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067 The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution.

67. The Federalist Papers supported the passage of the U.S. Constitution.
Name one of the writers.
• (James) Madison
• (Alexander) Hamilton
• (John) Jay
• Publius

After the Constitution was written, it still had to be ratified (or approved) by the states. This meant that the people in each state had to vote in favor of (or for) the Constitution. The Federalists were a large group of people who supported the Constitution. The Antifederalists were a large group of people who did not like the Constitution. These two groups tried to influence (or affect) people’s opinions, trying to get them to vote for or against the Constitution.

One of the main ways that these groups tried to influence public opinion (or the way that most people think about something) was by writing essays (or short written documents or articles) and publishing them in newspapers. The Federalists wrote some very well-known essays called the Federalist Papers. These were 85 essays that were published (or printed) with the pseudonym (or the fake name that a writer or a group of writers use) of Publius.

Actually, Publius was a pseudonym for three people: James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay. James Madison became the fourth U.S. president and he is often called the father (or creator) of the Constitution. Alexander Hamilton was the United States’ first secretary of the treasury, which is the part of the government that handles the country’s money. And John Jay was the country’s first chief justice, which is the most important judge in the United States. All three men strongly believed that the Constitution would be able to solve (or fix) the country’s problems.

The Federalist Papers are powerful (or strong) essays that describe the Constitution in detail (or with a lot of information). The essays also present (or show) many reasons why people should vote to ratify the Constitution. Today many people still refer to (or look at) the Federalist Papers when they need to interpret the Constitution (or to understand what it means). That is because the people who wrote the Federalist Papers participated in the Constitutional Convention (or the meeting where the Constitution was written), so they had an intimate (or very close) knowledge of why the Constitution was written the way that it was.


in favor of (something) – in support of something; wanting something to happen
* Are you in favor of the government spending more money to improve public transportation?

to influence (something) – to affect something; to change something, especially how people think or act
* His writing has been influenced by the stories of Edgar Allen Poe.

public opinion – the way that most people think about something
* Our research shows that public opinion about religion has changed a lot over the past 50 years.

essay – a short written document or article
* All of the fourth-graders have to write an essay about what they did during their summer vacation.

to publish – to print a book, newspaper, or article; to have something that one has written made available to many people
* How many of your articles have been published in national magazines?

pseudonym – a fake name that a writer or a group of writers use because they don't want people to know that they wrote something
* Samuel Clemens was a famous American author, better known by his pseudonym, Mark Twain.

to solve – to find an answer or solution to something; to fix something
* Do you think we'll ever be able to solve the world's population problems?

in detail – with a lot of specific information; not general
* This book talks about U.S. geography in detail.

to refer to (something) – to look at or read something, especially to find information when one is researching something else; to mention or give attention to something
* She referred to hundreds of academic journals when writing her book.

to interpret – to determine or decide what something means
* How did you interpret that dance performance?