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For reasons upon which I won’t elaborate, I’m unable to appear on camera, but that won’t stop me from explaining the foundations of the United States of America in my blog.

(Yes, I will post on non-government, non-criminal justice stuff. It just won’t be today, so read and learn…or at least–I hope–be entertained.)

United States Constitution

Preamble:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

If you’re my age or older, you most likely had to quote this from memory as part of your government class…the one we were all required to take.

If you graduated within the past ten years, you most likely did not take a government class, so let me break it down for you. The explanation may be redundant at times, but it’s hard to match the brevity of the preamble.

We the People of the United States…

That’s not just the framers of the Constitution, but the citizens of the United States.

in Order to form a more perfect Union…

This is a statement of intent, declaring the Union established by the Constitution more perfect than the “perpetual union” established by the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.

…establish Justice…

Although the judicial branch is mapped out and established in Article III, it is at this point that it—and the standardized system of justice embodied therein—is called into being.

…insure domestic Tranquility…

This is two-fold. It is similar to the “peace” cited in the subsequent Canadian constitution’s promise of “peace, order and good government.” It is also another reference to the union and its system of justice. Disputes within a nation are generally settled peacefully, whereas disputes between neighboring nations often erupt into war. 

…provide for the common defence…

This renews the U.S. government’s commitment to maintaining a U.S. military, a much stronger military than that administered and funded by the Articles of Confederation

…promote the general Welfare…

This is a promise from the government to the people that it will be there for us, maintaining a cohesive and successful economy, system of laws, strong military and national identity. It’s just another way of repeating the abovementioned promises and statements.

…and secure the Blessings of Liberty…

This is a different kind of promise…not to be there, wherever you may be, anytime. The blessings of liberty are freedom, privacy, the right to disagree with the government and so on…what we now regard as human rights. In fact, this preamble was intended to serve the functions later fulfilled by the Bill of Rights.

…to ourselves and our Posterity…

Basically, another way to say “forever and ever, Amen.”

…do ordain and establish this Constitution…

This is part of securing the blessings of liberty for all generations of Americans. The Framers chose to present a written Constitution to the states for ratification, rather than notes on an unwritten constitution, like that of Great Britain.

If something is unwritten, it can be changed. If something is written, with a copy presented to each state, it’s essentially set in stone.

…for the United States of America.

We all know what that is…right?

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One Comment

  1. Very energetic post, I loved that a lot. Will there be a part 2?

    Like


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