The Articles of Confederation failed to provide a substantial enough defense for the protection of states against the interest of foreign powers, and from the conflict ion of interests in and between states. This failure led to the conception of a national or federalized state. The question of how to correct the problem of a coherently unified defense against foreign power was easily answered with the creation of a national army; but how could this new government protect states' interests from themselves within the confines of a democratic governmental system? I contend that through the bureaucratization of a federalized system the early American government was able to use the same state based interest that hindered the survival of the confederacy to sustain the feasibility of the newly formed state. The blueprint for this bureaucratization can be traced to the Madisonian model of government. In The Federalist Papers, James Madison comes to the realization that " the latent causes of faction are sown in the nature of man" (Fed 10, 73), the nature to act in favor of his own self-interest. This interest is what caused faction within the confederation and he uses this self interest to serve as the basis for his model of government.
The Madisonian model consists of three components: the separation of powers, a system of checks and balances, and auxiliary precautions. Madison's model diffuses power into three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial. However, in separating these branches of government Madison does not endow each with equal power. According to Low and Schepsle, " the framers provided for legislative supremacy by making Congress the preeminent branch." (99) Madison justifies this uneven theoretical weighting of power by citing the necessary predominance of the legislature in a republican government (Fed 51, 319). The creation of a bicameral congressional system with staggered elections serves as his remedy for this predominance. He believed that this would ensure the legislature's continued dependence on the people, those whom they were elected to represent.
Accountability mitigates the legislature's greater amount of power. Nonetheless, although the legislature has weighted power separation of power is limited to creating laws. The separation of powers serves the purpose of splitting power up so that not one group has exclusive charge over creating, interpreting, and executing laws. Despotisms, not democracies, function in this manner. Madison expands of Montesquieu's definition of tyranny. "The accumulation of all powers...
in the same hands whether of one, a few or many, and whether hereditary, self appointed or elective may be justly pronounced the very definition of tyranny." (Fed 47, 298) Montesquieu argues that when all powers are under singular control the liberty of a subject is subject to oppression and arbitrary control. Purposeful overlap in the delineation of the explicit constitutional powers of each branch made it possible to check power. In this way, the Madisonian model uses the nature of human self-interest as a necessity of productive governmental function. If Madison's definition of human nature holds, then each branch of government should behave in a manner conducive to accruing the most amount of power for its branch.
But, in the process of so doing because powers overlap between branches, the attempt of any one branch to over step its constitutional limitations is likely to encroach upon that of another branch. The compromised branch is expected to check or limit the power of the branch infringing on its power out of the interest of maintaining its own power. The auxiliary precautions of the separation of powers, and a system of checks and balances served the role of maintaining the integrity of a democratic system by protecting it against tyranny. Nonetheless, it is also argued that these precautions also served the role of inhibiting the malleability of America's republican democracy. These precautions erected barriers to change of which the effects are felt to the present day.
According to Michael Parenti, "To the extent that it existed at all, the majoritarian principle was tightly locked into a system of minority vetoes, making sweeping popular actions nearly impossible." (Parenti 46) But why decide to set up a democracy and then create policies that ensure its adherence to a status quo? Madison states that, " In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions" (Fed 51, 319). Parenti would argue that these precautions were Madison's way of limiting the influence of the people within the new federal system. The framers were weary of too free of a democracy in a society where they (men of their class) were in the minority.
They found the majority of the American population unfit to govern themselves without constraint, but did see the virtue inherent within the idea behind a democracy itself. The believed in the rule of government by the most competent of society; a pure democracy would advocate the rule of all, and the majority. Bureaucratization of the federal system with the constitutional mechanism of auxiliary powers helped the framers map out this vision. In what state has this republican democracy left democracy in its purest sense? view them as security safeguards for the founder's minority class, the American aristocracy. Auxiliary precautions were created as a safety measure for the To accomplish this end, within the pre-federation system was the dominance of legislatures within states. The first element of Madison's plan for federation Madisonian Model System of Checks and Balances Separation of checks and balances Auxiliary precautions (Parenti 46) -Tyranny of the majority as it relates to undermining the interests of a stable democracy -Concerned with controlling the nature of man within republican democracy: faction and self interest.
-System he sets up is interesting because it seems to use presumed human natural self interest to create stability for itself. (Checks and Balances-In protecting ones own power, checking that of another) -Federal system plays the role of a King. Impartial umpire.