After a new Constitution, intended to replace the ineffectual Articles of Confederation , had been hammered out at the Philadelphia Convention, it was agreed that it would go into effect when nine of the thirteen states had approved it in ratifying conventions. All strong nationalists, the essayists argued that, most important, the proposed system would preserve the Union, now in danger of breaking apart, and empower the federal government to act firmly and coherently in the national interest.
Conflicting economic and political interests would be reconciled through a representative Congress, whose legislation would be subject to presidential veto and judicial review. Nevertheless, the essays, published in book form as The Federalist in , have through the years been widely read and respected for their masterly analysis and interpretation of the Constitution and the principles upon which the government of the United States was established.
Eric Foner and John A. We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. Known for their support of a strong national government, the Federalists emphasized commercial and diplomatic harmony with The Alien and Sedition Acts were a series of four laws passed by the U. Congress in amid widespread fear that war with France was imminent. The four laws — which remain controversial to this day — restricted the activities of foreign residents in the country and limited The rebels were mostly ex-Revolutionary War soldiers turned farmers who opposed state The Articles of Confederation was the first written constitution of the United States.
Stemming from wartime urgency, its progress was slowed by fears of central authority and extensive land claims by states before was it was ratified on March 1, Under these articles, the The difference between Hamilton's list and Madison's formed the basis for a dispute over the authorship of a dozen of the essays.
Both Hopkins's and Gideon's editions incorporated significant edits to the text of the papers themselves, generally with the approval of the authors. In , Henry Dawson published an edition containing the original text of the papers, arguing that they should be preserved as they were written in that particular historical moment, not as edited by the authors years later. Modern scholars generally use the text prepared by Jacob E. Cooke for his edition of The Federalist ; this edition used the newspaper texts for essay numbers 1—76 and the McLean edition for essay numbers 77— The authorship of seventy-three of The Federalist essays is fairly certain.
Twelve of these essays are disputed over by some scholars, though the modern consensus is that Madison wrote essays Nos. The first open designation of which essay belonged to whom was provided by Hamilton who, in the days before his ultimately fatal gun duel with Aaron Burr , provided his lawyer with a list detailing the author of each number.
This list credited Hamilton with a full sixty-three of the essays three of those being jointly written with Madison , almost three-quarters of the whole, and was used as the basis for an printing that was the first to make specific attribution for the essays.
Madison did not immediately dispute Hamilton's list, but provided his own list for the Gideon edition of The Federalist. Madison claimed twenty-nine numbers for himself, and he suggested that the difference between the two lists was "owing doubtless to the hurry in which [Hamilton's] memorandum was made out.
Statistical analysis has been undertaken on several occasions to try to ascertain the authorship question based on word frequencies and writing styles.
Nearly all of the statistical studies show that the disputed papers were written by Madison, although a computer science study theorizes the papers were a collaborative effort. The Federalist Papers were written to support the ratification of the Constitution, specifically in New York.
Whether they succeeded in this mission is questionable. Separate ratification proceedings took place in each state, and the essays were not reliably reprinted outside of New York; furthermore, by the time the series was well underway, a number of important states had already ratified it, for instance Pennsylvania on December New York held out until July 26; certainly The Federalist was more important there than anywhere else, but Furtwangler argues that it "could hardly rival other major forces in the ratification contests"—specifically, these forces included the personal influence of well-known Federalists, for instance Hamilton and Jay, and Anti-Federalists, including Governor George Clinton.
In light of that, Furtwangler observes, "New York's refusal would make that state an odd outsider. Only 19 Federalists were elected to New York's ratification convention, compared to the Anti-Federalists' 46 delegates. While New York did indeed ratify the Constitution on July 26, the lack of public support for pro-Constitution Federalists has led historian John Kaminski to suggest that the impact of The Federalist on New York citizens was "negligible".
As for Virginia, which only ratified the Constitution at its convention on June 25, Hamilton writes in a letter to Madison that the collected edition of The Federalist had been sent to Virginia; Furtwangler presumes that it was to act as a "debater's handbook for the convention there," though he claims that this indirect influence would be a "dubious distinction.
Furtwangler notes that as the series grew, this plan was somewhat changed. The fourth topic expanded into detailed coverage of the individual articles of the Constitution and the institutions it mandated, while the two last topics were merely touched on in the last essay.
The papers can be broken down by author as well as by topic. At the start of the series, all three authors were contributing; the first twenty papers are broken down as eleven by Hamilton, five by Madison and four by Jay. The rest of the series, however, is dominated by three long segments by a single writer: The Federalist Papers specifically Federalist No.
The idea of adding a Bill of Rights to the Constitution was originally controversial because the Constitution, as written, did not specifically enumerate or protect the rights of the people, rather it listed the powers of the government and left all that remained to the states and the people.
Alexander Hamilton , the author of Federalist No. However, Hamilton's opposition to a Bill of Rights was far from universal. Robert Yates , writing under the pseudonym Brutus , articulated this view point in the so-called Anti-Federalist No. References in The Federalist and in the ratification debates warn of demagogues of the variety who through divisive appeals would aim at tyranny.
The Federalist begins and ends with this issue. Federal judges, when interpreting the Constitution, frequently use The Federalist Papers as a contemporary account of the intentions of the framers and ratifiers.
Davidowitz to the validity of ex post facto laws in the decision Calder v. Bull , apparently the first decision to mention The Federalist. The amount of deference that should be given to The Federalist Papers in constitutional interpretation has always been somewhat controversial. Maryland , that "the opinions expressed by the authors of that work have been justly supposed to be entitled to great respect in expounding the Constitution.
No tribute can be paid to them which exceeds their merit; but in applying their opinions to the cases which may arise in the progress of our government, a right to judge of their correctness must be retained. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the website, see The Federalist website. For other uses, see Federalist disambiguation. Series of 85 essays arguing in favor of the ratification of the US Constitution. Title page of the first collection of The Federalist Retrieved 18 June Retrieved March 16, — via Library of Congress.
The Encyclopedia of New York City: Morris, The Forging of the Union: The Authority of Publius: A Reading of the Federalist Papers. However, Adair concurs with previous historians that these are Madison's writing alone: Federalist , note 1.
Ralph Ketcham, James Madison. Macmillan, ; reprint ed. University Press of Virginia, See also Irving N. Father of the Constitution, — Retrieved February 16, Wesleyan University Press, and later reprintings. Retrieved December 5, Signet Classic, pp. A similar division is indicated by Furtwangler, 57—
The Federalist Papers study guide contains a biography of Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
A short summary of The Founding Fathers's The Federalist Papers (). This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of The Federalist Papers ().
Summary Written by Donald Mellon Read the Federalist Papers The best way to determine the intent of the founders when drafting the US Constitution is to read them . the federalist papers The Federalist Papers are a series of 85 articles or essays advocating the ratification of the United States Constitution. Seventy-seven of the essays were published serially in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet between October and August
The Federalist Papers consist of eighty-five letters written to newspapers in the late s to urge ratification of the U.S. Constitution. With the Constitution needing approval from nine of thirteen states, the press was inundated . Get free homework help on The Federalist: book summary, chapter summary and analysis and original text, quotes, essays, and character analysis courtesy of CliffsNotes. First published in , The Federalist is a collection of 85 newspaper articles, written by the mysterious Publius, that argued swift ratification of the U.S. .