Federalist Papers

     In 1787 and 1788 Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote a series of editorials to persuade the people of New York to ratify the Constitution.  American courts regularly consult the Federalist Papers for insight into the meaning of the Constitution - they are important evidence of the intent of the Framers.  These essays are also widely considered to be among the finest pieces of political philosophy ever written.
     The Avalon Project at Yale Law School maintains a website devoted to the Federalist Papers.  Here are several of the most significant essays:

The Federalist No. 10 (citing the advantages of representative democracy over pure democracy)

The Federalist No. 45 (explaining the advantages of having both a national and a state government)

The Federalist No. 47 (discussing the doctrines of separation of powers and checks and balances) 

The Federalist No. 48 (same) 

The Federalist No. 51 (same)

The Federalist No. 65 (discussing impeachment of the President)

The Federalist No. 78 (discussing the role of the federal judiciary)

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