Federalist Essay

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advertised on May 28, 1788, “The FEDERALIST, VOLUME SECOND.” This volume contained the remaining essays, including the final eight which had not yet appeared in the newspapers.

As in the first volume, there were editorial revisions which probably were made by Hamilton.

This edition was published by Jacob Gideon,16 a printer in Washington, D. It is, then, from the newspapers of the day, the Mc Lean edition of 1788, and the Hopkins edition of 1802 that a definitive text of Hamilton’s contribution to must be reconstructed.

In the present edition, as stated above, the texts of essays 1–77 have been taken from the newspapers in which they first appeared; the texts of essays 78–85 are from volume two of the Mc Lean edition.

The essays written by John Jay and James Madison, however, have not been included.

They are available in many editions, and they do not, after all, properly belong in the writings of Alexander Hamilton.Because Mc Lean changed the numbers of some of the essays, later editors have questioned whether there were 84 or 85 essays.This is understandable, for there were only 84 essays printed in the newspapers, the essays 32 and 33 by Mc Lean having appeared in the press as a single essay.Because of changes made in the Mc Lean edition, the numbering of certain essays presents an editorial problem.When Mc Lean, with Hamilton’s assistance, published the first edition of , it was decided that the essay published in the newspaper as 35 should follow essay 28, presumably because the subject matter of 35 was a continuation of the subject treated in 28.To continue the proposed plan of publication—a plan which occasionally was altered by publishing three instead of four essays a week—the third “Publius” essay of the next week appeared on Friday in .This pattern of publication was followed through the publication of essay 76 (or essay 77, in the numbering used in this edition of Hamilton’s works) on April 2, 1788.When an obvious typographical error appears in the text taken from the newspaper, it has been corrected without annotation. When in Mc Lean there is a correction of a printer’s error which, if left unchanged, would make the text meaningless or inaccurate, that correction has been incorporated in the text; the word or words in the newspaper for which changes have been substituted are then indicated in the notes. Obvious printer’s errors in punctuation have been corrected; a period at the end of a question, for example, has been changed to a question mark.When a dash is used at the end of a sentence, a period has been substituted., addressed to the “People of the State of New-York,” was occasioned by the objections of many New Yorkers to the Constitution which had been proposed on September 17, 1787, by the Philadelphia Convention.During the last week in September and the first weeks of October, 1787, the pages of New York newspapers were filled with articles denouncing the Constitution.1 The proposed government also had its defenders, but their articles were characterized by somewhat indignant attacks on those who dared oppose the Constitution rather than by reasoned explanations of the advantages of its provisions.2 The decision to publish a series of essays defending the Constitution and explaining in detail its provisions was made by Alexander Hamilton.


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