Federalist No. 51

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James Madison

Federalist No. 51 entitled "The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances Between the Different Departments" was written by James Madison and published in the New York Packet on February 8, 1788. Some people believe that it was written by Alexander Hamilton.

The paper describes a system of checks and balances between the different branch of the federal government:

But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others. The provision for defense must in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of attack. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government.

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