Federalist Papers (The Federalist)

Federalist, The

The Federalist, series of 85 political essays, sometimes called The Federalist Papers, written 1787–88 under the pseudonym "Publius." Alexander Hamilton initiated the series with the immediate intention of persuading New York to approve the Federalist Constitution. He had as collaborators James Madison and John Jay. Hamilton certainly wrote 51 of the essays, Madison wrote 14, Jay 5; the authorship of 15 is in dispute (as between Hamilton and Madison). The essays were widely read as they appeared, and all except the last 8 were first printed in New York newspapers; the last 8 were first included in a two-volume edition of all the essays in 1788 and were then reprinted in the newspapers. Although the essays had little impact on the debate to ratify the Constitution, they are still considered a classic work of political theory. The authors expounded at length upon the fundamental problems of republican government, and argued that federalism offered a means of both preserving state sovereignty and safeguarding the individual's freedom from tyrannical rule. Many editions of the papers have been published and much has been written about them, a great deal of it devoted to determining authorship. For one edition of the papers see J. E. Cooke, ed., The Federalist (1961).

See study by G. Dietze (1960).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Federalist: With the Letters of "Brutus"
Terence Ball; Alexander Hamilton; James Madison; John Jay.
Cambridge University Press, 2003
One United People: The Federalist Papers and the National Idea
Edward Millican.
University Press of Kentucky, 1990
The Federalist's Vision of Popular Sovereignty in the New American Republic
Kathleen O. Potter.
LFB Scholarly, 2002
The Federalist Papers and the New Institutionalism
Bernard Grofman; Donald Wittman.
Algora, 1989
Blueprints for the Constitution
Goode, Stephen; Lehrer, Eli.
Insight on the News, Vol. 14, No. 46, December 14, 1998
Locke, Hobbes, and the Federalist Papers: An Essay on the Genesis of the American Political Heritage
George Mace.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1979
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "The Federalist: From the Truth of Speculation to the Utility of Practice"
The Political Theory of a Compound Republic: Designing the American Experiment
Daniel J. Elazar; Vincent Ostrom; Vincent Ostrom.
Univ of Nebraska, 1987 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: The Federalist is discussed throughout
FREE! Essays in Historical Criticism
Edward Gaylord Bourne.
C. Scribner's Sons, 1901
Librarian’s tip: "The Authorship of The Federalist" begins on p. 113
History of Political Philosophy
Leo Strauss; Joseph Cropsey.
Rand McNally, 1963
Librarian’s tip: "The Federalist" begins on p. 573
The Federalists, the Antifederalists, and the American Political Tradition
Wilson Carey McWilliams; Michael T. Gibbons.
Greenwood Press, 1992
The Most-Cited Federalist Papers
Lupu, Ira C.
Constitutional Commentary, Winter 1998
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