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Constitutions and the ClassicsPatterns of Constitutional Thought from Fortescue to Bentham$
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Denis Galligan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198714989

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198714989.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

James Madison’s Republican Constitutionalism

James Madison’s Republican Constitutionalism

(p.327) 15 James Madison’s Republican Constitutionalism
Constitutions and the Classics

Mark A. Graber

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses James Madison’s republican constitutionalism. Madison and most of his contemporaries rejected the foundational egalitarian commitments of contemporary democratic constitutionalism. He rejected equality as the foundational value of popular government and believed that the purpose of popular government, republican government in particular, was to secure the common good and protect individual rights. Madison believed that republican political institutions should be designed in ways that privileged the election of a virtuous elite likely to secure the common good and protect individual rights. Public opinion, in his view, checked government tendencies toward oppression, but was not the proper guide for official decision-making.

Keywords:   constitutional thought, constitutional theory, republic, democracy, egalitarianism, popular government

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