The Federalist Papers

The Federalist Papers were eighty-five letters written to newspapers in the late 1780s urging ratification of the U.S Constitution, which required approval from nine states.

Statesmen Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote a series of essays under the pseudonym “Publius.” Anti-Federalists feared a tyrannical central government that would override states’ rights and limit individual liberties. The essayists argued that the proposed system would preserve the Union and empower the federal government to act firmly in the national interest. A representative Congress would reconcile conflicting economic and political interests. Legislation would be subject to presidential veto and judicial review.

The Federalists believed that this system of checks and balances and the Constitution’s clear definition of the powers of the federal government would protect states’ rights and individual rights. The Federalists Papers were written in the spirit of propaganda and logical argument. They probably failed to influence public opinion of that time.

Source: The Federalist Papers
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