“Madison laid bare the heart of the new American system. The theme was not unity, but countervailing interests; in contemporary terms, gridlock. Federal versus state powers, executive versus legislative, and judicial versus them both: add the disparate economic interests of bankers and farmers, slaveholding southerners versus commercial-minded northerners, and thirteen semisovereign political units, plus indirect elections at the senatorial and presidential level to frustrate the raw, crude will of the people–and what you have is not chaos, as the critics might expect, but stability and above all liberty.
Gridlock at the public level guarantees liberty at the private level: this was the dirty little secret Madison dared to unveil in the Federalist Papers.”
*From How the Scots Invented the Modern World