The Federalist Papers No. 51, by Madison


In No. 51, Madison illustrates the importance of separation of powers and securing the interest of minority.


I. The principles of designing of the interior structure of the government:

  • Make the different departments mutual relations the means of keeping each other in their proper places.
  • Each department should have a will of its own to exercise the different powers of government. It is important to make the members of each department have as little agency as possible in the appointment of the members of the others.
  • All the appointments for the supreme executive, legislative, and judiciary magistracies should be drawn from the people.
  • In the constitution of the judiciary department, 1) peculiar qualifications are essential; therefore, the selection mode of these qualifications is required primary consideration; 2) all sense of dependence on the authority conferring them must be destroyed because of the permanent tenure.
  • The members of each department should be as little dependent as possible on those of the others for the emoluments annexed to their offices.
  • You must first enable the government to control the governed and next to control itself.
  • In republican government, Legislative authority necessarily predominates. To remedy the inconveniency is to divide the legislature into different branches and use different modes of election and different principles of action to make them little connection in their common functions and their dependence on the society.

II. The advantage of the compound republic of America—double security (for which the different governments will control each other, at the same time that each will be controlled by itself)

  • In a single republic, all the power is submitted to the administration of a single government. And then, these powers are divided into distinct and separate departments.
  • In the compound republic of America, the power is divided between two distinct governments (federal and State), and then the portion allotted to each subdivided among distinct and separate departments.

In republic, government needs to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers and to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part through two methods: (in hereditary or self-appointed authority,) creating a will in the community independent of the majority; (in the federal republic of the United States,) comprehending in the society so many separate descriptions of citizens.


The power is divided into federal and state governments first, and then divided into different departments in the compound republic of America. The U.S. government protects interest of minority by comprehending separate descriptions of citizens.

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