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The Federalist Papers

The Federalist Papers
An Advertisement for the Federalist

The Federalist Papers are a series of 85 essays arguing in support of the United States Constitution. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay were the authors behind the pieces, and the three men wrote collectively under the name of Publius.

Seventy-seven of the essays were published as a series in The Independent Journal, The New York Packet, and The Daily Advertiser between October of 1787 and August 1788. They weren't originally known as the "Federalist Papers," but just "The Federalist." The final 8 were added in after.

Alexander Hamilton author of the Federalist Papers
Alexander Hamilton, Portrait by John Trumbull

At the time of publication, the authorship of the articles was a closely guarded secret. It wasn't until Hamilton's death in 1804 that a list crediting him as one of the authors became public. It claimed fully two-thirds of the essays for Hamilton. Many of these would be disputed by Madison later on, who had actually written a few of the articles attributed to Hamilton.

Once the Federal Convention sent the Constitution to the Confederation Congress in 1787, the document became the target of criticism from its opponents. Hamilton, a firm believer in the Constitution, wrote in Federalist No. 1 that the series would "endeavor to give a satisfactory answer to all the objections which shall have made their appearance, that may seem to have any claim to your attention."

Publius

Alexander Hamilton was the force behind the project, and was responsible for recruiting James Madison and John Jay to write with him as Publius. Two others were considered, Gouverneur Morris and William Duer. Morris rejected the offer, and Hamilton didn't like Duer's work. Even still, Duer managed to publish three articles in defense of the Constitution under the name Philo-Publius, or "Friend of Publius."

Hamilton chose "Publius" as the pseudonym under which the series would be written, in honor of the great Roman Publius Valerius Publicola. The original Publius is credited with being instrumental in the founding of the Roman Republic. Hamilton thought he would be again with the founding of the American Republic. He turned out to be right.

John Jay author of the Federalist Papers
John Jay, Portrait by Gilbert Stuart

John Jay was the author of five of the Federalist Papers. He would later serve as Chief Justice of the United States. Jay became ill after only contributed 4 essays, and was only able to write one more before the end of the project, which explains the large gap in time between them.

Jay's Contributions were Federalist: No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, No. 5, and No. 64.

James Madison author of the Federalist Papers
Portrait of James Madison

James Madison, Hamilton's major collaborator, later President of the United States and "Father of the Constitution." He wrote 29 of the Federalist Papers, although Madison himself, and many others since then, asserted that he had written more. A known error in Hamilton's list is that he incorrectly ascribed No. 54 to John Jay, when in fact Jay wrote No. 64, has provided some evidence for Madison's suggestion. Nearly all of the statistical studies show that the disputed papers were written by Madison, but as the writers themselves released no complete list, no one will ever know for sure.

Opposition to the Bill of Rights

The Federalist Papers, specifically Federalist No. 84, are notable for their opposition to what later became the United States Bill of Rights. Hamilton didn't support the addition of a Bill of Rights because he believed that the Constitution wasn't written to limit the people. It listed the powers of the government and left all that remained to the states and the people. Of course, this sentiment wasn't universal, and the United States not only got a Constitution, but a Bill of Rights too.

The Federalist Papers

No. 1: General Introduction
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
October 27, 1787

No.2: Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence
Written by: John Jay
October 31, 1787

No. 3: The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence
Written by: John Jay
November 3, 1787

No. 4: The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence
Written by: John Jay
November 7, 1787

No. 5: The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence
Written by: John Jay
November 10, 1787

No. 6:Concerning Dangers from Dissensions Between the States
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
November 14, 1787

No. 7 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers from Dissensions Between the States
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
November 15, 1787

No. 8: The Consequences of Hostilities Between the States
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
November 20, 1787

No. 9 The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
November 21, 1787

No. 10 The Same Subject Continued: The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection
Written by: James Madison
November 22, 1787

No. 11 The Utility of the Union in Respect to Commercial Relations and a Navy
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
November 24, 1787

No 12: The Utility of the Union In Respect to Revenue
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
November 27, 1787

No. 13: Advantage of the Union in Respect to Economy in Government
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
November 28, 1787

No. 14: Objections to the Proposed Constitution From Extent of Territory Answered
Written by: James Madison
November 30, 1787

No 15: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
December 1, 1787

No. 16: The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
December 4, 1787

No. 17: The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
December 5, 1787

No. 18: The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union
Written by: James Madison
December 7, 1787

No. 19: The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union
Written by: James Madison
December 8, 1787

No. 20: The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union
Written by: James Madison
December 11, 1787

No. 21: Other Defects of the Present Confederation
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
December 12, 1787

No. 22: The Same Subject Continued: Other Defects of the Present Confederation
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
December 14, 1787

No. 23: The Necessity of a Government as Energetic as the One Proposed to the Preservation of the Union
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
December 18, 1787

No. 24: The Powers Necessary to the Common Defense Further Considered
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
December 19, 1787

No. 25: The Same Subject Continued: The Powers Necessary to the Common Defense Further Considered
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
December 21, 1787

No. 26: The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Common Defense Considered
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
December 22, 1787

No. 27: The Same Subject Continued: The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Common Defense Considered
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
December 25, 1787

No. 28: The Same Subject Continued: The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Common Defense Considered
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
December 26, 1787

No. 29: Concerning the Militia
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
January 9, 1788

No. 30: Concerning the General Power of Taxation
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
December 28, 1787

No. 31: The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the General Power of Taxation
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
January 1, 1788

No. 32: The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the General Power of Taxation
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
January 2, 1788

No. 33: The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the General Power of Taxation
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
January 2, 1788

No. 34: The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the General Power of Taxation
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
January 5, 1788

No. 35: The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the General Power of Taxation
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
January 5, 1788

No. 36: The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the General Power of Taxation
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
January 8, 1788

No. 37: Concerning the Difficulties of the Convention in Devising a Proper Form of Government
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
January 11, 1788

No. 38: The Same Subject Continued, and the Incoherence of the Objections to the New Plan Exposed
Written by: James Madison
January 12, 1788

No. 39: The Conformity of the Plan to Republican Principles
Written by: James Madison
January 18, 1788

No. 40: The Powers of the Convention to Form a Mixed Government Examined and Sustained
Written by: James Madison
January 18, 1788

No. 41: General View of the Powers Conferred by the Constitution
Written by: James Madison
January 19, 1788

No. 42: The Powers Conferred by the Constitution Further Considered
Written by: James Madison
January 22, 1788

No. 43: The Same Subject Continued: The Powers Conferred by the Constitution Further Considered
Written by: James Madison
January 23, 1788

No. 44: Restrictions on the Authority of the Several States
Written by: James Madison
January 25, 1788

No. 45: The Alleged Danger From the Powers of the Union to the State Governments Considered
Written by: James Madison
January 26, 1788

No. 46: The Influence of the State and Federal Governments Compared
Written by: James Madison
January 29, 1788

No. 47: The Particular Structure of the New Government and the Distribution of Power Among Its Different Parts
Written by: James Madison
January 30, 1788

No. 48: These Departments Should Not Be So Far Separated as to Have No Constitutional Control Over Each Other
Written by: James Madison
February 1, 1788

No. 49: Method of Guarding Against the Encroachments of Any One Department of Government
Written by: James Madison
February 2, 1788

No. 50: Periodic Appeals to the People Considered
Written by: James Madison
February 5, 1788

No. 51: The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances Between the Different Departments
Written by: James Madison
February 6, 1788

No. 52: The House of Representatives
Written by: James Madison
February 8, 1788

No. 53: The Same Subject Continued: The House of Representatives
Written by: James Madison
February 9, 1788

No. 54: The Apportionment of Members Among the States
Written by: James Madison
February 12, 1788

No. 55: The Total Number of the House of Representatives
Written by: James Madison
February 13, 1788

No. 56: The Same Subject Continued: The Total Number of the House of Representatives
Written by: James Madison
February 16, 1788

No. 57: The Alleged Tendency of the New Plan to Elevate the Few at the Expense of the Many
Written by: James Madison
February 19, 1788

No. 58: Objection That The Number of Members Will Not Be Augmented as the Progress of Population Demands Considered
Written by: James Madison
February 20, 1788

No. 59: Concerning the Power of Congress to Regulate the Election of Members
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
February 22, 1788

No. 60: The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the Power of Congress to Regulate the Election of Members
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
February 23, 1788

No. 61: The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the Power of Congress to Regulate the Election of Members
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
February 26, 1788

No. 62: The Senate
Written by: James Madison
February 27, 1788

No. 63: The Senate Continued
Written by: James Madison
March 1, 1788

No. 64: The Powers of the Senate
Written by: John Jay
March 5, 1788

No. 65: The Powers of the Senate Continued
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
March 7, 1788

No. 66: Objections to the Power of the Senate To Set as a Court for Impeachments Further Considered
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
March 8, 1788

No. 67: The Executive Department
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
March 11, 1788

No. 68: The Mode of Electing the President
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
March 12, 1788

No. 69: The Real Character of the Executive
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
March 14, 1788

No. 70: The Executive Department Further Considered
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
March 15, 1788

No. 71: The Duration in Office of the Executive
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
March 18, 1788

No. 72: The Same Subject Continued, and Re-Eligibility of the Executive Considered
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
March 19, 1788

No. 73: The Provision For The Support of the Executive, and the Veto Power
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
March 21, 1788

No. 74: The Command of the Military and Naval Forces, and the Pardoning Power of the Executive
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
March 25, 1788

No. 75: The Treaty Making Power of the Executive
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
March 26, 1788

No. 76: The Appointing Power of the Executive
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
April 1, 1788

No. 77: The Appointing Power Continued and Other Powers of the Executive Considered
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
April 2, 1788

No. 78: The Judiciary Department
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
June 14, 1788

No. 79: The Judiciary Continued
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
June 18, 1788

No. 80: The Powers of the Judiciary
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
June 21, 1788

No. 81: The Judiciary Continued, and the Distribution of the Judicial Authority
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
June 25, 1788

No. 82: The Judiciary Continued
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
July 2, 1788

No. 83: The Judiciary Continued in Relation to Trial by Jury
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
July 5, 1788

No. 84: Certain General and Miscellaneous Objections to the Constitution Considered and Answered
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
July 16, 1788

No. 85: Concluding Remarks
Written by: Alexander Hamilton
August 13, 1788

You can read the entire works from the Library of Congress.



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