The Federalist Papers are a lucid series of initially anonymous political essays exhorting voters to ratify the Constitution of the United States, which was to replace the Articles of Confederation. The authors assume that people are neither perfect in virtue nor reason, and hence that a good system of government must protect against both these human weaknesses. The proposed constitution was soon ratified, though not without vigorous debate, and since then has been the supreme law of one of the greatest nations in human history, and the model for other systems of government.
Thomas Jefferson hailed The Federalist Papers as the best commentary ever written about the principles of government, and they are still the best starting point for anyone who wishes to understand the Constitution of the United States. Later scholarship has identified the authors to be Alexander Hamilton, George Washington's Chief of Staff and first Secretary of the Treasury; John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States; and James Madison, father of the Constitution, author of the Bill of Rights, and fourth President of the United States. This edition includes the Constitution of the United States.