Federalist No. 55

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James Madison

Federalist No. 55, authored by James Madison under the pen name Publius, is the fifty fifth of 85 essays. Titled "The Total Number of the House of Representatives", Madison defends the House against critics who claim their numbers to be too small.

It was published on February 13, 1788.

Federalist 55 is well known for the quote "In all very numerous assemblies, of whatever characters composed, passion never fails to wrest the sceptre from reason. Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates; every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.", an allusion not just to the failures of democracy to become inflamed with the passions of a mobocracy, but also the dangers of simple numbers.

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