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The Federalist Papers

 Related Terms

• The Constitution
Alexander Hamilton
James Madison
John Jay


Definition: Series of 85 letters to newspapers in New York designed to convince the people of New York ratify the Constitution. At the time of their writing, the ratification of the Constitution was in doubt. Most of the states had to approve the Constitution before it could become law. Also, many people didn't know the details of what was proposed by the Constitution. The Federalist Papers explained all that, and New York approved the Constitution. Once New York, a large and influential state was on board, other states that had been reluctant followed suit. Soon, the Constitution was the law of the land and our government.

Related Resources:

The Federalist Papers
Find out more about the famous essays, including detailed analysis of the major points and the men who wrote them.

The New Nation
Find out more about the period between the signing of the Constitution and the year 1800.

Elsewhere on the Web:
The Federalist Papers
Read for yourself how Hamilton persuaded New Yorkers to accept the Constitution.

The Anti-Federalist Papers
Not as well known, these documents and speeches were arguments against ratification of the Constitution.

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