Federalist, The,series of 85 political essays, sometimes called The Federalist Papers, written 1787–88 under the pseudonym "Publius." Alexander HamiltonHamilton, Alexander,
1755–1804, American statesman, b. Nevis, in the West Indies. Early Career
He was the illegitimate son of James Hamilton (of a prominent Scottish family) and Rachel Faucett Lavien (daughter of a doctor-planter on Nevis and the estranged
..... Click the link for more information. initiated the series with the immediate intention of persuading New York to approve the Federalist Constitution. He had as collaborators James MadisonMadison, James,
1751–1836, 4th President of the United States (1809–17), b. Port Conway, Va. Early Career
A member of the Virginia planter class, he attended the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), graduating in 1771.
..... Click the link for more information. and John JayJay, John,
1745–1829, American statesman, 1st chief justice of the United States, b. New York City, grad. King's College (now Columbia Univ.), 1764. He was admitted (1768) to the bar and for a time was a partner of Robert R. Livingston.
..... Click the link for more information. . 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).