According to The Federalist, No. 46, how would the federal bargain be preserved? How would encroachment by one level on the other be prevented? What mechanisms or phenomena would shape the relationship between levels of government?
Madison reaffirmed the arguments made in previous papers by Alexander Hamilton. In this paper, Madison asserts the advantages that state governments have over the federal government in terms of securing the support of the people and resisting encroachments.
In previous papers Madison labored to convince his readers that the system proposed by the constitution would lead to stable and energetic government. However, he describes at length in this paper a series of hypothetical conflicts between state and federal government. Madison does not expect or hope the constitution to lead to the kind of conflict between state and federal authority described here. Rather, he seeks to rebut the arguments that he anticipates from opponents of the constitution by asserting that their "chimerical" predictions of the federal government crushing state governments are completely unfounded.
Madison reminds his audience that the American people are the common superior of both the federal and state governments. He stresses that the Federal and State governments have differing powers, and are both subjected to the ultimate control of the voters.