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The foundation for law in America are a couple of important Law Documents. Maybe you've heard of them before: the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights...

The Federalist Papers

The Federalist, commonly referred to as the Federalist Papers, is a series of 85 essays written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison between October 1787 and May 1788. The essays were published anonymously, under the pen name "Publius," in various New York state newspapers of the time.

The Federalist Papers were written and published to urge New Yorkers to ratify the proposed United States Constitution, which was drafted in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787. In lobbying for adoption of the Constitution over the existing Articles of Confederation, the essays explain particular provisions of the Constitution in detail. For this reason, and because Hamilton and Madison were each members of the Constitutional Convention, the Federalist Papers are often used today to help interpret the intentions of those drafting the Constitution.

The Federalist Papers were published primarily in two New York state newspapers: The New York Packet and The Independent Journal. They were reprinted in other newspapers in New York state and in several cities in other states. A bound edition, with revisions and corrections by Hamilton, was published in 1788 by printers J. and A. McLean. An edition published by printer Jacob Gideon in 1818, with revisions and corrections by Madison, was the first to identify each essay by its author's name. Because of its publishing history, the assignment of authorship, numbering, and exact wording may vary with different editions of The Federalist.

Issue Title Author Publication Date
1 General Introduction Alexander Hamilton Independent Journal
2 Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence John Jay Independent Journal
3 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence John Jay Independent Journal
4 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence John Jay Independent Journal
5 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence John Jay Independent Journal
6 Concerning Dangers from Dissensions Between the States Alexander Hamilton Independent Journal
7 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers from Dissensions Between the States Alexander Hamilton Independent Journal
8 The Consequences of Hostilities Between the States Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Nov 20, 1787
9 The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection Alexander Hamilton Independent Journal
10 The Same Subject Continued: The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection James Madison New York Packet Nov 23, 1787
11 The Utility of the Union in Respect to Commercial Relations and a Navy Alexander Hamilton Independent Journal
12 The Utility of the Union in Respect to Revenue Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Nov 27, 1787
13 Advantage of the Union in Respect to Economy in Government Alexander Hamilton Independent Journal
14 Objections to the Proposed Constitution from Extent of Territory Answered James Madison New York Packet Nov 30, 1787
15 The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union Alexander Hamilton Independent Journal
16 The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Dec 04, 1787
17 The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union Alexander Hamilton Independent Journal
18 The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union Alexander Hamilton and James Madison Independent Journal
19 The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union Alexander Hamilton and James Madison Independent Journal
20 The Same Subject Continued: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union Alexander Hamilton and James Madison New York Packet Dec 11, 1787
21 Other Defects of the Present Confederation Alexander Hamilton Independent Journal
22 The Same Subject Continued: ther Defects of the Present Confederation Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Dec 14, 1787
23 The Necessity of a Government as Energetic as the One Proposed to the Preservation of the Union Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Dec 17, 1787
24 The Powers Necessary to the Common Defense Further Considered Alexander Hamilton Independent Journal
25 The Same Subject Continued: he Powers Necessary to the Common Defense Further Considered Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Dec 21, 1787
26 The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Common Defense Considered Alexander Hamilton Independent Journal
27 The Same Subject Continued: The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Commo Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Dec 25, 1787
28 The Same Subject Continued: The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Commo Alexander Hamilton Independent Journal
29 Concerning the Militia Alexander Hamilton Daily Advertiser Jan 10, 1788
30 Concerning the General Power of Taxation Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Dec 28, 1787
31 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the General Power of Taxation Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Jan 01, 1788
32 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the General Power of Taxation Alexander Hamilton Daily Advertiser Jan 03, 1788
33 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the General Power of Taxation Alexander Hamilton Daily Advertiser Jan 03, 1788
34 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the General Power of Taxation Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Jan 04, 1788
35 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the General Power of Taxation Alexander Hamilton Independent Journal
36 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the General Power of Taxation Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Jan 08, 1788
37 Concerning the Difficulties of the Convention in Devising a Proper Form of Government James Madison Daily Advertiser Jan 11, 1788
38 The Same Subject Continued, and the Incoherence of the Objections to the New Plan Exposed James Madison New York Packet Jan 15, 1788
39 The Conformity of the Plan to Republican Principles James Madison Independent Journal
40 The Powers of the Convention to Form a Mixed Government Examined and Sustained James Madison New York Packet Jan 18, 1788
41 General View of the Powers Conferred by the Constitution James Madison Independent Journal
42 The Powers Conferred by the Constitution Further Considered James Madison New York Packet Jan 22, 1788
43 The Same Subject Continued: The Powers Conferred by the Constitution Further Considered James Madison Independent Journal
44 Restrictions on the Authority of the Several States James Madison New York Packet Jan 25, 1788
45 The Alleged Danger From the Powers of the Union to the State Governments Considered James Madison Independent Journal
46 The Influence of the State and Federal Governments Compared James Madison New York Packet Jan 29, 1788
47 The Particular Structure of the New Government and the Distribution of Power Among Its Different Par James Madison New York Packet Feb 01, 1788
48 These Departments Should Not Be So Far Separated as to Have No Constitutional Control Over Each Othe James Madison New York Packet Jan 01, 1788
49 Method of Guarding Against the Encroachments of Any One Department of Government by Appealing to the Alexander Hamilton or James Madison New York Packet Feb 05, 1788
50 Periodic Appeals to the People Considered Alexander Hamilton or James Madison New York Packet Jan 05, 1788
51 The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances Between the Different De Alexander Hamilton or James Madison New York Packet Jan 08, 1788
52 The House of Representatives Alexander Hamilton or James Madison New York Packet Jan 08, 1788
53 The Same Subject Continued: The House of Representatives Alexander Hamilton or James Madison New York Packet Jan 12, 1788
54 The Apportionment of Members Among the States Alexander Hamilton or James Madison New York Packet Jan 12, 1788
55 The Total Number of the House of Representatives Alexander Hamilton or James Madison New York Packet Jan 15, 1788
56 The Same Subject Continued: The Total Number of the House of Representatives Alexander Hamilton or James Madison New York Packet Jan 19, 1788
57 The Alleged Tendency of the Plan to Elevate the Few at the Expense of the Many Considered in Connect Alexander Hamilton or James Madison New York Packet Jan 19, 1788
58 Objection that the Number of Members Will Not Be Augmented as the Progress of Population Demands Con James Madison
59 Concerning the Power of Congress to Regulate the Election of Members Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Feb 22, 1788
60 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the Power of Congress to Regulate the Election of Members Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Feb 26, 1788
61 The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the Power of Congress to Regulate the Election of Members Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Feb 26, 1788
62 The Senate Alexander Hamilton or James Madison Independent Journal
63 The Senate Continued Alexander Hamilton or James Madison Independent Journal
64 The Powers of the Senate John Jay New York Packet Mar 07, 1788
65 The Powers of the Senate Continued Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Mar 07, 1788
66 Objections to the Power of the Senate To Set as a Court for Impeachments Further Considered Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Mar 11, 1788
67 The Executive Department Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Mar 11, 1788
68 The Mode of Electing the President Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Mar 14, 1788
69 The Real Character of the Executive Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Mar 14, 1788
70 The Executive Department Further Considered Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Mar 14, 1788
71 The Duration in Office of the Executive Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Mar 18, 1788
72 The Same Subject Continued, and Re-Eligibility of the Executive Considered Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Mar 21, 1788
73 The Provision for Support of the Executive, and the Veto Power Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Mar 21, 1788
74 The Command of the Military and Naval Forces, and the Pardoning Power of the Executive Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Mar 25, 1788
75 The Treaty Making Power of the Executive Alexander Hamilton Independent Journal
76 The Appointing Power of the Executive Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Apr 01, 1788
77 The Appointing Power Continued and Other Powers of the Executive Considered Alexander Hamilton New York Packet Apr 04, 1788
78 The Judiciary Department Alexander Hamilton McLEAN's Edition, New York
79 The Judiciary Continued Alexander Hamilton McLEAN's Edition, New York
80 The Powers of the Judiciary Alexander Hamilton McLEAN's Edition, New York
81 The Judiciary Continued, and the Distribution of Judicial Authority Alexander Hamilton McLEAN's Edition, New York
82 The Judiciary Continued Alexander Hamilton McLEAN's Edition, New York
83 The Judiciary Continued in Relation to Trial by Jury Alexander Hamilton McLEAN's Edition, New York
84 Certain General and Miscellaneous Objections to the Constitution Considered and Answered Alexander Hamilton McLEAN's Edition, New York
85 Concluding Remarks Alexander Hamilton McLEAN's Edition, New York
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