Federalist Papers – The Information Skill

Just so we don’t forget that this blog is about “Critical Skills,” let’s take a brief pause and consider one of the Critical Skills that was necessary to write these papers.

Imagine yourself back in 1787 sitting at a small desk, the room lit by candle or lantern, only a quill and ink for writing, no word processing or access to the internet or Google, and knowledge that you had gained through reading books, intelligent discussions, or attending school – not from TV or radio.

Then imagine yourself with the challenge of writing persuasive and intelligent essays about the history of governmental designs – the good and the bad – and basing your arguments for a new government on the best practices or from the lessons – right or wrong – gained from historical practice.

Such a challenge would be daunting today – and I suspect few people would be able to come up with documents that contain such a depth of knowledge and persuasive arguments as presented by Hamilton, Madison and Jay in the Federalist Papers.

In order to make such an argument for a new government, the Federalist Papers authors had to base their findings and conclusions on historical fact – gained through accessing, sorting and evaluating INFORMATION that was available at the time.

They had to utilize a highly-developed INFORMATION SKILL in order to produce their arguments.

The Information Skill:  The ability to gather and sort relevant information pertaining to a particular problem to be solved or issue to be resolved. The skill also implies that the information gathered and sorted is judged or proved to be true.

 Without the Information skill, neither Hamilton, Madison or Jay would have been able to make the kinds of credible arguments they made in the Federalist Papers to convince the people of New York to ratify the Constitution of the United States.

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