GRE Reading Comprehension

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In The Federalist Number Ten. James Madison forewarned against the dangers of factions—groups of people with a common interest adverse to the overall good of the nation, what today are referred to as "special interest groups." Madison described two hypothetical ways to check a faction: Either eliminate the causes or mitigate the effects of the faction. To eliminate the causes, the government would either have to make all people perfectly equal, an impossible goal, or take away people's liberty and thus defeat the purpose of having a republican form of government. Madison argued, alternatively, for ameliorating the effects of factions by enlarging the population of the country and thus diluting their influence. If there are a sufficient number of diverse peoples, it will be difficult for a majority to share a common interest at the same time.

Question List: 1 2

According to the passage, why does Madison believe it necessary to check a faction?

  • A Madison considered factions to be detrimental to the common welfare.
  • B Madison thought factions were a way to encourage population growth.
  • C Madison relied on factions to support the republican style of government.
  • D Madison accepted factions as a consequence of allowing people to participate in government.
  • E Madison surmissed that factions would likely be run by his political adversaries.

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