The Federalist: The Famous Papers on the Principles of American Government
At the height of the debates over the adoption of the Constitution in 1787-88, a series of articles began to appear in a New York journal. Their ... Show synopsis At the height of the debates over the adoption of the Constitution in 1787-88, a series of articles began to appear in a New York journal. Their author, calling himself "Publius, " urged the ratification of the new constitution, offering -- in Thomas Jefferson's words -- "the best commentary on the principles of government which was ever written." These eighty-five articles, commonly known as "The Federalist Papers, " were, in reality, the work of three men: Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay Their purpose was to persuade convention voters -- and ultimately the general public -- that the old government, as it existed under the Articles of the Confederation, was defective and that the proposed constitution, with its three branches of government, was the best means of realizing the ideals of justice and individual rights. These papers were soon collected and printed in book form in 1788 under the title The Federalist. This updated edition features an introduction by editor Benjamin Wright -- a nearly book-length study of The Federalist's influence on political and legal theory -- and a new foreword by constitutional historian R.B. Bernstein reaffirming the importance of this historic work.
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