The Same Subject Continued with a View to the Means of Giving Efficacy in Practice to That Maxim
Here Madison deals with the legislative branch's proclivity to absorb and consolidate power belonging to other branches. This can result in a "tyrannical concentration of all the powers of government in the same bands." Madison writes, "...power is of an encroaching nature and... ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it." Once again, Madison states his fear of inadequate "parchment barriers" between divisions of government and uncontrolled power loose in the body politic, and once again be proposes means to contain it through checks and balances and the separation of powers. The Virginia constitution is cited. Its flaw is that there is no clearly stated barrier between the powers of the three branches of government, with the legislature in control of the public purse, including expenditures of the executive and the judiciary, causing those branches to be subservient to the legislature. Madison uses a quote from his friend Thomas Jefferson, in the latter's Notes on the State of Virginia: "One hundred and seventy-three despots would surely be as oppressive as one." As for the constitution of another important state, Pennsylvania, a commission of inquiry found "that the Constitution bad been flagrantly violated by the legislature in a variety of important instances."