The Federalist Papers, a collection of 85 essays, were published in series between October 27th, 1787, and May 28th, 1788, in New York. At first, the essays were called The Federalist.
The Confederation Congress drafted and later ratified a new constitution between 1787 and 1788. It came into effect in 1789. Hamilton, Madison, and Jay were all in favor of it. Thus, they wrote these articles to support it and persuade others. The three authors are all considered to be key The Founding Fathers of the USA.
The authors argue in two ways. First, they try to explain the advantages of the proposed federal system. The system will maintain the rule of law, separation of power, justice, stability, and liberty. Only a large republic can achieve this. Besides, it was designed to prevent the tyranny of the majority. On the other hand, they also admit some difficulties.
They also point out problems in the Articles of Confederation. They find them weak and defective. Hence, the book explains the constitution, namely its benefits over the Articles and general strengths.
Moreover, the authors were against the Bill of Rights. Hamilton argued that people could interpret it as the ONLY rights people have. However, others believed such a bill is necessary. In 1791, two years after the constitution, the United States ratified the Bill of Rights.
Significance of The Federalist Papers
At first, The Federalist Papers tried to persuade New Yorkers to support the constitution. However, the actual impact on the ratification itself is unknown. Nevertheless, it gained fame soon. Besides, implementing the new constitution was less demanding thanks to the essays.
As a book, it was published for the first time already in 1788. Since then, it became a part of the US education system. The book helps millions understand the US government. Moreover, it is also significant for the interpretation of the law by courts. Thus, it is one of the most notable documents in the USA.