The Federalist, 1787 - 1788

“It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force.”

Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 1

Biography

Alexander Hamilton was born in the West Indies on January 11, either in 1755 or 1757. He was an illegitimate child, and when his mother died he was orphaned at a young age. Community leaders in his hometown Christiansted sponsored his education in the colonies, and he eventually went to King’s College (now Columbia University) in New York. He fought in the Revolutionary War and served for several years as Washington’s chief of staff. [Read More]

Introduction

The Federalist sets out to defend the proposed U.S. Constitution. Its eighty-five papers were written to support pro-ratification candidates in the election of members to the New York ratifying convention: the papers began to appear in newspapers in October, 1787. [Read More]

Featured Video

What are the main features of the “political science” of the Federalist? Harvey Mansfield of Harvard discusses.