The Constitutional Structure of Government: Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances

In Federalist No. 51, James Madison writes: "Ambition must be made to counteract ambition." Although every American knows that the Constitution created a national government with three independent branches, we do not necessarily know why the Framers chose to do this. Why did Madison think that ambition should counteract ambition? What purposes are served by not only separating power but also by creating a system in which the exercise of power is so frequently blocked by another branch? This seminar explores these questions and more through primary source documents and early case studies.

The Montpelier Seminars cost approximately $1,250 per teacher; however, thanks to the generosity of private donors, scholarships make these seminars available at a significantly reduced cost to educators. Participants will pay a $50 nonrefundable registration fee once they are accepted into a seminar.

There is no fee to apply to attend a seminar. After submitting your application, we will notify you of your status. Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis. Application acceptance may be limited by geography-specific or other restrictions on scholarship funding. If you accept the Center for the Constitution's invitation to attend, you must submit a $50 nonrefundable registration fee in order to reserve your seat at the seminar. After the Center receives your payment, you will be sent confirmation and additional information including scheduling, directions, and reading materials.

Status: Closed

All seminars