The Federalist Papers are 85 letters written under the pen name “Publius”. Publius was the joint creation of Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. Originally intended as an attempt to influence the people of New York to ratify the new Constitution, the Federalist Papers came to be the best contemporary explanation of that document by men who had an outsized role in drafting it. These essays explain the ideas behind the Constitution and the reasoning that led to the choices made in the convention of 1787. Thomas Jefferson would later call it "the best commentary on the principles of government which ever was written."