At the height of the debates over the adoption of the Constitution in 1787-88, a series of articles began to appear in the New York Journal. Their author, calling himself "Publius," urged the ratification of the new constitution, offering, in Thomas Jefferson’s words, "the best commentary on the principles of government, which was ever written."
These eighty-five articles, commonly known as "The Federalist Papers," were in reality the work of three men; Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay. These papers were soon collected and printed in book form in 1788 under the title The Federalist. This is an updated version of those famous papers.