October 27: The Federalist Papers
In 1787, the first installment of The Federalist Papers was published. Alexander Hamilton led the project, recruiting James Madison and John Jay to join him. The three Americans wrote this series of 85 essays, operating anonymously under the pen name “Publius” to honor the Roman Publius Valerius Publicola. The writers aimed to persuade the citizens of New York to ratify the Constitution. Commonly referenced essays include the 10th, a continuation of “The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection” and the 51st, “The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances Between the Different Departments.” The Federalist Papers are also notable for their opposition to the Bill of Rights; they were, of course, unsuccessful in preventing the Bill’s implementation. Nevertheless, these essays are considered to be foundational in American political theory and provide a singular insight into the Framers’ beliefs and original intent.