From a historical standpoint, the view of the Federalist has always been opposite to the existence of tyranny of the majority. James Madison the fourth president of the United States of America wrote the Federalist paper, with the aim of securing the democracy of the country by distributing equally the significant seats of power of the government to different minorities to maintain balance and prevent oppression and tyranny.

Specifically, James Madison pointed out that unlimited and unrestricted democracy wherein a majority with a single interest has a potential to disregard minority rights for the sake of its aims.

Among the government officials with participation in writing of the argument were chief justice at that time John Jay and cabinet member Alexander Hamilton.

Read more: ig states vs small states guard against tyranny essay

Early philosophers like Plato and Aristotle argued that if a majority is able to gain power to enforce and create rulings, a possibility that the beliefs and standards by which the majority lives by including religious and political beliefs would be imposed upon the minority.

John Madison argued that in order to prevent tyranny of majority from happening, there should separation and distribution of authority in the government. Thus the federalist government would be divided into an executive, legislature and judiciary branch (Pryor, 2001).

An argument pointed by the federalist paper which supports the base of democracy in the government is found specifically in federalist paper number 48. Basically, it establishes that balance of power can be attained by connecting the branches of the government so each can mediate each other.

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They have constitutional control over each other so that one would not dominate the other. They are still separate and distinct in function.

Federalism exists up to now and was used to draft the constitution, used by the congress, to structuralized the Government and more importantly, to protect the people from overuse of powers. The tyranny of the majority is prevented starting at the government. According to the constitution, power of authority by any government official or unit is granted through laws that are passed. Meaning, power is dictated by law not by a majority or man. Thus everyone is limited by law.

The constitution itself prevents the tyranny of majority from happening. A concrete example would be the power of authority given by the constitution to the congress to limit and monitor government, private and public activities occurring in the country. Basically the congress has the ability to regulate economic activities, real estate acquisition, national and international tradings and Government and department activities if it goes over legal standards. In a case held in Atlanta, Georgia, the courts had control of prison administration. State officials were powerless to implement local laws on local prisons. After the congress was able to take action, the minority state officials were able to take back control of their respective prisons.

Specifically in the economy, democracy in the form of free market is present. But free market is bound by laws that prevent monopoly, abuse and domination. For example, the United States anti trust law would prohibit monopoly or anti competitive behaviour in the part of the companies. If the majority of the companies would agree in increase prices for a certain product without competition, consumers would be forced to buy the product regardless of the increased price since there would be no alternative.

Cartels are prohibited wherein there should be no agreement between a group of companies or firms. In turn the congress is limited by the supreme court with regards to the authority of legislating laws. The bicameral congress serves to promote balance of power by distributing seats of authority to all of the states in the country. In that way, all minority groups have participation and balance is maintained (Greve, 1999).

Another attribute of the constitution that promotes development and opposes tyranny of majority is accommodation. In accommodation, minority groups can find common ground to agree at a certain point without giving up party or group identity, purpose and beliefs. It is not similar to a cartel because it does not lead to economic gains but rather it promotes unity up to a certain point which leads to development amidst diversity.

The federalist complements democracy in many ways. First is that it allows a fair and levelled playing field so that minority groups would have a chance. Basically it limits power acquisition of majority groups. The Majority groups using their large number of members with relevant positions, can affect change favourable to them. It is natural that there is growth among organizations. The federalist does not seek to inhibit growth of these organizations but rather it prevents the organization from being a factor that could prevent the growth of other organization due to their own interests. It applies to all including government organizations, businesses, private and public companies. There is no exception.

The federalist being part of the constitution has continued on to prevent tyranny of the majority in every aspect of the country including economy, politics, military and finance. It is crucial to diversity and in the process, it helps to promote development due to regulated competition (Epstein, 2004).


Pryor B., (March, 2001) Atlanta Lawyers Chapter: The Federalist Society. Atlanta Press

Greve, M. S. (March 1999). Real Federalism: Why It Matters, How It Could Happen. American Enterprise Institute Press

Epstein, R. A. (April 2004). Competition Laws in Conflict: Antitrust Jurisdiction in the Global

Economy. Washington: AEI Press

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Federalism In Canada. (2016, Sep 30). Retrieved from

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