Madisonian Model

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The Madisonian Model a philosophy of Presidential conduct that adheres primarily to the denoted powers of the executive branch in the U.S. Constitution. First exhibited by James Madison, the model is a philosophy of the use of the presidential powers. The Madisonian model is a structure of government in which the powers of the government are separated into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.[1] This came about because the delegates saw the need to structure the government in such a way to prevent the imposition of tyranny by either majority or by a minority.[1] James Madison proposed this governmental scheme so that one branch would not accumulate enough power to influence the others (or, in the worst case, become dominant).[1] The separation of powers was by function and also by personnel; this is a result of Congress passing laws, the president enforcing laws, and the courts interpreting the laws.[1] The three branches of government will be independent from each other, yet the three will have to cooperate to govern.[1] In the Federalist Paper No. 51, Madison illustrated his beliefs on how a balance in the power was necessary for a government to exist.[1]

These ideas from Madison on the separation of powers along with his theory of checks and balances were not new.[1] In 1748, French philosopher Baron de Montesquieu described these concepts in his book The Spirit of the Laws.[1] Here Montesquieu explained how these checks on powers were efficient in preventing tyranny.[1]

Presidential Philosophy[edit]

In the Madisonian Model, Madison himself denoted powers of his office as shown in the United States Constitution. These powers include:

  • The Nomination of Supreme Court Judges
  • Signing of Legislation into Law
  • Negotiation of Treaties
  • Commander in Chief of US Troops


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bardes, Shelly,Schmidt (2001). American Government and Politics Today: The Essentials 2011-2012. Suzanne Jeans. pp. 44–46. ISBN 978-0-538-49719-0. 

See also[edit]