James Madison also wrote this paper. This federalist paper is about the separation of the different branches of government to lessen its power. This is so one branch of government doesn’t have complete power over another. It separates the government into three parts, the executive, legislative, and judiciary. It says that each branch that is separate and can act on its own. He says that separating the branches of government is essential to keep liberty. He says that the people have to let us “govern” them. That is what makes it so difficult. President gets to choose the judges for the supreme court. Although he has to for approval from senators when choosing a new person for the role. Different branches of government don’t get to decide how much other branches get paid. The constitution prevents any one branch or specific person from having too much power or influence over another. People like power and often want more for their own selfish reasons, he mentions that it’s human nature and there is nothing we can do to change it. This system prevents them from gaining too much power. With checks and balances, the different branches of government can check and balance each other. The legislative branch is the most powerful, which is why it is split into the Senate and the house of representatives. The members of the Senate are elected differently than the house of representatives. The executive branch has less power than the legislative branch, but it can veto legislation. This gives some power to the executive branch and at the same time takes some power away from the legislative branch. This is an example of those checks and balances. He mentions that we also must manage the power of political groups, as mentioned in Federalist Paper number 10. By breaking the government down into different branches, makes it a lot more difficult for majority political groups to form. A society shouldn’t let the majority always be more powerful than the minority it just wouldn’t work. Therefore, the government is separated into different branches. It keeps citizens safe.

Federalist No. 51 Summary

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James Madison is the primary writer of this paper. He begins it by saying that a union that is put together well can help to make sure political groups do not cause any problems. He insists that political groups are not a good thing. He says they can cause confusion, instability, and injustice. He mentions that other governments have ceased to exist because of political groups. Giving an example of how they are bad. He says that citizens are complaining that the common good is often not seen because of political groups that are against each other. He also believed that the rights of minority groups often get overlooked by the rights of majority groups. Madison then goes on to define political groups as citizens getting together for a common reason, either for or against other people’s rights. He suggests two ways to get rid of political groups. They are getting rid of its causes or its effects. He then goes on to give two ideas to get rid of the cause of a political group. They are getting rid of its liberty and making sure that everyone has the same opinion. He then talks about both of these won’t work. He says we can’t get rid of liberty because it is essential. Everyone will always have different opinions and interests, you can’t change that. With a representative democracy, there can’t be one big political group that is controlling the majority. He says that our representatives can sometimes even be corrupt, but with this system, it can help to keep corrupt representatives away. He says if there are too many people that are part of a republic they can end up being too distant from their representatives. It’s the same as if there are too many representatives they can be too distant with the people they are representing. But the more people that are part of the United States, the more varying opinions can keep from one political group having the majority opinion. Political groups, however, can easily influence their state since it is a smaller area, but they are a lot less likely to spread that influence any further than that. He says this is how political groups will be maintained.

Federalist Paper 10 Summary


















Article VII states that there must be at least 9 states that are for the constitution to put it into effect.

Article VI is about how all treaties made are the supreme law of the land. Judges must follow the constitution and any laws of the state that they are judges in. All elected officials are bound by an oath, to support the constitution. There is no religious test for anyone to hold public office.

Article V is about making amendments to the constitution. There has to be a 2/3rds majority to change the constitution.

Article IV section 1 is about the states and how they must respect the laws of other states. Section 2 is about the citizens of the United States. Anyone convicted of treason can be arrested in any state. Section 3 talks about the states. They cannot join another state without the consent of the legislatures, the other states, and Congress. Section 4 protects each state from invasion of executive action.

Article III establishes the supreme court. They get to continue to hold office if they represent good behavior. Section 2 is more specifically about the power of the supreme court. Section 3 is about treason. If you are found helping the enemies in any way, it is considered treason. You can’t be convicted of treason unless there are at least two witnesses’ or an open confession. Congress has the power to choose the punishment for someone that has committed treason.

            Article II section 1 is about the president. He has executive power; his term is for 4 years. The vice presidents term is also 4 years. It talks about the voting process for the president. They must meet in their states, Congress choose who shall take the presidents place if both the president and the vice president die, resign, or are unable to do their duty. President gets paid for his work. When he first becomes president, he must swear under an oath. Article II section 2 talks more about the president’s duties specifically. He is the commander in chief of the army and navy. The president gets to choose the judges of the supreme court, with the consent of the Senate. Article II section 3 states that the president is to stay in communication with Congress about how the country is doing, whether bad or good. Article II section 4 says that the president, vice president, and other civil officers can be removed (impeached) from their role if they are convicted of treason, bribery, or other serious crimes.

The initial constitution contained 7 articles. Article I has 10 different sections. The first section of Article I talks about the power that is given to Congress in the United States. It mentions how Congress is split into the Senate and the house of representatives so that there isn’t one central power.  Article I section 2 talks about the term limit for the house of representatives, which is every two years. The age requirement to be part of the house of representatives is 25 years old. You must also have been a citizen of the United States for 7 years and live in the state that you want to represent. Each state has at least 1 representative. They get to choose their own speaker. Section 3 of Article 1 talks about the Senate. Every state gets two senators. Their term is for 6 years. Each senator gets 1 vote. The age requirement is 30 years old and you must be a citizen of the United States for at least 9 years. They must live in the state that they want to represent. The Senate has the power to impeach. No one can be convicted unless 2/3rds of the members are present. When someone is impeached, they can’t be punished any way that is outside the law. When someone is impeached they cannot hold any other office. Section 4 of Article I is about the process of elections for senators and representatives and how each state legislature gets to decide the proceedings. Congress can change any of this. Congress must get together at least once in every year and it must be on the first Monday in December, unless the law says differently. Section 5 of Article I talk about each house. They can determine their own rules and punish the members if they choose to for bad behavior. It takes 2/3rds majority vote to get rid of a member of the house. They must keep a journal of all the things that they do. They are supposed to publish it from time to time, except if it is something that is a secret. They cannot take time off for more than 3 days without the ok of the other house. Section 6 of article I talks about senators. They get paid for the job they are doing. They are paid from the treasury of the United States. They cannot be arrested unless it is for a felony, or breach of the peace. They cannot be a member of either house when they continue in office. Section 7 of Article I talks about bills turning into laws. It has to go through the house of representatives and the Senate to become a law. It then goes to the president who can veto any law. When he does so that law has to start over in that process and go through the house of representatives and senate again. Section 8 of Article I talk about the power that Congress has. They can collect taxes. Have the power to declare war. Create a post office. Make rules for the government. Decide the punishment for making counterfeit money. They are supposed to always support science. The first part of Article I section 9 says that Congress cannot get rid of the importation of slaves in any state before 1808 and that there is a tax on each person that is imported, and it is $10.00 per person. Citizens can fight against unlawful imprisonment. This section gives some rights to citizens that are accused of a crime. Goods that are imported and exported between states do not have to be taxed. Congress has to keep track of all the money that is spent by the government. Citizens do not get any special privileges. Section 10 prevents any state from going into any treaty or alliance with any other nation. Silver and gold is the only thing that can be used to pay debts that are owed. States are not allowed to make their own money. States can’t collect taxes without the ok from Congress. The states are not allowed to go into a war unless they are actually invaded.

Constitution Summary


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