WILL THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES BE GENUINELY REPRESENTATIVE? (PART I)
The inconsistencies of The Federalist--more specifically, the divergences in logic and interpretation between the contributions of James Madison and Alexander Hamilton--have been described by Alpheus T. Mason ( "The Federalist--A Split Personality," The American Historical Review, April, 1952, LVII, no. 3, pp. 625-43).
Antifederalists as well, despite a wide area of agreement upon the defects of the Constitution, were inconsistent in their attack. At times conflicting views appeared within the writings of the same essayist. Richard Henry Lee is a prime example. At one moment he declared that Congress would not be representative enough and that the number of congressmen must be increased substantially; another time he seemed to despair of ever achieving a workable democratic government, no matter how enlarged the representation. The following four essays by "THE FEDERAL FARMER" should be read in conjunction with Antifederalist No. 61, as well as with the other selections from Lee's writings contained in this volume.
. . . . It being impracticable for the people to assemble to make laws, they must elect legislators, and assign men to the different departments of the government. In the representative branch we must expect chiefly to collect the confidence of the people, and in it to find almost entirely the force of persuasion. In forming this branch, therefore, several important considerations must be attended to. It must possess abilities to discern the situation of the people and of public affairs, a disposition to sympathize with the people, and a capacity and inclination to make laws congenial to their circumstances and condition. It must afford security against interest combinations, corruption and influence. It must possess the confidence, and have the voluntary support of the people.
I think these positions will not be controverted, nor the one I formerly advanced, that a fair and equal representation is that in which the interests, feelings, opinions and views of the people are collected, in such manner as they would be were the people all assembled. Having made these general observations, I shall proceed to consider further my principal position, viz. that there is no substantial representation of the people provided for in a government, in which the most essential powers, even as to the internal police of the country, are proposed to be lodged;1 and to propose certain amendments as to the representative branch. . . .
The representation is insubstantial and ought to be increased. In matters where there is much room for opinion, you will not expect me to establish my positions with mathematical certainty; you must only expect my observa-____________________