Course Details

Federalist Papers

The Federalist Papers have been called the most important reflections on government ever written in America. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, using the pen name "Publius," wrote the Papers in support of the ratification of the Constitution proposed by the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. The purpose of this seminar is to conduct a close reading of the leading numbers of the Federalist Papers, paying particular attention to their historical context and their implications for later legal and political developments. We will also read and discuss some of the most prominent Anti-Federalist writers such as "Brutus" and the "Federal Farmer," since it was their writings to which "Publius" was often responding; as well as Montesquieu, whose ideas were so influential on both Federalists and Anti-Federalists. Finally, we will discuss the fascinating relationship between the two primary authors, Hamilton and Madison, who were united in this project but quickly became political enemies during the administration of President George Washington. We will explore why this happened and with what implications for subsequent American history.

Catalog Number: LAWSTUDY 727
Additional Course Information: Research Writing


Course History

Spring 2020
Title: Federalist Papers
Faculty: Hoskins, Richard J. (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 23