Charting an American Republic

The Origins and Writing of the Federalist Papers


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About the Book

With the American revolutionaries in discord following victory at Yorktown and the Paris Peace Treaty of 1783, the proposed federal Constitution of 1787 faced an uncertain future when it was sent to the states for ratification. Sensing an historic moment, three authors—Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay—circulated 85 essays among their fellow statesmen, arguing for a strong federal union.
Next to the Constitution itself, The Federalist papers are the most referenced statement of the Founding Fathers’ intentions in forming the U.S. government. This book takes a fresh look at the papers in the context of the times in which they were created.

About the Author(s)

Jude M. Pfister is a public historian working for the National Park Service in Morristown, New Jersey, with experience in many of the most important historic sites in the U.S.

Bibliographic Details

Jude M. Pfister
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 268
Bibliographic Info: 18 photos & illustrations, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6231-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2740-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Preface 1

Part I. America: Getting Started 5

1. 1781—Mutiny, Government, Yorktown and Paris 7

2. The First Continental Congress 38

3. The Articles of Confederation 66

Part II. The Failure of the National Government 85

4. Annapolis and Alexandria 87

5. Shays’ Rebellion 106

6. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 124

Part III. Success 155

7. The Cast 157

     James Madison   157

     John Jay   164

     Alexander Hamilton   177

8. The Federalist Papers 183

9. The Foundation of The Federalist Papers and the Philosophy of the American Founding 211

Conclusion 220

Appendix 1. Closing Communication of the Annapolis Convention, September 1786 223

Appendix 2. The Continentalist Number I, July 1781 by Alexander Hamilton 225

Appendix 3. Putting Pen to Paper: How The Federalist Papers Physically Came to Be Written 228

Chapter Notes 235

Bibliography 251

Index 257