Date of Publication: 1788
First Edition. This is the most famous and influential American political work.
When Hamilton invited his fellow New Yorker Jay and Madison, from Virginia, to join him in writing the series of essays published as The Federalist, it was to meet the immediate need of convincing the reluctant New York State electorate of the necessity of ratifying the newly proposed Constitution of the United States. The eighty-five essays, under the pseudonym “Publius”, were designed as political propaganda, not as a treatise of political philosophy. In spite of this The Federalist survives as one of the new nation’s most important contributions to the theory of government. The Federalist exerted a powerful influence in procuring the adoption of the Federal Constitution, not only in New York but also in the other states. There is probably no work in so small a compass that contains so much valuable political information. The true principles of a republican form of government are here unfolded with great clearness and simplicity. #0123