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old HIS 100 - Perspectives in History

Research guidance and example sources for HIS100 Perspectives in History research assignment.

Secondary sources

Here are a few examples of secondary sources related to the drafting of the U.S. Constitution. They include a book and an article discussing the effect and legacy of the Federalist Papers.

Meyerson, M. (2009). Liberty's Blueprint: How Madison and Hamilton Wrote the Federalist Papers, Defined the Constitution, and Made Democracy Safe for the World. Basic Books.

This book is a secondary source that examines the period and people involved with the drafting of the U.S. Constitution. The Federalist Papers were essays written by Hamilton, Madison and Jay arguing in favor of the the new Constitution. This source looks in depth at the thinking behind the Constitution, and how the framers intended the Constitution to be understood. Liberty's Blueprint is a whole book, though you may find one or more of the chapters of specific interest.

Taylor, Q. P. (2002). Publius and persuasion: Rhetorical readings of The Federalist Papers. Political Science Reviewer, 31, 236.

This article has a narrower focus, looking at how Hamilton, Madison and Jay used language in the Federalist Papers to achieve their goals. 

Searching for More

To look for more secondary sources related to the Drafting of the U.S. Constitution, consider exploring the following resources. Some good keywords to try include Constitution, Articles of Confederation, Federalist Papers and issues at play (The Virginia Plan, The New Jersey Plan, Three-Fifths Compromise, Slavery, Compromise, Connecticut Compromise). Consider searching for secondary sources that either talk about the primary sources you choose, or explore similar themes.