The Views of the Founders
U.S. Institutions are English -- Political: Representative Government; Separation of
Powers; the Common Law. Economic: Private Property Rights and a Means of Enforcement.
General Theme -- The Interaction of Private Property Rights and Representative Democracy.
This interaction is dynamic and produces feedback effects between the Political System
and the Economic System.
the 1915 Mercer
The Economic Grievances that led to the War for Independence -- Taxation to pay
for British military protection; Navigation Acts; 1763 Proclamation Line.
The Political Grievances that led to the War for Independence -- The use of
Admiralty Courts to enforce the various attempts to tax the Colonists
in violation of the Common Law.
The Interaction Between the Economic and Political Grievances -- Before 1760 gains from
British military protection of shipping greater than the losses from taxes. After
1764 British merchants began to aggressively undersell colonial merchants and crack
down hard on the pervasive smuggling by the New England traders. This allowed
the revolutionary cadre to link the economic self interests of various groups
to basic English rights such as Trial by Jury.
Outline of Madison's Argument in Federalist # 10
1. Remove Causes (Impossible)
a. Destroy Liberty
b. Make Everyone the Same
2. Control the Effects (How do you Protect Minority from the Majority?)
a. Faction is Minority (No Problem)
b. Faction is Majority
i. Pure Democracy (Very Dangerous)
ii. Small Republic (A Republic is the Correct Solution --
Large better than Small)
iii. Large Republic – 1) With large Republic more able people
to be Representatives;
2) Larger Constituencies Dampen Down Factions