The Federalist Papers
Publication Date: December 2010
The Federalist Papers-a collection of eighty-five essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay in support of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution-serves as the primary source for interpreting the Constitution and outlines the philosophy and motivation behind this newly proposed government system.
Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804) was born in the West Indies, the illegitimate child of a Scottish merchant. He came to the American colonies to study at King's College (now Columbia University) and became an early and ardent supporter of the Revolutionary cause. During the Revolutionary War, he was the aide-de-camp to George Washington and a member of the Continental Congress. He was a leading figure at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and a principal author of The Federalist Papers. As the first secretary of the treasury of the United States, Hamilton articulated a policy of protection for manufacturing interests, strong central government, and establishment of a national bank. After leaving the Cabinet, he practiced law in New York. His personal attacks hindered the political career of the volatile Aaron Burr, who finally challenged him to a duel in 1804. Hamilton was shot and died of his wounds. James Madison (1751-1836) was the son of a Virginia planter. He worked for the Revolutionary cause as a member of the Continental Congress and the Virginia House of Delegates. The leader of deliberations at the Constitutional Convention, he fought for the adoption of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Through an ally of Alexander Hamilton on the Constitution, he was a supporter of Thomas Jefferson's agrarian policies. He was Jefferson's secretary of state and his successor as president, but his presidency was marred by the unpopular War of 1812. John Jay (1745-1829) was a conservative lawyer who became a leading patriot. He served as minister to Spain, became the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and negotiated the treaty of 1795 between the United States and Britain. His contributions to The Federalist Papers concern foreign affairs. Arthur Morey has recorded over one hundred audiobooks, winning AudioFile Earphones and Best Voice Awards, as well as an Audie nomination. He has performed fiction by John Updike, John Irving, Richard Russo, Julie Orringer, and Jack Vance. Nonfiction titles include The Informant, Unlikely Allies, Citizens of London, and Munich 1938. Arthur attended Harvard University and the University of Chicago and has performed Off-Broadway, Off-Loop, and in Italy. He taught writing at Northwestern University for ten years and also works as an editor and ghostwriter.