Progetto Italia Federale

a cura di Francesco Paolo Forti
If Men Were Angels
Hamilton or Madison
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 Ultimo aggiornamento: Settembre 2000

 If men were angels
To the People of the State of New York 

[...] If men were angels, no government would be necessary.   If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions. [...]   In the compound republic of  America, the power surrendered by the people is first divided between  two distinct governments, and then the portion allotted to each subdivided among distinct and separate departments. Hence a double security arises to the rights of the people. The different governments will control each other, at the same time that each will be controlled by itself. Second. It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. Different interests necessarily exist in different classes of citizens. If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure. There are but two methods of providing against this evil: the one by creating a will in the community independent of the majority that is, of the society itself; the other, by comprehending in the society so many separate descriptions of citizens as will render an unjust combination of a majority of the whole very improbable, if not impracticable. The first method prevails in all governments possessing an hereditary or self-appointed authority. This, at best, is but a precarious security; because a power independent of the society may as well espouse the unjust views of the major, as the rightful interests of the minor party, and may possibly be turned against both parties. The second method will be exemplified in the federal republic of the United States. 

Da:   FEDERALIST No. 51  To the People of the State of New York:   The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper   Checks and Balances Between the Different Departments  From the New York Packet.   Friday, February 8, 1788. 

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