check on one another. Connect Madison’s argument to the idea of separation of powers in the U.S. Constitution. List and describe the three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial and explain the Constitutional equality of each branch. Describes the powers afforded each branch to serve as a check on another(idea of checks and balances). Give some specific examples.
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