John Jay: Federalist 2–5 and 64

(1787–1788)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

Throughout 1787 and 1788, Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton published a series of articles designed to persuade the public to support the new Constitution. The articles, published as The Federalist, each addressed some specific benefit to or rationale of the new institutional framework of the Constitution. Jay had expressed his concern over the institutional design of the Articles of Confederation in a variety of ways, and his apprehension about the ongoing viability of the country without adoption of the Constitution was clear. His careful and persuasive arguments in Federalist Papers 2, 3, 4, 5, and 64 became part of the national discourse and without doubt were instrumental in ratification of the Constitution not only by New York but also generally across the former colonies. Much of the public was wary of a strong central government or any replication of a royal rule like England's. The notion that a strong central...

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John Jay (Library of Congress)

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