A Synopsis of the Federalist Papers

Published 1788


There are 85 Federalist essays: numbered (1-85) in a 291-page book. The focus of each essay was written in support of the proposed U.S Constitution which was pending ratification by the only 13 States in the USA at the time. The 2 main authors of the essays were James Madison and Alexander Hamilton; a 3rd author was John Jay, who wrote fewer essays.


At this point in U.S. History, James Madison was considered to be a preeminent and most effective politician. A pet peeve of Madison's was that he wanted the Constitution to grant the U.S. Congress the right to veto any State legislation. That failed to pass muster and Madison had to settle for Amendment 14. 


The Federalist Papers were presented in the "Virginia Federal Convention" (168 delegates) which was Chaired by George Washington. That Convention met in 1788 to ratify or reject the U.S. Constitution that had been signed September 1787 by 12 of 13 States. In addition to contributing to the Federalist Papers, both James Madison and Alexander Hamilton barnstormed the 13 States giving speeches in favor of ratifying the Constitution.


Alexander Hamilton was:

·       One of the Founding Fathers of the United States

·       The 1st Secretary of the Treasury of the United States

·       The Founder of our nation's Financial System

·       The Founder of the United States Coast Guard

·       Oddly enough, Hamilton was a bastard whose mother died early, and his father abandoned him at 11 years old BUT Hamilton was very smart. It was noticed – mainly by George Washington. 


James Madison was:

·       One of the Founding Fathers of the United States

·       The 5th Secretary of State of the United States for 8 years under President Thomas Jefferson

·       The 4th President of the United States (2 terms)

·       Considered the 2nd smartest man in government behind Alexander Hamilton

·       The main architect and author of both the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights (1st ten Amendments)

·       Considered the most astute, most profound and most effective politician amongst the Founding Fathers


John Jay was:

·       One of the Founding Fathers of the United States

·      The 1st Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court