The Federalist Papers

Published 1788


There are 85 Federalist essays: numbered (1-85). The focus of each essay was written in support of an aspect of the proposed U.S Constitution. The 3 authors of the essays were James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, who wrote the majority of essays, and John Jay, who wrote a fewer number of essays. At this point in U.S. History, James Madison was considered to be a preeminent and very effective politician --- one of his pet peeves 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 James Madison had to settle for Amendment 14. 


The Federalist Papers were presented in the "Virginia Federal Convention" (168 delegates) which was being 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.


The Federalist Papers specifically addressed various aspects of the proposed Constitution, which one could assume, in addition to James Madison and Alexander Hamilton's speeches, arm-twisting, cajoling and campaigning, caused some changes to the U.S. Constitution, before they were ratified on June 7, 1788.


There are 3 authors who each wrote several essays contained in the Federalist Papers. 


1.      Alexander Hamilton:

·       One of the Founding Fathers of the United States

·       1st Secretary of the Treasury of the United States

·       Founder of our nation's Financial System

·       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 brilliant and very smart. It was noticed – mainly by George Washington. Killed in a duel by Aaron Burr


2.      James Madison:

·       One of the Founding Fathers of the United States

·       4th President of the United States

·       5th Secretary of State of the United States for 8 years

·       Next to Hamilton, Madison was considered the 2nd smartest man in government

·       The main architect of the U.S. Constitution; he also wrote the Bill of Rights

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


3.      John Jay:

·       One of the Founding Fathers of the United States

·       1st Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court




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