Essay #56, The Total Number of the House of Representatives, James Madison picks up where he left off in Essay #55 by focusing on the size of the House of Representatives and illustrates the important concept of federalism: the sharing of power between national and state governments.
Representatives in Congress would not need to have intimate knowledge of local conditions in particular states since their primary responsibility would be to regulate issues that affect all states and the interaction between states. The state governments would be able to deal with issues relevant only to particular localities.
Madison’s view of the future development of the country was accurate – in the future, citizens would become more focused on issues of national importance than simple local concerns as was the case in Madison’s time.
Credit for the summary and analysis of Essay #56 is given to Brittany Nelson and Christopher Higgins (second revision 09/15/2011). Weinbloom, Elizabeth ed. “The Federalist Papers Essay #56 Summary and Analysis”. GradeSaver, 30 December 2011 Web. 5 February 2019.