The Federalist Papers

Federalist Paper, Number 10

Does Madison believe that Man is inherently good or evil? How does this affect his belief in the role of government?

Asked by
Last updated by jill d #170087
Answers 1
Add Yours

In context, Madison does not put forth the idea that men are inherently good. He does, however, note that if the new plan of government is adopted, he hopes that the men elected to office will be wise and good men,­ the best of America. Theoretically, those who govern should be the least likely to sacrifice the public good for temporary conditions, but the opposite could happen. Men who are members of particular factions or who have prejudices or evil motives might manage, by intrigue or corruption, to win elections and then betray the interests of the people. However, the possibility of this happening in a large country, such as the United States, is greatly reduced. The likelihood that public offices will be held by qualified men is greater in large countries because there will be more representatives chosen by a greater number of citizens. This makes it more difficult for the candidates to deceive the people.


Federalist Paper 10