Essay on The Madisonian Dilemma Discusses Government Authority

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In discussing the Madisonian Dilemma, one must first ask, “How do you give government enough authority to preserve social order and communal values, but not so much that it places unfair and inappropriate limits on individual freedom of choice?” (Bond & Smith 2013, p. 111) This delicate balance between governmental rights and individual freedoms has been a source of much contention and debate. James Madison, a primary framer of the Constitution and author of 30 of the Federalist Papers, believed that the only way this balance of power could be achieved was through controlling the effects of factions through a representative government, fragmenting the power of that government and creating a system of checks and balances within, and…show more content…
Madison said “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” (Madison, 1788). A system of checks and balances needed to be implemented. Madison argued that the only way the government could be effective was to allow it to “control the governed, and in the next place [be obliged] to control itself” (Madison, 1788). The Executive Branch is responsible for implementing the laws passed by the Legislative Branch, and those same laws are either upheld or rejected by the Judicial Branch. The three branches of government must work together to provide for the general welfare. The fragmentation of the power, along with a system of checks and balances, greatly diminishes the ability for one branch to gain too much power. This guarantees the rights of the people and ensures the government’s ability to govern. Even with a representative government, its separation of powers, and a system of checks and balances, Madison also favored the implementation of a written Constitution, detailing the limits of the federal government’s power. The written Constitution of the United States created a paradigm shift in the way the world viewed Constitutions. It created a tangible means whereby citizens could hold the government accountable. While the Constitution of the United States accomplished many goals in regards to establishing the role of the federal government, it left much open to

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