The Constitutional Convention

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According to James Madison, what is the difference between democracy and republic?

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James Madison discusses the difference between pure democracy and representative democracy in Federalist Paper 10.  He discusses how the impact of political factions is different in the two government types.  Madison warns that people with common interests or agendas could form a coalition and if that coalition can form a majority, they can suppress the interests of the minority. As an example, imagine if the lower classes would form an alliance in which they demanded their economic interests be heard.  In a direct democracy, they could control most decisions because of the sheer volume of votes.  This would potentially harm commercial and economic development.  Madison felt that the impact of factions or political parties could be offset by establishing a form of representative government.  In a republic where the population would be larger, Madison believed that factions would remain local and would not spread to all parts of the nation.  Madison believed it was impossible to stop the formation of parties, but their influence on liberty could be stymied in a republic.

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