Hamilton, Alexander, The Federalist, 1788 - Peter Harrington Blog

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Hamilton, Alexander, The Federalist, 1788

Presented by Adam Douglas, Senior Rare Book Specialist at Peter Harrington.

First edition of the “most famous and influential American political work” (Howes), and “one of the new nation’s most important contributions to the theory of government” (Printing and the Mind of Man).

The collection of 85 essays that came to be known as the Federalist Papers originated in the drive to ratify the Constitution, which was intended to replace the Articles of Confederation and create a more powerful and stable federal government. Ratification occurred on a state-by-state basis, and the essays were conceived by Alexander Hamilton as propaganda in support of the Constitution within New York State. The majority were written by Hamilton, later to become Secretary of the Treasury, and James Madison, “the father of the Constitution” who served as secretary of state under Jefferson and as president between 1809 and 1817.


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