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A Timeline of the Essential Federalist Papers

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Virginia Declaration of Rights

July 25, 1970

A response to English abuses of colonists’ rights, as well as foreshadowing of ideas found in the Declaration of Independence, and structures and powers found later in the Constitution.

Constitution of Virginia, 1776

July 25, 1970

The revolutionary constitution of Virginia, adopted by the House of Burgesses on behalf of the people of Virginia. Both George Mason and James Madison – then only 25 – were significant contributors to this document.

Draft of the Declaration of Independence

July 25, 1970

Jefferson’s initial draft, with language and sections removed and added.

Articles of Confederation

July 25, 1970

The first plan of government formally tying the colonies together, it was introduced during the war for independence but not adopted by the states until 1781.

Virginia General Assembly Commission for Delegates to Annapolis Convention

July 26, 1970

Virginia selects delegates to send to Annapolis to consider the deficiencies of the Articles of Confederation.

Letter to Elbridge Gerry

July 26, 1970

Rufus King laments the problems of governing under the Articles.

Proposed Amendments to the Articles of Confederation

July 26, 1970

A committee of Congress recommends amendments to the Articles in order to “render the federal government adequate to the ends for which it was instituted.”

Virginia General Assembly Commissioning Delegates to the Philadelphia Convention

July 26, 1970

Virginia commissions and empowers delegates to attend a convention, to take place in 1787 in Philadelphia, to address the problems with the Articles.

Letter to George Washington

July 26, 1970

John Jay seeks to convince George Washington that a convention to amend the Articles is necessary.

Vices of the Political System of the United States

July 26, 1970

James Madison lists and describes some of what he sees as the greatest problems in American government as of early 1787.

The Virginia Plan

July 26, 1970

Introduced by Edmund Randolph, this plan for replacing the Articles of Confederation formed part of the foundation of debate for the entire Constitutional Convention.

The New Jersey Plan

July 26, 1970

Introduced by William Patterson of New Jersey, this plan proposed a set of changes to the Articles that preserved the primacy of states, and was thus favored by those states with smaller populations.

The Hamilton Plan

July 26, 1970

Alexander Hamilton expressed his displeasure with both the Virginia and New Jersey plans in his long speech before the convention, proposing a government far more national than federal, and with considerably more “energy” in the executive than previously considered.

Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787

July 26, 1970

Excerpts from James Madison’s notes taken during the Convention of 1787.

Constitution of the United States

July 26, 1970

The Constitution as signed on 17 September 1787.

Letter to Congress Recommending the Constitution

July 26, 1970

The signers of the Constitution formally recommend their work to the Congress.

James Wilson’s State House Speech

July 26, 1970

A respected leader provides a powerful endorsement of the Constitution to the representatives of an essential state.

Federal Farmer I

July 26, 1970

Published in Virginia.

Federal Farmer IV

July 26, 1970

Published in Virginia.

Brutus I

July 26, 1970

“To the Citizens of the State of New-York”

Federalist No. 1

July 26, 1970

Hamilton’s introduction to the Federalist effort, framing the importance of the public debate to come.

An Old Whig IV

July 26, 1970

Pennsylvania – “It is beyond a doubt that the new federal constitution, if adopted, will in a great measure destroy, if it do not totally annihilate, the separate governments of the several states.”

An Old Whig V

July 26, 1970

Philadelphia Independent Gazette – “…In order that people may be sufficiently impressed, with the necessity of establishing a BILL OF RIGHTS in the forming of a new constitution, it is very proper to take a short view of some of those liberties…”

Brutus II

July 26, 1970

New York – “I flatter myself that my last address established this position, that to reduce the Thirteen States into one government, would prove the destruction of your liberties.”

Brutus III

July 26, 1970

New York – “In the investigation of the constitution, under your consideration, great care should be taken, that you do not form your opinions respecting it, from unimportant provisions, or fallacious appearances.”

Federalist No. 9

July 26, 1970

“The Union As A Safeguard Against Domestic Faction And Insurrection”

Cato V

July 26, 1970

Published in the New York Journal.

Federalist No. 10

July 26, 1970

“Among the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed union, none deserves to be more accurately developed, than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction.”

Brutus IV

July 26, 1970

“To the People of the State of New-York.

There can be no free government where the people are not possessed of the power of making the laws by which they are governed, either in their own persons, or by others substituted in their stead.”

Brutus V

July 26, 1970

“To the People of the State of New-York – It was intended in this Number to have prosecuted the enquiry into the organization of this new system; particularly to have considered the dangerous and premature union of the President and Senate, and the mixture of legislative, executive, and judicial powers in the Senate.”

Agrippa VII

July 26, 1970

“To the people” [of Massachusetts]

 

The Dissent of the Minority of the Convention of Pennsylvania

July 26, 1970

Excerpts

Federalist No. 37

July 26, 1970

“Concerning The Difficulties Of The Convention In Devising A Proper Form Of Government”

Federalist No. 39

July 26, 1970

“The Conformity Of The Plan To Republican Principles”

Brutus IX

July 26, 1970

New York – “The design of civil government is to protect the rights and promote the happiness of the people”

Federalist No. 45

July 26, 1970

“The Alleged Danger From The Powers Of The Union To The State Governments Considered”

Brutus XI

July 26, 1970

New York – “The nature and extent of the judicial power of the United States, proposed to be granted by this constitution, claims our particular attention”

Federalist No. 51

July 26, 1970

“To what expedient then shall we finally resort, for maintaining in practice the necessary partition of power among the several departments, as laid down in the constitution?”

Federalist No. 55

July 26, 1970

“THE number of which the House of Representatives is to consist forms another and a very interesting point of view under which this branch of the federal legislature may be contemplated.”

Federalist No. 63

July 26, 1970

“The Senate Continued”

Federalist No. 70

July 26, 1970

“The Executive Department Further Considered”

Federalist No. 71

July 26, 1970

“There is an idea, which is not without its advocates, that a vigorous executive is inconsistent with the genius of republican government. The enlightened well-wishers to this species of government must at least hope that the supposition is destitute of foundation…”

Brutus XV

July 26, 1970

New York – “I said in my last number, that the supreme court under this constitution would be exalted above all other power in the government, and subject to no controul”

Federalist No. 78

July 26, 1970

“A View of The Constitution of the Judicial Department in Relation to the Tenure of Good Behaviour”

Dates of Ratification by State

July 26, 1970

A table of dates.

Federalist No. 84

July 26, 1970

“Certain General and Miscellaneous Objections to the Constitution Considered and Answered”

New Jersey

July 27, 1970

Maryland

July 27, 1970

North Carolina

July 27, 1970

South Carolina

July 27, 1970

New Hampshire

July 27, 1970

Delaware

July 27, 1970

Pennsylvania

July 27, 1970

New York

July 27, 1970

State-by-State Ratification

July 27, 1970

Detailed records of the debates and votes in each state, 1787-1790.

Rhode Island

July 27, 1970

Vermont

July 27, 1970

Virginia

July 27, 1970

Massachusetts

August 13, 1970

Georgia

August 13, 1970

Connecticut

August 13, 1970

Cato I

May 15, 2019

To the CITIZENS of the STATE of NEW-YORK”