The Federalist Papers

The Federalist Papers

by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison


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The Federalist Papers serve as a primary source for interpretation of the Constitution, as they outline the philosophy and motivation of the proposed system of government. The authors of the Federalist Papers wanted to both influence the vote in favor of ratification and shape future interpretations of the Constitution. According to historian Richard B. Morris, they are an "incomparable exposition of the Constitution, a classic in political science unsurpassed in both breadth and depth by the product of any later American writer." The Federalist Papers consists of 85 articles advocating the ratification of the United States Constitution. Seventy-seven of the essays were published serially in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet between October 1787 and August 1788. This edition also includes the Deceleration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612032917
Publisher: Bottom of the Hill Publishing
Publication date: 08/11/2011
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Alan Dershowitz is one of the most famous and celebrated lawyers in America. He was the youngest full professor in Harvard Law School history, where he is now the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus. The author of numerous bestselling books, from Chutzpah to The Best Defense to Reversal of Fortune (which was made into an Academy Award-winning film) and to The Case for Israel, Dershowitz has advised and defended many of the most famous legal cases of the past fifty years, including O.J. Simpson, Anatoly Sharansky, Michael Milken, Claus von Bulow, and Mike Tyson. His most recent book, The Case Against Impeaching Trump, is a New York Times bestseller.

Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison were three of the seven founding fathers of the United States of America.

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Table of Contents

Note on the Text
Synopsis of The Federalist Papers
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Events 1763-1791
Map of the United States c.1789
Appendix: The Constitution of the United States (1787 and 1791)
Explanatory Notes
Thematic Index

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The Federalist Papers (Illustrated + FREE audiobook link + Active TOC) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 61 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
To say that The Federalist Papers is a work of great importance is an understatement in many ways. First, it is a classic volume of political theory...indeed it is America's great contribution to political theory. The Federalist Papers stand alongside Leviathan,, Two Treatises, The Social Contract, and The Spirit of the Laws as the great works of the age. Second, it is the first and best defense for constitutionalism, particularly, the American Constitution, which it promoted with unwavering and ferocious ardor. What few people outside the scholastic disciplines of American history, political theory, and American jurisprudence realize is how majestic and remarkable the American Constitution and all that encompasses it really are. When the Articles of Confederation failed, the need for a new document outlining a better system of government was needed. What emerged from the 1787 Philadelphia convention was grander and more misunderstood than anyone could have envisioned. Indeed, Sir William Pitt, the famous English Parliamentarian and jurist said of the American efforts , 'It will be the wonder and admiration of all future generations, and the model of all future constitutions.' Even more remarkable is that such a radical document, formulated as the result of debate and compromise, was ever ratified. America's radical experiment may never have seen the light of day were it not for the eloquent and brilliant arguments proffered by Publius. In careful study of the making of this remarkable document, one can begin to appreciate how unique the American experience really is begins to emerge. The nature of Publius' arguments is testament to The Federalist Papers universal and immortal impact. These essays are the definitive argument for Republican democracy, and, indeed, self-government and the notion of a government which operated under the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence. The Federalist Papers, along with a few other documents (The Declaration of Independence, the writings of James Wilson, and the great speeches of Lincoln, form elegant and eloquent testament to why democracy should work. Than I can write this unworthy and insignificant missive is testament to why these great men, Publius and all the rest, were right.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Federalist is a must read for anyone interested in the origins of US government, American political values, the history of colonial America or Democracy. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay authored the 85 part piece as letters to the editor to gain public support for the new consititution. This gives it a comprehensive and admittedly (by the author(s)) repetitive look at the reasoning behind every decision made in writing the Constitution. It provides an explanation for American government, but it's true strength as a work of political theory is that it articulates American political values by it creating them, rather than by reporting them through a historical lens. Finally, while reading the book, any student of American history or politics can not stray from the importance of the work. I still find it awe inspiring thinking that it was written by some of America's greatest minds, and even today has an undeniable influence on the world's oldest democracy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A must read for those who claim to understand the constitution. It must be read with the counterpoints however. Recomended: The Essential Antifederalist by Lloyd & Allen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is good for reference and research, it's a glimpse into what happened in the founding of our great nation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a copy of the essays written by Madison, Hamilton, and Jay; it has a great introduction. It's wonderful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great companion read to the U.S. Constitution. Reveals some of the thought processes behind the ratification of our Constitution, and the thoughts of the Framers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was very informative and concise. I'm sure I will use it often for material
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Needs a table of contents
beau.p.laurence on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
this is the written dialogue between and among our Founding Fathers as they debated -- in public -- how the U.S. of A. would work, legally speaking. news flash -- most of the "constitutional issues" in 2006 were discussed in the late 1700s by Jefferson, Adams, et al. if you agree (or disagree) with today's pundits, read this book and be able to articulate why your opinion makes sense.
Kade on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One thing about this version that is superior to others is the table of contents with summaries of the contents of each Federalist article. All the other Federalist Papers compilations I've read lacked an effective table of contents which told you which article covered which subject.
Angelic55blonde on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a great addition to any library, and a must read/own for anyone who calls themselves an American historian/buff.
jpsnow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
All thoughtful citizens should read this classic. Does anything need to be said about its importance? A few new impressions of mine: difficult reading due to the elevated style of the authors of that time, bordering on embarrassing for our present day situation. About 1/3 through the 85 papers, I thought I could begin to determine which "Publius" was the writer, Hamilton being more foreceful in argument and direct in course. The authors predicted some of the problems we have today and the evolution of the Constitution, especially with regard to the variety and continual change of factions (and corresponding need for the country to be flexible. Our government was similar to many others being developed at that time (including the 13 state governments), all based on the recent writings of political philosophers such as Montesque. I think the 3 authors would be most surprised today at the gargantuan size of the federal government. While they admitted of the potential growth, they also believed it would be in relation to the growth of the population. A typical sentence "Our own experience has corroborated the lessons taught by the examples of other nations; that emergencies of this sort will sometimes exist in all societies, however, inseparable from the body politic as tumors and eruption from the natural body; that the idea of governing at all times by the simple force of law (which we have been told is the only admissible principle of republican government) has no place but in the reveries of those political doctors whose sagacity disdains the admonitions of experimental instruction." In #31, Hamilton illustrates his consistency by comparing axioms of good government to the axioms of geometry, the former being that: "there cannot be an effect without a cause, that the means ought to be proportioned to the end, that every power ought to be commensurate with its object, that there ought to be no limitation of a power destined to effect a purpose which is itself incapable of limitation." In reading the Constitution itself, I note that the more recent amendments are significantly longer than the original ten and even longer than most of the original articles.
jmgallen More than 1 year ago
I decided to finally read the Federalist Papers in preparation for a continuing ed class I was teaching on Alexander Hamilton. The introduction by Clinton Rossiter does a good job of setting the scene of who wrote which papers, the concepts covered and the audience to which it was directed. The description of each paper contained in the Table of Contents is helpful. The Federalist Papers were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, although Jay’s contribution was limited. The audience was the voters of New York whose adoption or rejection of the Constitution would be crucial. What I found to be most interesting about the Papers is the issues that the authors felt necessary to discuss. In an age in which federal encroachment on the states is often decried it seems almost humorous to read of Hamilton’s view that the states will be, “(A)t all times, a complete counterpoise, and, not unfrequently, dangerous rivals to the power of the Union.” (p. 120) His vision that without the Constitution the states would separate, individually or in groups, into separate nations that would carry on their own political and economic competitions and even wars in miniature mimics of European statecraft. The idea that, without a national government empowered to protect liberties, despotism would threaten to assert itself within the states seems presentient in light of the Civil War and the use of federal troops to enforce civil rights and put down rioting and insurrections. One contemporary criticism of the Constitution, that it was compatible with slavery, is shown differently by the light of Madison’s observation that, while the Constitution protected the importation of slaves for twenty years, the Articles would, without unanimous consent of the states, have permitted it forever. After reading “The Federalist Papers” I believe them to be a valuable aid to understanding the milieu in which our Constitution and National Government evolved. I do not believe them to be indispensable reading for the average citizen.
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