James Madison defined factions as “a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” Madison noted the dangers of factions, describing them as “the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished.” In his mind, there were two methods of “curing the mischiefs of faction[s]:” either remove the causes or control its effects. Madison wrote Federalist No. 10 to argue in favor of a representative form of government as opposed to a direct democracy; specifically citing the dangers of factions as one of the compelling reasons in favor of the former. Although Madison’s vision of a young and new United States of America has blossomed into something well beyond his imagination, his warnings of factions have stayed relevant throughout the nation’s history. View More.