In 1787, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay began writing eighty-five essays in a New York newspaper to convince the state’s voters to ratify the new Constitution drafted in Philadelphia earlier that year. These Federalist Papers, as they came to be known, are widely viewed as the most significant analysis ever produced about the Constitution, a collection of essays filled with brilliant observations about the structure of government, practical politics, and human nature. This session will be devoted to an appraisal of The Federalist Papers. It will review the events that led Hamilton to initiate the project, summarize several important papers in the series, and evaluate their relevance for contemporary political and constitutional debate. Space is limited.