A landed interest, a manufacturing interest, a mercantile interest, a moneyed interest, with many lesser interests, grow up of necessity in civilized nations, and divide them into different classes, actuated by different sentiments and views.
The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government.
Every shilling with which they overburden the inferior number, is a shilling saved to their own pockets.
It is in vain to say that enlightened statesmen will be able to adjust these clashing interests, and render them all subservient to the public good.
The friend of popular governments never finds himself so much alarmed for their character and fate, as when he contemplates their propensity to this dangerous vice.
Federalist Paper Writers
He will not fail, therefore, to set a due value on any plan which, without violating the principles to which he is attached, provides a proper cure for it.
Written by James Madison, this essay defended the form of republican government proposed by the Constitution. He countered that it was exactly the great number of factions and diversity that would avoid tyranny.
Critics of the Constitution argued that the proposed federal government was too large and would be unresponsive to the people. Groups would be forced to negotiate and compromise among themselves, arriving at solutions that would respect the rights of minorities.
So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts.
But the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property.