How Much Do You Know About the Federalist Papers?

Becky

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About This Quiz

The Federalist Papers were written in the early days of the American Republic to shore up a point of view on the future of the Union. They have quite the pedigree behind them, with their three authors being the first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton; the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay; and the fourth President, James Madison. These three men, who at times had been rivals, banded together to make the case for the ratification of the Constitution and for including certain of their perspectives within it. They shared a pseudonym and set about publishing their work.

What's curious about the Federalist Papers is that their authors didn't actually agree philosophically about certain elements of how the government should work. Hamilton was much more of a centralist, setting up the Federal Reserve Bank. Madison was more of, well, a federalist, believing in a more diffuse power. What they had in common was that they really wanted the Constitution to be ratified and needed to strike back against voices in the press saying it shouldn't be. They also shared the goal of proving that it was possible for humans to govern themselves in a civil and rational manner, without resorting to "accident or force" as the main deciders of our fates. What resulted was 85 essays testifying to the ability of humans to cooperate and choose our shared and individual destinies: the most American idea of them all.

Think you know the ins and outs of the Federalist Papers? Take this quiz to prove your point.

The Federalist Papers are a series of what?

The Federalist Papers are a series of letters. These letters urged the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.

The Federalist Papers were written in support of what?

The Federalist Papers were written in support of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution was ratified on June 21, 1788.

To whom were the letters of the Federalist Papers sent?

The letters of the Federalist Papers were sent to the press. The press published them as part of the debate about the Constitution.

Which of the following was an author of a Federalist letter?

Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay each authored letters. The letters were submitted under a pseudonym.

A book of the Federalist Papers was published under what title?

A book of the Federalist Papers were published under the title "The Federalist." The full name of the book is "The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution, as Agreed upon by the Federal Convention, September 17, 1787."

What pseudonym was used by authors of the Federalist Papers?

The Federalist Papers were written under the pseudonym "Publius." Publius comes from a Latin word that means "the people."

What Federalist Papers author wrote, "What is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature"?

James Madison wrote, "What is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature." He was arguing in support of governmental checks and balances.

When were the Federalist Papers written?

The Federalist Papers were written in the 1780s. The papers consist of 85 letters written by noted statesmen.

How many of the Federalist Papers did Hamilton write?

Hamilton wrote 51 of the 85 Federalist Papers. His letters included the first and the last.

In published letters against the ratification of the Constitution, what pseudonyms were used?

Letters under both pseudonyms, Cato and Brutus, were written against ratification of the Constitution. The Federalist Papers were written in response to these letters.

How many letters were part of the Federalist Papers?

The Federalist Papers are a series of 85 letters written in support of the U.S. Constitution. These letters were sent to the press.

How many of the Federalist Papers did John Jay write?

John Jay wrote five of the Federalist Papers. He wrote the fewest letters.

When was the book of the Federalist Papers published?

A book of the Federalist Papers, The Federalist, was published in 1788. The book presented all 85 letters into one place.

The Federalist Papers argued that the powers of the federal government should be what?

The Federalist Papers argued that the powers of the federal government should be few, limited and defined. They argued for a system of checks and balances to ensure that the government would never be tyrannical.

What Federalist Paper author wrote, "It is too true, however disgraceful it may be to human nature, that nations in general will make war whenever they have a prospect of getting anything by it"?

John Jay wrote, "It is too true, however disgraceful it may be to human nature, that nations in general will make war whenever they have a prospect of getting anything by it." This quote can be found in letter #4.

Which of the three authors of the Federalist Papers initiated the discussion for the Constitution?

Alexander Hamilton wrote the first Federalist letter and got the ball rolling. He enlisted the help of statesmen John Jay and James Madison.

Who argued against a Bill of Rights?

Alexander Hamilton argued against the need for a Bill of Rights. He made this argument in letter #84.

The case for a one-man chief executive is made in what letter?

The case for a one-man chief executive is made in letter #70. Hamilton wrote this letter.

How many of the Federalist Papers did James Madison write?

Madison wrote 29 of the Federalist Papers. His writings included letters 37 through 58.

What Federalist Paper author wrote, "The danger from legislative usurpations, which, by assembling all power in the same hands, must lead to the same tyranny as is threatened by executive usurpation"?

James Madison wrote "The danger from legislative usurpations, which, by assembling all power in the same hands, must lead to the same tyranny as is threatened by executive usurpation." This quote can be found in letter #48.

Why did John Jay write only five letters?

Federalist author John Jay wrote only five letters because he fell ill. Madison and Hamilton wrote the majority of the letters.

Savvy readers might have guessed that Hamilton was behind the letters why?

Savvy readers might have guessed that Hamilton was behind the letters, because he had used the pseudonym "Publius" before. In 1778, Hamilton use the pseudonym in letters written against Samuel Chase.

Whose letters were rejected by Hamilton?

William Duer wrote three letters in support of the Constitution. Hamilton rejected his letters and did not include them in the Federalist Papers.

Who turned down Hamilton's invitation to write letters?

Gouverneur Morris turned down Hamilton's invitation to write letters. Hamilton and Madison invited Morris to write letters.

Which of the three Federalist Papers authors is considered the Father of the Constitution?

James Madison is considered the Father of the Constitution. Madison wrote 29 of the 85 Federalist Papers.

What newspaper did the Federalist Papers appear in?

The Federalist Papers letters were published in "The Independent Journal," "The New York Packet" and "The Daily Advertiser." These are all New York papers.

True or False? The letters were published only in New York.

This is false. Even though the letters were meant to support the debate of ratifying the Constitution in the state of New York, they were sporadically published in other states to support debates in those states as well.

How did each letter begin?

Each letter began with the salutation, "To the People of the State of New York." The letters were published sometimes at a rate of several per week.

What Federalist Paper author wrote "The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid bases of the consent of the people"?

Alexander Hamilton wrote, "The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid bases of the consent of the people." This quote can be found in letter #22.

When was the first letter published?

The first letter was published on October 27, 1787. It was published in three New York papers.

Who exposed Hamilton, Madison and Jay as the authors of the letters?

The French exposed Hamilton, Madison and Jay as the authors of the letters. A book compiling the letters published in France named all three men as authors.

Madison claimed to have written how many letters?

Madison claimed to have written 63 of the letters, although historians believe he wrote only 51. Historians agree with Hamilton that three of the letters were written jointly with Madison.

In his first letter, how many topics did Hamilton indicate would be covered in the series?

In his first letter, Hamilton indicated that six topics would be discussed in the series of letters. The first topic was "The utility of the UNION to your political prosperity."

What Federalist Paper author wrote "Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm"?

James Madison wrote, "Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm." This quote can be found in letter #10.

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