This edition of The Federalist Papers contains all eighty five Federalist articles - each of which discuss and outline aspects of state, federal and constitutional law of the USA.
Introduced and passed into law between 1787 and 1788, these papers were influential in persuading the citizens of the states to ratify the United States Constitution. Most of the Federalist Papers are occupied directly or indirectly with the terms of the constitution, explaining and justifying how each was laid out. There is some diversion between the opinions expressed and events which followed - Hamilton, for example, was opposed to the notion of a Bill of Rights as he felt the original document provided enough protection for the citizenry. However, the Bill of Rights was eventually created in 1789 and ratified in 1791.
The Federalist Papers were written in part to clarify the scope and purposes of the United States Constitution, and partly to rebuke critics within New York state who felt such a document would be either inevitably flawed or even unnecessary. James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay were determined to answer each and every critic's points with well-reasoned arguments, dealing with each objection in detail.
The political climate at the time, wherein the United States had not existed for long. and the Constitution was not ratified in several states including New York, meant the authors remained anonymous. However, certain figures could discern their individual writing styles and would later confirm the authors of all eighty-five papers. However, the authors were not accredited until 1804 when a list of each article and its author was published.
Important as an early and authoritative insight into constitutional law, certain papers form early examples of the principles of United States government. Many remain consulted by legal scholars and practising lawyers within and outside the USA, and are cited in legal arguments within courts of law. The detailed discussion of the Constitution and its terms by some of its own signatories are the most authentic expositions ever written, although the extent of influence the Federalist Papers had on the ratification process has been disputed by historians and scholars.