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. New York, N.Y.: Basic Books.

This book is a secondary source that examine 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 relationship between the papers’ authors and the Constitution. 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.

  • JSTOR
    • Database of ebooks and archival issues of scholarly journals. SNHU Subscribes to Arts & Sciences Archive Collections I to XV.
  • America: History & Life – EBSCO
    • Index to articles in magazines and journals covering history and culture of the United States and Canada.

HIS 100 Theme 2: Secondary Source Analysis Worksheet

 

Prompt: Fill in each of the fields below using information from a secondary source of your choice. Be sure to include specific examples (page numbers, etc.).

 

Full APA citation: 
Identify author and describe potential biases. 
Identify thesis and arguments. 
What primary sources did the source rely on? 
Is the source reliable and convincing? Why or why not? 
How does the source relate to your project topic? How does it add to what you already know about the topic? 

 

 

 

 
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