The Federalist Papers

A series of 85 articles written anonymously by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. Originally published in New York newspapers, the papers were designed to convince New Yorkers to ratify the Constitution. Today, the Federalist Papers help clarify what the Constitution’s authors intended.

  • Resource Type: Essays, Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Understanding Federalist 10: Analysis and Evaluation

Students will understand the arguments set forth by Publius in Federalist 10 by reviewing and memorizing the document’s terms. Students will also scrutinize the text by mapping the argument sequentially in a concept (tree) map. Finally, students will judge the overall message set forth in Federalist 10 by writing a letter to the editor either as a supporter or a detractor of the message. Common Core-aligned.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Primary Sources
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Exploring Federalist Paper 10 in “Translation”

In this lesson, students read a version of Madison’s famous Federalist Paper 10 that has been “translated” into more modern, comprehensive language. Through a series of scaffolded steps, students read, analyze, and draw connections to this complex yet vital text. Finally, students are asked to consider to what extent Madison’s arguments explored in Federalist Paper 10 apply to 21st century America.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Madison and Human Nature

A major obstacle teaching sophomore AP Government for semester duration is the implementation of outside reading and the comprehension of primary sources. Namely, the incorporation of the Federalist Papers, which are both relevant and necessary, pose a challenge for students not yet exposed to AP United States History or have limited reading comprehension.

  • Resource Type: Assessments, Essays, Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit), Primary Sources
  • Subject: Federal Government
  • Grades: 10

American and French Revolutions and the Federalist Papers

In this lesson, students will analyze primary and secondary sources using the OPTIC strategy. Students will be able to accurately compare the United States Constitution and related documents to the French document: The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the French Revolution. Students will work in groups to analyze and discuss documents and then will write an individual short essay reflection on their conclusions.

  • Resource Type: Essays, Lesson Plans, Primary Sources
  • Subject: History
  • Grades: 11, 12

Teaching Federalist #1

This lesson provides students an opportunity to use primary source documents as they examine the philosophical origins of the natural rights philosophy of consent using Federalist # 1. It also uses John Locke’s Second Treatise on Government and the Mayflower Compact. The idea is to show how consent and choice are enlightenment ideas for government a nd could be done in America. This gave America a pragmatic view of the Enlightenment rather than an ideological view.

  • Resource Type: Books, Essays, Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Alexander Hamilton Primary Source Documents

Alexander Hamilton, the subject of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s eponymous Broadway show, influenced the drafting the United States Constitution, ensured its ratification, and helped to save the fledgling nation from financial ruin. Learn more about Hamilton’s role at the Constitutional Convention, New York Ratifying Convention, and in drafting the famous Federalist Papers by exploring historical documents in the ConSource digital library.

  • Resource Type: Primary Sources
  • Subject: Federal Government
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12