Federalist Papers

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The Federalist Papers

Several documents have helped carve the United States government from the beginning into what we know it as today…the Magna Carta, the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence…to name a few. One of the most important of those documents was The Federalist Papers. It is a series of 85 articles/essays that were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, between 1787 and 1788. This paper will focus on the purpose of the Federalist Papers, who the intended audience was, and why another document – the Articles of Confederation – written after the American Revolution, failed in the wake of the Constitution being drafted and ratified. (Peacock, n.d.)

The Federalist Papers, better known as The Federalist, or The New Constitution, was a planned attack devised by Alexander Hamilton, a lawyer from New York. (Federalist Papers, 2012) I say attack, but it was more of a “strong support” of the newly proposed Constitution. He, along with Madison and Jay, wrote the papers under the pseudonym of Publius (the Roman citizen was that credited with saving the Roman republicanism). This was common practice when someone was writing something for public eyes, yet he or she didn’t want anyone to know who was writing the material. (The Federalist Papers, 2002) The purpose was to try to and assist American republicanism by demonstrating the necessity of the Constitution. The essays had another other significant purpose: it immediately showed New Yorkers why it was a good idea to ratify the Constitution and in turn word quickly spread to the other States in the Union. They actually took the lead in ratifying the document, with New York coming in after the necessary nine states that were needed had already ratified. The Federalist Papers have helped our society to clearly understand what the writers of the Constitution were thinking when they wrote that document nearly 200 years ago.

That document’s main audience at that...
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