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The Federalist
A Collection of Essays, Written in Favor of the
Constitution of the United States, as Agreed Upon by the
Federal Convention, September 17, 1787



     The Federalist is America’s greatest political classic. It was written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison in 1787 and 1788 to help secure the adoption of the new constitution in the state of New York. The Federalist is a collection of 85 essays which were originally printed in the newspapers of New York City. After their publication in the newspapers, the essays were printed in book form and entitled, The Federalist. The two volume set was distributed to delegates in New York and throughout the new states who were also participating in state ratifying conventions.
     In the various essays of The Federalist, Hamilton, Madison and Jay went carefully through each clause of the new constitution and explained the meaning of those who drafted it in Philadelphia during the summer of 1787. Since Hamilton and Madison were delegates to the Federal Convention they had first hand information on the formation of the new constitution. In addition, Madison kept a secret journal which was not published until after the last delegate died, which contained all of the speeches, debates and votes taken during the convention. Madison was well qualified to outline the purpose and intent of each and every word and clause and section in the constitution.

Famous Comments on The Federalist

     "The best commentary on the principles of government which has ever been written." – Thomas Jefferson

     “[It] will merit the notice of posterity because in it are candidly discussed the principles of freedom and the topics of government which will always be interesting to mankind, so long as they shall be connected with civil society.” – George Washington

     The Federalist is a “classical work in the English language, and a commentary on the Constitution of the United States, of scarcely less authority than the Constitution itself. – John Quincy Adams

     "The opinion of The Federalist has always been considered as of great authority. It is a complete commentary on our Constitution, and is appealed to by all parties in the question to which that instrument has given birth. Its intrinsic value entitles it to its highest rank, and the part two of its authors performed in framing the Constitution put it very much in their power to explain the views with which it was framed." – Chief Justice John Marshall

     "The Federalist may fairly enough be regarded as the most authentic exposition of the text of the federal Constitution, as understood by the body which prepared and the Authority which accepted it." -- James Madison

      “There is no work on the subject of the Constitution, and on republican and federal government generally, that deserves to be more thoroughly studied....
     “No constitution of government ever received a more masterly and successful vindication.
     "I know not, indeed, of any work on the principles of free government that is to be compared, in instruction and in intrinsic value, to this small and unpretending volume of The Federalist: not even if we resort to Aristotle, Cicero, Machiavelli, Montesquieu, Milton, Locke or Burke. It is equally admirable in the depths of its wisdom, the comprehensiveness of its views, the sagacity of its reflections and the fearlessness, patriotism, candor, simplicity and elegance with which its truths are uttered and recommended." – Chancellor James Kent

     The Federalist is “an incomparable commentary of three of the greatest statesmen of their age.” – Justice Joseph Story

     The Federalist is “an excellent book, which ought to be familiar to the statesmen of all countries.” –Alexis de Tocqueville

     “Descending from theory to practice, there can be no better book than The Federalist.” – Thomas Mann Randolph

     The Federalist is “the most comprehensive and profound defense ever written of the American form of government.” –David F. Epstein

     The Federalist is “the most famous of American books, and undoubtedly the most profound and suggestive treatise on government that has ever been written. – John Fiske

     The Federalist is “the most important commentary on the Constitution that was written contemporaneously with its creation and its establishment.” – George Ticknor Curtis

     The Federalist is “the most instructive work on political science ever written in the United States.... it ranks first in the world’s literature of political science.” – Charles Beard

     “The enthusiasm displayed by American statesmen, jurists, and scholars is vindicated by compelling facts. Decisions of the Supreme Court consistently have referred to The Federalist and made it the basis of judicial argument. In the United States, the Papers have demonstrated a continuous validity that is matched only by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.” – Gottfried Dietze

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The Federalist

 Retail Price for a single copy of The Federalist is $99.99. Discount Prices for additional books are as follows: (10-20 books are $79.99), and (over 20 books are $49.99)

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