The Federalist Papers were first published in 1787 in the New York press under the signature of "Publius", a psuedonym used by the three authors: John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton. Jay was responsible for only a few of the 85 articles.
The essays appeared in book form in 1788 and are generally considered to be one of the most important contributions to political thought made in America. The papers were meant to be influential in the campaign for the adoption of the Constitution by New York state. The authors discussed many general problems of politics in addition to the issues of the Constitution.