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John Jay

Court

The Federalist Papers, undoubtedly the most important document for understanding the U.S. Constitution, was the combined effort by John Jay (1745–1829), Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. Jay wrote only five of the papers, but in honor of his role as the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, we include here, under his name, the Constitution, its various Amendments, and the Articles of Confederation.

Federalist No. 2

After Hamilton's introduction in Federalist No. 1, John Jay offers us the first substantive discussion. From the beginning, the Founders understood that our nation was under the special protection of the Divinity.

The Constitution of the United States

Our nation's Constitution describes the world's oldest functioning system of representative democracy. The division of power into three co-equal branches is the central political feature of the document.

The Original Bill of Rights and Other Amendments

The U.S. Constitution would not have been ratified by the states had not Congress promised it would soon add a Bill of Rights. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments acknowledge that our rights precede government.

The Articles of Confederation

The United States of America lived under the Declaration of Independence from 1776 to 1781, when the Confederation began. This union was accomplished under the the "Great Governor of the World."