Federalist Papers: The Federalists
The supporters of the proposed
US Constitution called themselves "Federalists"
who believed in a strong, central, National government. The US
Constitution had been written to safeguard and protect the liberty
and independence gained in the American Revolution 1765–1783.
Federalist wrote the Federalist Papers because
they concerned about the excesses
of democracy that had been indicated in disturbances like Shays
Rebellion and the pro-debtor policies of many states that forgave
debts and printed more money. The Federalist believed that these
types of actions needed to be constrained by a strong, central
government guided by the principles of the Constitution.
What were the
Federalist Papers and why were they written?
The Federalist Papers were a
collection of newspaper articles that written because of contentious
debate over ratification of the U.S. Constitution.
The Federalists favored the Constitution, and the Anti-Federalists
opposed it. The Constitution required ratification by nine states
before it could become effective, there was extremely strong
opposition in New York State. The articles published in the
Federalists Papers gave the opportunity to not only defend the
advantages of the U.S. Constitution but also provided a vehicle for
the political philosophy of the Federalists and its benefits over
the existing system of government under the Articles of
What was the purpose of the
What was the purpose of the Federalist Papers? The purpose of the
Federalist Papers was to:
the Constitution to the American people
public support of the constitution, especially in New York state
the ideals of the Federalists and the advantages of a strong, central government in
preference to a rather than a loose confederation where the
individual states held most of the power
Americans that the system of government established by the
Articles of Confederation was not working and that a new,
stronger system of government was needed
the people that the Constitution had not diminished the rights
that Americans had won in the Revolution.
Where and when were the
Federalist Papers published?
The Federalist Papers were originally published in 1787 and 1787 as
a series of essays and articles in New York newspapers. They were
quickly reprinted in other states and then published as a book as
called 'The Federalist' on May 28, 1788.
Who wrote the
have been credited with authorship of the Federalist Papers. The
authors of the Federalist Papers were John Jay (1745–1829),
Alexander Hamilton (1755–1804) and James Madison (1751–1836). In
1802 the book was printed and sold by George F. Hopkins who revealed
that Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay were the
anonymous authors of the essays. Additional historical evidence and
computer analysis have led historians to assign authorship in the
Hamilton wrote numbers 1, 6–9, 11–13, 15–17, 21–36, 59–61 and
Madison wrote numbers 10, 14, 18–20, 37–58, and 62–63
wrote numbers 2–5 and 64.
Federalist Papers: Use of the Pseudonym "Publius"
The first essay or article was written by Alexander Hamilton and
published in the New York Independent Journal on October 27, 1787.
Alexander Hamilton signed the essay with the Roman name "Publius" in
honor of the Roman consul Publius Valerius Publicola whose name
meant "friend of the people". Publius Valerius Publicola was one of
four Roman aristocrats led the Roman revolution of 509 BC that
overthrew of the Roman emperors in favor of a republic.
The use of
pseudonyms (pen names), by writers of political articles in the
popular press, was an established practice at the time. All three
authors of the Federalist Papers used the collective anonymity of "Publius".
Federalist Papers - Numbers 10, 51 and 78
The most important Federalist papers are considered to be Federalist
paper 10, 51 and 78.
Number 10 is an essay written by James Madison, and published on
November 22, 1787. Summary: Paper Number 10 addresses the
question of how to guard against "factions", or groups of
citizens, with interests or aims that conflict with the rights
of others or the interests of the community
Number 51 is an essay written by James Madison, and published on
February 6, 1788. Summary: Paper number 51 advocated a
separation of powers within the national government and how
checks and balances could be created
Number 78 is an essay written by Alexander Hamilton and
published on May 28, 1788. Summary: Paper number 78 is
titled "The Judiciary Department" and explains and justifies the
structure of the judiciary under the proposed Constitution
facts and information refer to
Checks and Balances
The Judiciary Branch of Government.
Why were the
Federalist Papers important?
What was the purpose of the Federalist Papers?
Federalist Papers are considered one of the most important
sources for understanding and interpreting the original intent
of the US Constitution
Federalist Papers explain the motives of the Founding Fathers
authors were concerned with the possible abuse of power in the
government and advocated the
of Powers and a system of checks and balances
Federalist Papers are one of three historic documents produced
by the USA of major importance - the other two are the
Declaration of Independence and the
York delegates voted in favor of ratifying the Constitution and
accepting the new government
judges today refer to the Federalist Papers when they make
rulings on cases
Federalist Papers - President George Washington Video
Federalist Papers: The article on the
Federalist Papers provides an overview of one of the major
documents published just before his presidential term in office. The following video will
give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 1st
American President whose presidency spanned from April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797.