The Federalist Papers | Study Guide

Alexander Hamilton

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The Federalist Papers | Key Figures

Key Figure Description
Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton (1755 or 1757–1804) is the principal author of The Federalist Papers. Scholars believe that he authored 51 of the 85 essays. Read More
John Jay John Jay (1745–1829) is one of the coauthors of The Federalist Papers. Scholars believe that he wrote only 5 of the 85 essays. Read More
James Madison James Madison (1751–1836) is one of the preeminent Founding Fathers of the United States and a major contributing author to The Federalist Papers. Read More
George Clinton George Clinton (1739–1812) was governor of New York from 1777 to 1795 and also from 1801 to 1804. He also served as vice president of the United States under both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Clinton, who was extremely popular in New York, was a staunch Anti-Federalist.
King George III King George III of Great Britain (r. 1760–1820) was the monarch against whom the American colonies rebelled in the Revolutionary War. In the Declaration of Independence, he is portrayed as arbitrary and tyrannical.
David Hume David Hume (1711–76) was a Scottish philosopher whose empirical, rationalist views are representative of the Enlightenment.
King James II King James II of Great Britain (r. 1685–88) was forced to abdicate in the Glorious Revolution of 1688–89. His religious faith as a Catholic was one of the principal reasons Parliament and the people rejected him.
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) was the main author of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States (1801–09). Jefferson, a staunch opponent of Alexander Hamilton, helped to found the Democratic-Republican Party, which opposed the Federalists.
John Locke John Locke (1632–1704) was a British political philosopher whose ideas had a significant influence on the authors of The Federalist Papers and on many of the other Founding Fathers. Associated with Locke are the concepts of the state of nature, the social compact, and popular sovereignty.
King Louis XIV King Louis XIV of France (r. 1643–1715) was the most powerful monarch in 17th-century Europe. He epitomized the concept of an absolute monarchy.
Abbé de Mably Abbé de Mably (1709–85) was a French philosopher and historian.
Baron de Montesquieu Baron de Montesquieu (1689–1755) was a French political philosopher whose writings had a strong impact on many of the Founding Fathers. He is especially notable for his discussions of the principle of the separation of powers in government.
Publius Publius is the pseudonym used by the authors of The Federalist Papers. The name refers to an ancient Roman statesman, Publius Valerius, who helped to found the Roman Republic in 509 BCE after the overthrow of the last Roman king, Tarquin the Proud.
Daniel Shays Daniel Shays (c. 1747–1825) is an American veteran of the Revolution and a Massachusetts farmer who helped to lead Shays's Rebellion in 1786–87. The rebellion was interpreted by many Americans as a sign that the new nation needed a stronger central government.
George Washington George Washington (1732–99) was the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the Revolution and the first president of the United States (1789–97).
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