The Federalist

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Prometheus Books, 2000 - Political Science - 622 pages
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In September 1787, a series of persuasive and skillfully argued essays began appearing in New York newspapers urging approval of the newly drafted Constitution of the United States, the ratification of which was being hotly debated in state legislatures. Most of these essays bore the mysterious signature of a certain "Publius," later revealed to be the collective nom de plume of Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison. By May 1788, a total of eighty-five articles had been published and they were then collected in a book entitled The Federalist.

Through clear, logical exposition and elegant language, The Federalist essays made a forceful case for strong, representative federal government as defined by the Constitution. Hamilton, Jay, and Madison argued that to protect itself against foreign threat and domestic strife the United States needed a unifying federal government to look after the interests of the new nation as a whole. They also emphasized the importance of federal government for maintaining an efficient and healthy economic system, and they exposed the obvious inadequacies of the much weaker Articles of Confederation, which the Constitution was designed to replace.

Today historians rank The Federalist among our nation's most important historical documents. These fascinating essays bring to life the political drama surrounding the ratification of the Constitution, while providing insights into the minds of some of America's greatest political thinkers and their interpretation of America's founding charter. This edition includes the complete text of the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, along with a highly detailed index.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - keithhamblen - LibraryThing

12/22/20 I own the complete set (vol 1-54) and keep them at home on the top west shelf of my office; this includes The Great Conversation (which is volume 1) and The Great Ideas (volumes 2-3, the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - donbuch1 - LibraryThing

This classic series represents the Western canon not without academic controversy. The latest volumes of the Great Books include some women writers, but they are still definitely underrepresented ... Read full review

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About the author (2000)

Alexander Hamilton (1755 - 1804) was the first U.S. secretary of the treasury and played a major role in establishing the nation's fiscal system and its institutions. He was a member of the Continental Congress and represented New York at the Constitutional Convention. His life was cut short when he was killed in a duel with Aaron Burr.

James Madison (1751 - 1836) was called "the father of the U.S. Constitution" because of his great influence on the drafting of the Constitution, his sponsoring of the Bill of Rights, and his management of the Constitutional Convention. Later he became the fourth president of the United States.

John Jay (1745 - 1829) drafted New York's first constitution and later became chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and governor of New York State.

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