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The Federalist (later known as The Federalist Papers) is a collection of 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay promoting the ratification of the United States Constitution. Seventy-seven were published serially in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet between October 1787 and August 1788. A compilation of these and eight others, calledThe Federalist; or, The New Constitution, was published in two volumes in 1788 by J. and A. McLean. The collection's original title was The Federalist; the title The Federalist Papers did not emerge until the 20th century.

Though the authors of The Federalist Papers foremost wished to influence the vote in favor of ratifying the Constitution, in Federalist No. 1they explicitly set that debate in broader political terms:

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