The Contest for Liberty in the Ratification Debate


This conference examined the arguments for and against ratification of the Constitution as presented in two anonymous sets of newspaper essays, those of a leading opponent to the Constitution, “Brutus,” and those in favor of ratification by “Publius” (well known today as the Federalist Papers).


From Liberty Fund

The Federalist

by By Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison
Edited by George W. Carey and James McClellan

The Federalist, by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, constitutes a text central to the American political tradition. Written and published in newspapers in 1787 and 1788 to explain and promote ratification of the proposed Constitution for the United States, which were then bound by the Articles of Confederation,…

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Additional Readings

Zuckert, Michael P. and Derek A. Webb, eds. The Anti-Federalist Writings of the Melancton Smith Circle. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2009.