Talk:The Federalist Papers

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Good article The Federalist Papers has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
November 19, 2006 Good article nominee Listed
February 25, 2008 Good article reassessment Kept
Current status: Good article

Miscellaneous questions[edit]

Im looking to add a brief summary of each essay, I can start contributing on 28+ soon. If anyone else is in the process of reading them please help.

±I'm rather curious to know why there is no mention to the Anti-Federalist Papers, not even a wikipedia entry on them. These papers were written in response to the Federalists Papers (along with other pro-ratification speeches) and were just as important to the adoption of the Constitution for the United States of America and the Bill of Rights. [] has some of the Anti-Federalist Papers for reference. KeoniPhoenix 15:05, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Does anyone else find it odd that the german version of this article is about twice as long as the english one?-- 17:04, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

this article needs to emphasize that these men wrote the Federalist papers under a pseudonym. also, please explain why they were written under a pseudonym, and how they chose the false name. Also, the story needs to be told about how these men designed it so their names would be revealed after their deaths. Kingturtle 16:48, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Hi; I'm not registered with wikipedia, but I noticed that the picture of the cover of the Federalist Papers seems to say that the author is "Philo-Publis" not "Publis." I do know a bit of Latin, and "philo" means "lover" and "publis" means "people." Philosopher means "lover of wisdom," hemopheliac (sic?) means "lover of blood" (as in, the person's body seems to love bleeding so much that it can't stop once it starts) and so on. ("Publis" is used in words like publicity and public.) So Philo-Publis would mean "Lover of the People", which would make sense, since obviously the authors of the Federalist Papers (whether one agrees with them or not) were putting forth their opinions because they thought that it would be to the great benefit of America. If the pseudonym was simply "Publis" that would mean "people" and sort of imply that they thought they were speaking for all Americans in the Federalist Papers. Its pretty clear to me that the Federalist Papers are not some testiment of what all or most Americans necessarily believed; rather they were meant to convince Americans that the Constitution should be adopted and the Articles of Confederation should be left to the historians. In summation; I think the pseudonym is "Philo-Publis," not Publis, and that the article should be changed to reflect that when/if you agree with me. Thanks!

  • Actually Philo-Publius was a different guy (William Duer) who wrote in support of the Federalist (the name is intended to mean "Friend of Publius"). Christopher Parham (talk) 06:08, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Table of Contents[edit]

There is a large table in the middle of this article: in the external links section there are two links to a similar table but also with links to each paper. I would suggest that this table takes up a lot of space, maybe should be made it's own article with each line formign a link to a stub. What do you think?-- 03:04, 10 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The TOC for this was listed under VfD. I moved it here in case anyone wants to do anything with it (such as link it to a series of articles) in the future.

This is a listing of the Federalist Papers.

1 General Introduction
2-7 Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence
8 The Consequences of Hostilities Between the States
9-10 The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection
11 The Utility of the Union in Respect to Commercial Relations and a Navy
12 The Utility of the Union in Respect to Revenue
13 Advantage of the Union in Respect to Economy in Government
14 Objections to the Proposed Constitution from Extent of Territory Answered
15-20 The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union
21-22 Other Defects of the Present Confederation
23 The Necessity of a Government as Energetic as the One Proposed to the Preservation of the Union
24-25 The Powers Necessary to the Common Defense Further Considered
26-28 The Idea of Restraining the Legislative Authority in Regard to the Common Defense Considered
29 Concerning the Militia
30-36 Concerning the General Power of Taxation
37 Concerning the Difficulties of the Convention in Devising a Proper Form of Government
38 The Same Subject Continued, and the Incoherence of the Objections to the New Plan Exposed
39 The Conformity of the Plan to Republican Principles
40 The Powers of the Convention to Form a Mixed Government Examined and Sustained
41-43 General View of the Powers Conferred by the Constitution
44 Restrictions on the Authority of the Several States
45 The Alleged Danger From the Powers of the Union to the State Governments Considered
46 The Influence of the State and Federal Governments Compared
47 The Particular Structure of the New Government and the Distribution of Power Among Its Different Parts
48 These Departments Should Not Be So Far Separated as to Have No Constitutional Control Over Each Other
49 Method of Guarding Against the Encroachments of Any One Department of Government by Appealing to the People Through a Convention
50 Periodic Appeals to the People Considered
51 The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances Between the Different Departments
52-53 The House of Representatives
54 The Apportionment of Members Among the States
55-56 The Total Number of the House of Representatives
57 The Alleged Tendency of the Plan to Elevate the Few at the Expense of the Many Considered in Connection with Representation
58 Objection that the Number of Members Will Not Be Augmented as the Progress of Population Demands Considered
59-61 Concerning the Power of Congress to Regulate the Election of Members
62-63 The Senate
64-65 The Powers of the Senate
66 Objections to the Power of the Senate To Set as a Court for Impeachments Further Considered
67-77 The Executive Department
78-83 The Judiciary Department
84 Certain General and Miscellaneous Objections to the Constitution Considered and Answered
85 Concluding Remarks

I think that it would be beneficial to have the table of contents available when anyone opens the page, so it should be placed on the left side for easy access. If the TOC is moved, the image of the inside cover which currently resides on the right side of the page should either stay in its place or be lowered if the text looks too cramped. Mattweiss (talk) 01:03, 21 February 2018 (UTC)

Proposed Expansion[edit]

I would like to see this article expanded significantly, with excerpts and analysis of each of the Federalist Papers, and how they have been cited over the years (e.g., in Supreme Court decisions). Or, a separate article could be created for each one, linked together with a template (like the one for the Constitution). Anyone else think this is a good idea?--JW1805 20:00, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

  • I actually have an article on Federalist No. 10 that I started working on but took a break from, looking at Publius's arguments, the Anti-Federalist arguments it was responding to, etc. If someone else is interested in working on this stuff I'll upload it tonight in its semi-finished state, I just have to get it off my other comp. Overall, I like the idea of having more detailed commentary on this stuff; I'm not sure that organizing by the Federalist Papers is the best way to go. Ultimately, we may want an article on each of the major issues of contention (e.g. Debates over the ideal size of the union, Debates over the structure of the judiciary) that can present the Fed. and Anti-Fed. views in contrast. But the Federalist Papers are a good place to start. Christopher Parham (talk) 23:25, 2005 August 13 (UTC)


Are there any online works that discuss and/or analyze the Federalist Papers? Is there any way they could be added as links to the article?

I have been translating the Federalist Papers to Farsi and posting them on YouTube. Use keywords Federalist Papers in Farsi Zameeni (talk) 22:46, 25 June 2017 (UTC)


Personally, I strongly prefer the reference system {{ref}}/{{note}}, although it would be nice if this system too was hard-coded into wikimedia. Christopher Parham (talk) 01:34, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Influence on the Ratification Debate?[edit]

It would be nice to see a discussion on the Papers influence on the ratification debate.

has too many assertions of the purported importance of these papers without any credible authority. Perhaps the "received wisdom" and even probable, but if true there ought to be references to the papers in the ratification debates. I've read a lot of those (e.g. Elliot's 5 volumes), and remember no reference to them at all -- by proponents or opponents. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:58, 4 February 2015 (UTC)


It would be helpful if the two authorship lists were covered here. Septentrionalis 23:09, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Federalist_Papers#Disputed_essays is intended to cover taht issue...what in particular would you like to see added? Christopher Parham (talk) 02:07, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
    • Four sets of numbers: Jay's contributions, Madison's contributions, which of them were claimed by Hamilton, and Hamilton's consensus contributions. (I suppose the last is redundant.) Not a matter of deep import, but it is what I came looking for. Septentrionalis 04:50, 26 October 2006 (UTC)
      • List of Federalist Papers has most of this information, except identifying the disputed papers, which I will add shortly. In any case, they are 49-58 and 62 and 63. Christopher Parham (talk) 06:51, 26 October 2006 (UTC) (This list is now updated to that effect)

I believe that essays 18-20 can be fully attributed to Madison. The source you site in note 1, The Encyclopedia of New York City, albeit on page 394, not 194, credits Madison with no mention of being in dispute. While I have not read the Adair essay you cite, in Meyerson's Liberty's Blueprint, he says that "Adair reviewed the content of the essays and decided that Madison's list better reflected the different policy orientations of the two. Later, Jacob Cooke reviewed the reliability of the different lists and the people who claimed to have seen them. He came to the same conclusion as Adair, namely that Madison's list was correct." Meyerson goes on to say that while others disagreed with Adair and Cooke, numerous studies based on stylometry (the science of using statistics to measure literary style) indicate that Madison was likely the author of the disputed essays. Histowi (talk) 22:18, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Your request for GA status has passed[edit]

I have passed your request for this article to be listed as one of Wikipedia's Good Articles. The article clearly explains its idea, and purpose. The only thing I see wrong with it is its loose references system. In order to advance this above GA, I suggest you try to incorporate the references and notes sections into one (using the <ref> tag over one of the refrences), so it is easier to find out what the related notes mean. There should also be more citations in the lead. --LBMixPro <Speak|on|it!> 19:34, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

I added citations for some the fact tags you placed. However, the reference setup is fairly standard and I don't see any compelling reason to change it. It also makes the citations shorter and easier to add and maintain. Christopher Parham (talk) 03:49, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
In general, leads should not have footnotes; they should summarize article text, which should be sourced. However, since the (quite reasonable) claim that 10 and 51 are the most influential occurs only in the lead, it could use a source. Septentrionalis 06:22, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

I added a Socsci tag. Should it be History instead? JoelleJ 19:46, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Portrayed false[edit]

The federalist paper's with Hamilton was for a royalist governship. And the Anti-federalist paper as wacky as it seems was for a republican with sovereign people. But as the name "federalist" was already taken for a paper they had to choose another name. So this article makes me very confused regarding what this. Lord Metroid 16:07, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Frankly I'm confused regarding your comment, could you be clearer? Christopher Parham (talk) 19:28, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Maybe after he reads them he can correct himself. 01:30, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Links to text[edit]

The External Links section has several links to copies of the Papers, including a link to Wikisource copies. Are any of the linked materials very different from the others? (SEWilco 02:53, 22 April 2007 (UTC))

The following sentence is unclear. I would like to see someone knowledgable about this subject rewrite this sentence to include who "it" is and explain who the "opponents" of the constitution were. This statement begs the question of whether or not anti-federalists were opponents of the constitution.

Immediately, it was the target of numerous articles and public letters written by Anti-Federalists and other opponents of the Constitution. 20:39, 2 September 2007 (UTC)chime

I would think it's obvious that "it" is the Constitution, the subject of the previous sentence and the only reasonable antecedent mentioned in the paragraph to that point. The Anti-Federalist movement did oppose the ratification of the constitution, as I think the sentence makes clear by lumping them with "other opponents of the Constitution." I'm not attached to the current language but it's not apparent to me how these ideas could be made clearer. Christopher Parham (talk) 21:12, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

I think a great addition to the Federalist Papers page would be ( which directs to a new site that among other things includes full texts of public domain texts with hypertext commentary on works ranging from Macbeth to the Federalist Papers. The texts are cleanly formatted and the commentary is unique, interesting, and authoritative. Check out the site. Andrewmagliozzi (talk) 19:41, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Automatic addition of "class=GA"[edit]

A bot has added class=GA to the WikiProject banners on this page, as it's listed as a good article. If you see a mistake, please revert, and leave a note on the bot's talk page. Thanks, BOT Giggabot (talk) 05:37, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

GA Sweeps Review: Pass[edit]

As part of the WikiProject Good Articles, we're doing sweeps to go over all of the current GAs and see if they still meet the GA criteria. I'm specifically going over all of the "World History-Americas" articles. I believe the article currently meets the criteria and should remain listed as a Good article. I have made minor corrections throughout the article and added two sources for several quotes. Altogether the article is well-written and is still in great shape after its passing in 2006, although it could be expanded further. The statement "As of the year 2000, The Federalist had been quoted 291 times in Supreme Court decisions.[26]", should be updated if possible. Continue to improve the article making sure all new information is properly sourced and neutral. If you have any questions, let me know on my talk page and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. I have updated the article history to reflect this review. --Nehrams2020 (talk) 01:17, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Madison's quote[edit]

This edit added text to a referenced quotation. The added text seemed plausible but didn't reference a source, so I reverted it until it could be confirmed. If it can be it seemed like a decent addition to me though I'm not highly familiar with the topic. - Taxman Talk 03:38, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Here is a source, found by googling the original part of the quote. Tedickey (talk) 10:31, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

This page says that Federalist 10 talks about preventing faction. Not at all. It talks about how the Founding Fathers could thwart the power of the Majority by increasing the number of factions in each voting district by increasing the size of the district. By increasing the number of factions, Madison and the other founding fathers planned to make it harder for the majority to unite and discover their common interest and thereby use the power of the government to tax away the wealth of Madison and the other Founding Fathers. So Fed 10 is NOT about preventing faction. It is about how Madison and the other wealthy founding fathers should be USING factions by increasing the number of factions in the voting district and thereby making it harder for us commoners to organize, unite and use the power of govt to take the wealth of the "minority of the opulent" (to quote madison).


I move that since the TRUE title of the work is "The Federalist" and NOT "The Federalist Papers" the title of this article should be changed to "The Federalist" with searches for "(The) Federalist Papers" redirected to it. "The Federalist Papers" is a later title: Hamilton, Madison, and Jay very specifically wanted the work to be called "The Federalist" because a federalist was the type of man whose virtues they wanted to promote, a man like Publius--The title "The Federalist" refers to a type of PERSON, not a collection of papers. Calling them "The Federalist Papers" very much changes the authors' intent. -- (talkcontribs) 11:48, December 26, 2010‎ (UTC)


Does anyone know if the federalist papers has been translated into Arabic? I would like to think that people forming a completely new government (Egypt) could have access to the concepts contained in the federalist. This could be a valuable resource to improve our world. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:40, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

I have been translating them into Farsi on YouTube. Use keywords Federalist Papers in Farsi Zameeni (talk) 22:45, 25 June 2017 (UTC)

linking to free Federalist Papers audio[edit]


I've been providing an audio narration of the Federalist Papers for free on my website for about four years. It seems like a useful resource for people wanting to learn more about the Federalist Papers. Would you consider adding this recording to the External Links section of this article?


Mike (talk) 16:03, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Individual articles[edit]

Is it really neccessary to have an article for every single essay? It seems that at least 74 of these are pretty weak stubs and don't give any more information than what is already on the list page. I would suggest that somebody with subject expertise cleans up and picks out the most notable for thier own articles and merges the rest into the main article.

If you want an argument from policy I'd argue that the individual essays are either non-notable or they fail to establish independant notability. Just because 'the federalist papers' are notable, does not mean that every federalist paper is also notable, WP:BK Bob House 884 (talk) 16:46, 7 March 2011 (UTC)


The Introduction (before the table of contents) is disconcertingly long and full of text which seems like it should go into the body. Ideally I would like to see the intro just outline the main idea of the papers (ie The Constitution should be adopted) and a bit about their authors and the context in which they were written. In keeping with other similar articles, the intro should be one to two paragraphs. Since there seems to be a lot of relevant information in the introduction, I would like to see it moved into the body.

I don't have time to make these edits right now as I am working on a class project at the moment. This is probably for the best as it will give anyone with a contrary (or supporting) opinion a chance to chime in. I'm all for being Wikipedia:Bold, but this is a good class article and I am a somewhat erratic editor. As such I would appreciate any commentary below. Regards, --Mortosthegodly (talk) 08:22, 31 March 2013 (UTC)


Why did the authors publish anonymously? What would have been the downside of publishing with attribution? The Federalist Papers are often cited as a reason to support anonymity of free speech in modern times, so this issue seems important. -- Beland (talk) 17:27, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

A Collection: Infobox date for publication[edit]

The source for the date of this collection was not provided. The Roman Numeral date on the cover translates to 1783 - this can't be correct. Another source here: - this gives the publishing date as 1799. I'll remove the date "1783" (or "1788") from infobox until confirmed. 36hourblock (talk) 20:05, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

The numerals pretty clearly show 1788... your link also gives 1788 ("A bound edition of the essays was first published in 1788"), and the source linked from the image page looks good. I've restored the text. Christopher Parham (talk) 22:53, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Change of title to The Federalist Papers[edit]

I agree with with the anom author of the section above entitled "Title" - the title of this page, if Wikipedia is to be historically correct, should be The Federalist papers (or The Federalist Papers if capitalizing Papers makes it more familiar). The authors of the papers called the overall project The Federalist, indicating that they were articles being written by one man but actually going under a shared alias of three of America's Founding Fathers - Hamilton, Madison, and Jay. This change feels appropriate to me, and might to readers and historians, so I'm seconding anom's idea, above, in favor of a name change. If so, we can set off fireworks and sign this change with a virtual pen from the Syng inkstand (I really like that page and artifact!) Randy Kryn 21:08 19 September, 2014 (UTC)

Marcus Junius or Lucius Junius Brutus?[edit]

We need someone with access to Furtwangler book to check, but I am surprised to see the hyperlink for "Brutus" lead to Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger, the Brutus who assassinated Julius Caesar, rather than Lucius Junius Brutus, the Brutus who overthrew the Tarquin monarchy and created the Roman Republic 450 years earlier. Certainly I would imagine, and have previously understood, that the educated man who recognized the name Brutus in the context of the founding of a republic would have thought of the latter, which is to say the earlier, Brutus. The argument I have heard is that Hamilton was distinguishing the guy who did the big, pro-republican act and then died (Brutus) from the guy who actually made the new republic work (Publius). Anyone want to weigh in? Czrisher (talk) 23:59, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

See Publius Valerius Publicola#Legacy - Cwobeel (talk) 00:05, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Also Robert_Yates_(politician)#Brutus - Cwobeel (talk) 00:09, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
Page 51 speaks of Publius Valerius for the Publius pseudonym, but I don't see any thing there about which Brutus in the snippets available (in google books: [1]) - Cwobeel (talk) 00:19, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

Split off the list[edit]

I suggest that the list that was merged here in 2012, be resplit back into a separate article. This article was evaluated as GA prior to the merger, such a substantial change requires reevaluation. The article is now almost 50kB and long, making it bad for mobile users. The list of papers should exist as a separate list article. -- (talk) 06:15, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

When I came to this page the list was very useful, as it let me, the reader, see at a glance which of the three authors wrote which page, the topic of each paper, gave a link to the pages individual article, and offered other useful information. And since each of the papers already has its own page, some of them quite extensive and others in need of additional data, the links found in the list serves that purpose well. There are also categories which include the papers for each of the three authors, also useful. As for length, the page seems fine, especially for such an important topic. I don't know what discussion has occurred elsewhere on Wikipedia about changing pages and the concept of Wikipedia itself to benefit mobile users, but hopefully that won't occur. I see each page is a stand-alone article, originally meant to be viewed as an encyclopedia on a computer screen, and even though mobile use is increasing I hope it won't mean that Wikipedia will limit its collection of knowledge in individual articles. But again, for me, the bottom line is my own experience: seeing that list upped my education about the subject in such a way that it led me to read and research it further. That's my two cents (worth much less than a cent in inflationary terms as figured by the cost of postage stamps). Randy Kryn 13:14 4 October, 2014 (UTC)
The situation prior to 2012 was a separate list article, that situation resulted in this article becoming a Good-Article. The information would not be deleted, it would simply sit at a separate article. so you could still have read it. WP:LENGTH, Wikipedia is already concerned with articles over their size, typically above 30kB we should split the article up. WP:NOTPAPER, Wikipedia is not paper, we do not have to write everything into a single article entry, as a paper encyclopedia would. We can have a set of articles. -- (talk) 05:39, 5 October 2014 (UTC)
Interesting reading, thanks. 30kb isn't mentioned, 60kb seems to be the maximum (twice what you thought, so maybe your concern is from the 30kb figure?), with 50 as edging into talking about dividing (and the policy says that we should not include lists when looking at the kb load). This page is now at 46kb, even with the list, well below 50. It seems a good list, well made and informative, and gives a great deal of information about the subject that the rest of the page doesn't. So at least for me, when I read and studied the page, it became a key part of understanding the main topic, and led me into a longer exploration. Randy Kryn 8:48 5 October, 2014 (UTC)
The exact figure mentioned is 32kB. The text on a 32kB page takes about five seconds to load for editing on a dial-up connection, with accompanying images taking additional time, so pages significantly larger than this are difficult for older browsers to display More and more users use mobile devices to access the web, and with it Wikipedia. We should ensure that Wikipedia works well with these users. These users could have low power phones on poor internet connections, such as some Firefox OS phones [2] recently released into the world, or Android 1.x/2.x phones which are still in production. Most of Africa is wired up through cellular networks of poor quality, and use low spec phones. Android netbooks in production are also low spec, and those are also popular in regions such as that.
I never said it wasn't a good list. and the list wouldn't be deleted either. It would simply sit in a separate article. This has nothing to do with deleting the list, it only moves it to a separate article, as it was prior to 2012. This article was rated GA-class (good article) without the list, so it was a good article without needing the list. Clicking on a link to read the list doesn't mean the list is deleted, it simply is a click away.
-- (talk) 05:03, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
Hi. The policy page in question says that the number to start thinking of splitting a page is 50kB (32kB is used as a number for the five second load time for older browsers, but the 50 is where concern really starts). And, something I didn't know and quite important to this discussion, this 50kB doesn't include lists, notes, references, or pictures. Just what they call 'readable text' (I'm learning new words though this talk). Here are those two areas: At 50kB and above it may be beneficial to move some sections to other articles and replace them with summaries....."Readable prose" is the main body of the text, excluding material such as footnotes and reference sections ("see also", "external links", bibliography, etc.), diagrams and images, tables and lists, Wikilinks and external URLs, and formatting and mark-up. I've just measured the readable text of the page (took a half an hour, stopped to read some of the page) and it's 20.5 kB (and still only 46kB counting everything). So this article's readable text is quite short actually, especially for a topic as major as The Federalist Papers. The list itself seems to me well done, adds much information to the page, and has links which I've followed on quite a few occasions now. Maybe this new data should solve this question? I hope so, and we both may have learned new Wikipedia standards and policies from it. Thanks. Randy Kryn 11:41 7 October, 2014 (UTC)
When I want to read Wikipedia articles (rather than edit), I use Wikiwand. If you read this article there ( you will get a better feeling for size, prose and usability. I'd say that the list is a very good navigational aid. - Cwobeel (talk) 04:31, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Don't agree that the split is necessary. Lutie (talk) 12:53, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Change of title and page move, thoughts?[edit]

As above two sections, a change to The Federalist Papers with the italics on The Federalist (it's now a redirect) would not only bring its correct name to the title, but doesn't really change the common name. If okay with page watchers, and it seems to be from the 'no comments' in the two above sections pertaining to this, can someone move the title (I don't know how to do so over a redirect page). Thanks. Randy Kryn 13:04 1 November, 2014 (UTC)

The title of the book is ‘The Federalist’ or ‘The Federalist; or, The New Constitution’. ‘The Federalist Papers’ is a name used for the works contained in the book, and is set in roman type, not italic (because it's not the title of a book). ‘The Federalist Papers’ is at best bad typography, and at worst implies a different work written about The Federalist.
It might be best to either set the page title (‘The Federalist Papers’) in all roman type, or to move it to all-italic ‘The Federalist’. — (talk) 14:18, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
Just opened my eyes a bit and looked at the first image, and saw that the actual full name of this 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. The most accurate title of this seems to be The Federalist (which directs to this page). The papers, each published in newspapers individually, were then collected into this title. Calling the book anything without adding italics would be inaccurate, so your idea of calling the page The Federalist might be the way to go. Randy Kryn 21:04, 31 August 2016 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. But that said, titling the entry ‘The Federalist Papers’ (no italics) wouldn't be wrong. It would just shift the focus from the book to the individual papers. — (talk) 19:02, 13 September 2016 (UTC)
  • This isn't right, and it's now been carried over into articles that link here. The current partial italicization of the title as The Federalist Papers is unusual in appearance, even bizarre. This is not just a matter of subjective taste: the non-subjective basis for my objection is that it is a unique hybrid italicization, apparently invented here on Wikipedia. It is not the commonly-used style for referring to The Federalist Papers or to The Federalist, and on that account, this italicization style fails WP:COMMONNAME. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 22:13, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

Rampant Vandalism[edit]

Recommend partial lock of article to prevent rampant vandalism — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:35, 7 May 2016 (UTC)

Possible Copyright / Dodgy anyway[edit]

The intro: "The plan was to write a total of 25 essays, the work divided evenly among the three men. In the end, they wrote 85 essays in the span of six months. John Jay got sick after writing five. James Madison wrote 29. Hamilton wrote the other 51." is quoted straight out of the Broadway musical. Unless they're quoting wiki... CJ Drop me a line!Contribs 16:50, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

Cj005257, the quote has been added several times by persistent vandal(s). It's also technically not accurate since Jay wrote four essays (Federalist 2-5) and then later wrote Federalist 64. Libertybison (talk) 06:48, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

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Unique italicization[edit]

I'm hoping to generate a new consensus on this matter. The current partial italicization of this title as The Federalist Papers seems to be unique to Wikipedia — and that's a pretty strong indication that it's not right. The error has been carried over into numerous articles that link here. Subjectively, I find the partial italicization to be unusual in appearance, even bizarre. But this is not just a matter of subjective taste: the non-subjective basis for my objection is that it is a unique hybrid italicization, apparently invented here on Wikipedia. Because it is not the commonly-used style for referring to either The Federalist Papers or to The Federalist, this italicization style fails WP:COMMONNAME.

My hope is that a consensus will emerge, allowing me to move this article to The Federalist. I hope that will turn out to be fairly uncontroversial, since there's no disagreement that The Federalist is the original name under which it was published.

The phrase The Federalist Papers seems to be a neologism that only emerged in the 1960s. It quickly became popular, and it is certainly the more commonly-used title outside of academia. I'm not arguing that The Federalist Papers is wrong — it isn't wrong, at least not when it's properly italicized in its entirety. But as a comparatively recent coinage, and one that is not very often used in scholarly sources, I do believe it should be a redirect, with The Federalist as primary.

Comments would be appreciated. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 16:37, 10 August 2017 (UTC)

  • In fact, a previous discussion on this page, at Change of title and page move, thoughts? seems pretty much like the consensus I'm looking for. The consensus may already have been reached — it's just that nobody stepped forward and moved the page. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 16:46, 10 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Support The Federalist as primary topic (the name already links here). The italics come from the original published name of the full edition of Hamilton's, Madison's and Jay's articles. The full name of the present page could be fine as a redirect. Randy Kryn (talk) 00:32, 11 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Thanks. And I get the reasoning behind the partial italics. I just haven't ever seen it done that way in reliable sources, have you? Lwarrenwiki (talk) 00:50, 11 August 2017 (UTC)
Oppose The Federalist as the article title because the common present day name is The Federalist Papers. If you type in Google "The Federalist" the first thing that pops up is a webmagazine. In fact the first Wikipedia page that pops up on that search is the article for that webmagazine and not this article. Libertybison (talk) 08:06, 11 August 2017 (UTC)
Yes, makes sense. I haven't seen this italicization before, but it's the same concept as portions of full names of ships (USS Enterprise), lists of characters or episodes of films or television shows (List of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck go Duck Hunting episodes), and many other title formations. Some words in those titles should be italicized, others not. Here the original book is The Federalist and the common name does include 'Papers', but that doesn't mean 'Papers', which is a descriptor, should be in italics. As for sources, many sources do not add italics to anything, and so sources themselves are not consistent. If the name stays, it should be split-italicization per the other examples above. Randy Kryn (talk) 18:02, 11 August 2017 (UTC)
@Libertybison: I see your point, and for a comparison, I tried the same search in Google Scholar (, which by its nature limits the results to reliable sources. Google Scholar gave a different result. I think we'd agree that this is one of the unusual cases in which Wikipedia editors are sometimes forced to balance popularity against accuracy (and I can't fault you for drawing your line in a different place than I do).
@Randy Kryn: I believe that The Federalist Papers is commonly used as a three-word alternate title, and commonly italicized in full whenever it's italicized. As I said, I've never seen a source that italicized it as you suggest, breaking it down into something semantically equivalent to "Papers of The Federalist". That might be the logical thing for the general public to do, but it seems to be original to you... a variety of WP:OR on your part, or at least original thinking! Lwarrenwiki (talk) 18:11, 11 August 2017 (UTC)
I'll go with original thinking. And hopefully, if it's changed back, some of the text can be kept italicized in that form, as the original name of the volume. Randy Kryn (talk) 23:20, 11 August 2017 (UTC)
Two previous indications of Support for reversing the redirect from The Federalist (making that the primary article) were given in comments, above, by on 11:48, December 26, 2010‎ (UTC), and by on 14:18, 31 August 2016 (UTC). Those also seem to indicate a long-standing consensus that's awaited implementation. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 04:21, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
I don't understand your reasoning to delete the redirect. Did you want the redirect to be the new name for this page, or redirect to the website (which is why I've contested it, to get clarity as to your thinking). Thanks. Randy Kryn (talk) 20:59, 17 August 2017 (UTC)

I don't think "The Federalist Papers" is a proper construction either. That would be the equivalent of "Time Magazine". There are two forms that could be considered correct, in my view:

  • The Federalist Papers, if over time, that has become the common "proper name" for the publication. Papers is italicized because The Federalist Papers has become the most common alternative name of the publication
    • Likewise we would use Time Magazine if in common usage, "Magazine" had become part of the title of the magazine


  • The Federalist papers, or The Federalist essays – note that "papers" or "essays" are in lower case, to indicate that they are not part of the title of the publication. "Papers" or "essays" is an everyday word used to describe the contents of the publication, or the type of publication, not the name of the publication
    • Likewise, we use Time magazine

We should get a consensus on the correct form.

I've seen the speedy tag, but am hesitant to pull the trigger on that. Would be more comfortable if there were a formal WP:Requested move on this page. I disambiguated several [[The Federalist]] links that were intended for the website. That's going to be a bit of a problem going forward. – wbm1058 (talk) 20:48, 17 August 2017 (UTC)

Of course, if the consensus is for "papers" not to be part of the common title, then that tends to point to a move to The Federalist (papers) if this is not the primary topic for The Federalist. As we have Time (magazine). Probably a good idea to research the web for the most common usage. – wbm1058 (talk) 21:21, 17 August 2017 (UTC)

Requested move 17 August 2017[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Not moved. Withdrawn by nominator, and nobody else has expressed support. wbm1058 (talk) 12:38, 23 August 2017 (UTC)

The Federalist PapersThe Federalist – This proposal is to reverse the current redirect by making The Federalist the title of the primary article. No matter whether the present title is appropriately italicized or not, all of us agree that The Federalist is the title of the work as originally published. In reliable/scholarly sources (as recently searched in, it has not been supplanted by the much more recent phrase The Federalist Papers. Please see the discussion that has already taken place under the section heading #Unique italicization (directly above). Lwarrenwiki (talk) 21:24, 17 August 2017 (UTC)

  • Can a 4-year-old conservative website have overtaken the 228-year-old collection of political essays in importance, so much that the website could reasonably be considered for the place of Wikipedia's primary topic for The Federalist, based solely on being the top hit in a simple Google search? No, I don't think that can be taken seriously. If it were somehow a close call, I expect that even the editors of that website would gladly yield any claim that they might possibly have! :) Lwarrenwiki (talk) 21:43, 17 August 2017 (UTC) rev 21:53, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Procedural issue. As we don't move redirects, it was not necessary to propose moving The Federalist. Actually that makes my bot report this as a malformed request. Thus, I'm refactoring this to be a single-page move. – wbm1058 (talk) 22:01, 17 August 2017 (UTC)
  • I've got to candidly admit: the more I look into it, the more I'm of two minds about the requested move that I myself proposed. What I've found, in looking at various editions of The Federalist on Google Books, is this:
  1. It's hard to find the professionally published books, because the search results are cluttered with e-book editions copied from the public domain, with no signs of a professional editor or publisher.
  2. On a brief search, the first and only scholarly edition that I found was from Yale University Press (2014). The title is The Federalist Papers, fully italicized. Here is a link to the text where the full italicization is clear.
  3. On the same search, the first and only popular edition that I found was from Pocket Books (2004). The title is The Federalist Papers, fully italicized. And here is a link to the text where the full italicization is clear.
So I'll leave this request open for discussion for the time being, but what I'm saying is that although I may have been wrong in requesting the page move, I'm more confident than before that the current partial italicization requires correction. It's unique to Wikipedia, and differs from the common name, which is fully-italicized as The Federalist Papers. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 00:28, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
Randy Kryn, who reverted your request to speedy-delete The Federalist, is responsible for the #Unique italicization. After initiating discussion at #Change of title to The Federalist Papers on 19 September, 2014 he made a series of edits in September, October and November (diff, diff, diff, diff, and diff) to implement this change. – wbm1058 (talk) 08:59, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that was discussed above. Thanks for pointing out the unique italics again, which remain accurate from the point of view of the original book. Randy Kryn (talk) 10:27, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
  • The Federalist Papers, the full name italicized, seems to be the common styling of the name. So support that and support keeping the redirect. Randy Kryn (talk) 10:27, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
OK then, I fixed it. I too am content with the current title. If any of the text in the body The Federalist Papers would better read as The Federalist papers (lower case "p") or The Federalist essays, or some other descriptor, feel free to change that. – wbm1058 (talk) 13:04, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
  • @Wbm1058: Then I'm content to let you close this as resolved, if you like. Thank you for updating the article title, and for bringing the admin skills! :) Lwarrenwiki (talk) 13:15, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
OK, this seems like it could be closed early, per your withdrawn support. Let's just let it run another day or two to make sure the settlement we've come to sticks. wbm1058 (talk) 13:32, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Regarding the website, I don't think the 4-year-old conservative website has overtaken the 228-year-old collection of political essays in importance, but conceivably it could have obtained sufficient weight in common usage to pull the essays off of WP:primary topic status. This might be a judgement call in weighing the current usage criteria vs. the long term significance criteria. Anyone wanting to go in that direction could file a WP:redirect for discussion to either redirect The Federalist to Federalist (disambiguation), or start a new disambiguation page on the base title The Federalist. I'm kind of on the fence about it, but we can probably wait to see how much staying power the website has. – wbm1058 (talk) 13:32, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
I just updated the hatnote:
"The Federalist" redirects here. For the website, see The Federalist (website). For other uses, see Federalist (disambiguation).
I think that's the best way to handle it for now. Per WP:TWODAB,
If a disambiguation page is needed, but one of the other topics is of particular interest, then it may be appropriate to link to it explicitly as well as linking to the disambiguation page.
Regards, wbm1058 (talk) 14:09, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
  • @Wbm1058: Is there any chance of getting a bot to correct the italicization on all the pages that link here? I began that Herculean task, but quickly gave up in despair. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 17:51, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
Likely an easy semi-automated task for WP:AWB or WP:JWB. I can take a look at it later, if you're not an AWB user. – wbm1058 (talk) 17:55, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Thank you, I'd very much appreciate that. I've never used those tools, and I regret that I haven't got enough time to experiment with them in the near future. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 18:02, 18 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment: I'm confused by this move request, has it has become a long and lengthy discussion. If this is about modifying the italicization, then this can easily be fixed by using {{italic title}} or {{DISPLAYTITLE}}. If this is for pointing a redirect to something else or changing what should be a primaryredirect, that is not technically a page move either. If this is for actually moving the page, I would be opposed to that, as "papers" still appears to be part of the common name via a google search of The Federalist vs. The Federalist papers, as well as Encyclopedia Britannica and other such sources. Zzyzx11 (talk) 11:42, 19 August 2017 (UTC)
Zzyzx11, sorry, yes it's a lengthy & confusing discussion but I thought it would be good to have a bit more participation as the topic is important and we've had minimal participation here. Thanks for your input. Indeed as you point out the Web is clear on how it stands with this. Britannica's take is interesting, and against the grain of the Internet in general. Before it was a book, it was just a set of papers written by people calling themselves Federalists, thus the generic title Federalist papers isn't in italics. A move from The Federalist Papers to Federalist papers would thus be a reasonable request, but that's not what's proposed here now. Federalist papers is another way to look at it, that title refers to the papers published in the book titled, (The) Federalist, as opposed to people who were Federalists. If only it were as easy as changing templates, I'm currently running several hundred pages through JWB to replace [[The Federalist Papers|''The Federalist'' Papers]] with ''[[The Federalist Papers]]''. – wbm1058 (talk) 17:25, 19 August 2017 (UTC)
  • @Wbm1058: I would suggest a simple rewrite of the sentence in a way that avoids the issue and allows the redirect from The Federalist to serve its highest and best purpose:
Or you could pipe it that way, rather than relying on the long-term existence of the redirect. (The advantage of referring to The Federalist, in this limited context, is that it avoids an anachronism — the essays hadn't been published as The Federalist Papers at the time when Madison wrote No. 10.) In the alternative, you may prefer one of these:
Lwarrenwiki (talk) 01:53, 20 August 2017 (UTC) rev. 02:12, 20 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose, per WP:COMMONNAME, but the title of our article should actually be this alternative proposal: The Federalist papers because "The Federalist papers" (the proper way to style this) is not an actual work title, but a descriptive term applied later. (It would not be Federalist papers per WP:THE because the actual work title is The Federalist, so the The would be retained (cf. The New York Times, etc.)  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  00:33, 23 August 2017 (UTC)

Withdrawn by nominator: I withdraw my nomination for this page move, and request closure. As discussed above, my concerns have been addressed by actions already taken on the article title. There is now a clear consensus opposing the page move, and there were no comments in support. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 02:12, 23 August 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Federalist No. 10 is an essay written by James Madison as the tenth of The Federalist Papers. Actually on second reading, I think this is OK. What it means is Federalist No. 10 is an essay written by James Madison as the tenth (essay) of The Federalist Papers, not the tenth version of the compilation book. But it's better to simplify this to Federalist No. 10 is an essay written by James Madison, the tenth of The Federalist papers.– wbm1058 (talk) 15:20, 23 August 2017 (UTC) The tenth of The Federalist Papers works too. They mean technically different things – The tenth paper published in The Federalist, or The tenth paper published in The Federalist Papers. wbm1058 (talk) 15:26, 23 August 2017 (UTC)

One more thought as I work through the "unique italicization" issues. Anti-Federalist Papers is the proper name for the set of opposing essays. That's not italicized because it doesn't refer to the title of a book containing the collection of papers. Likewise Federalist Papers is the proper name for the set of papers, but not the name of the book in which the collection was published. So I don't think it can definitively be said that any of these forms are incorrect – each is a valid way of referring to a set of papers:

Bolding the long form of the title[edit]

@Randy Kryn: I see nothing in MOS:BOLD, MOS:BOLDTITLE, or WP:Superfluous bolding explained that requires or even supports the boldfacing of The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution, as Agreed upon by the Federal Convention, September 17, 1787 in the third sentence of the lead paragraph. It's not the title of this article. It's not the title of a redirect to this article. It's not a form of the article title that we would expect a user to be searching for. It doesn't appear in the first sentence. It's merely the title (and the lengthy subtitle) of the first edition of the collected papers. Please explain: what's your rationale for boldface, and what's the support for it in WP:MOS? Lwarrenwiki (talk) 18:14, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

Hi. I know it's a good faith edit, but you said it yourself, it's the title of the first edition of this seminal and historic work of American history. Your reasoning in the edit summaries and here that it is 'lengthly' has nothing to do with boldfacing the original title and significant alternate title of the book which has been common-name reduced to the title of the article. Randy Kryn (talk) 18:19, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
p.s., thanks for pointing out it's not a redirect, done. Randy Kryn (talk) 18:21, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Randy, it seems to me that WP:Manual of Style/Lead_section tells us exactly where boldface is to be used in the lead paragraph, and "original title of the book which has been common-name reduced to the title of the article" doesn't justify the use of boldface. The section Bold title indicates that boldface is to be used in the first sentence of the lead paragraph, but provides no support for using it in the third sentence. That section goes on to say (at MOS:BOLDSYN) this:

    Only the first occurrence of the title and significant alternative titles (which should usually also redirect to the article) are placed in bold

    (emphasis mine). The phrase "alternative titles" refers to alternative titles of the article, not to any particular title of a book that is the subject of the article. And there's really no good reason to create a redirect for this article that will never conceivably be used. Lwarrenwiki (talk) 18:49, 9 October 2017 (UTC)
The reason the original book title is in the third sentence is that the original publication of the papers were in newspapers, and only later collected into the book which was reduced to the common name, The Federalist Papers, long after the original book publication. So the first two sentences concern the history and publication of the original articles. Since this article's name is The Federalist Papers (recently fully italicized) and not The Federalist, the summary must include its full original title which is appropriately placed after the concise historical summary contained in the first two sentences. Many alternate titles aren't placed in the first two sentences due to historic summaries such as this. A redirect created for the original name of a work is appropriate no matter the length of the title. Randy Kryn (talk) 19:01, 9 October 2017 (UTC)