The Preamble of the Constitution of the
has an interesting history. While the
Constitution was being written, the Committee on Detail wrote one preamble that
was not accepted by the Committee on Style.
Gouvernaur Morris, the chairman of the latter committee, decided to
write his own version. He included the
six basic goals that the Framers wanted for the new form of government: Union, Justice, Tranquility, Defense,
Welfare, and United States . He wanted the Preamble to contain the most
important information in the Constitution. Liberty
The Preamble of the United States Constitution says, "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."
The Preamble includes the following seven provisions as explained by W. Cleon Skousen in his book entitled The Making of America - The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, pp. 233-247.
Provision 1: "The Constitution is ordained and established by `We the people.' This principle recognized the unalienable RIGHT of the people of the
to govern themselves. United States
"In no country on earth were there political leaders who had more confidence in the people than those who structured the government of the
Provision 2: "The first goal of sound government is to provide a more perfect union. This principle recognized the RIGHT of the people of the
to live in a solidly
structured nation where all of the states are combined in a perpetual
union." United States
Provision 3: "This Constitution is designed to provide equal justice for all. This provision anticipates the RIGHT of every inhabitant of the
to be protected in
his life and liberty and to be treated as innocent until proven guilty when
brought before the bar of justice…. United States
"When a government protects the rights of its people and provides an adequate remedy for those whose rights have been violated, then that government is providing equal justice for all.
"Justice requires an opportunity and a place to complain of an injury as well as the machinery to provide a remedy. For the accused, justice requires the opportunity to hear and understand the charge, cross-examine those who are making the charge, have a fair and speedy trial, and have an opportunity to repair the wrong if found guilty.
"Nothing destroys the credibility of a government faster than its failure to provide fair and equal justice for its people."
Provision 4: "This Constitution is designed to ensure peace, security, and domestic tranquility among the people. This provision anticipates the RIGHT of the people to enjoy a state of law and order so that they can enjoy a sense of security and peace.
"There is nothing more disruptive to orderly government and domestic tranquility than festering outbursts of mobocracy….
"The Constitution guaranteed to the states that federal forces would intervene if mobs or an invading enemy tried to overthrow the elected representatives of their republican form of government. The Constitution also allowed the states to call upon federal forces to assist them in cases of domestic violence."
Provision 5: "This Constitution shall provide for a common defense against all enemies, both internally and externally.
This provision anticipated the RIGHT of the people to be protected from all enemies who might seek to conquer or destroy the
. United States
"Predatory, war-mongering nations use two methods of attack. One is invasion, the other is internal subversion. A common defense of the nation requires that the national government protect the states against both."
Skousen included two quotes which showed how the Founders were "unequivocal in their commitment to `peace through strength.'"
"The way to secure peace is to be prepared for war. They that are on their guard, and appear ready to receive their adversaries, are in much less danger of being attacked than the supine, secure and negligent." (Benjamin Franklin)
"To be prepared for war is one of the effectual means of preserving peace." (George Washington)
Provision 6: "This Constitution is designed to promote those practices and policies which shall be for the general welfare of the whole nation. This provision anticipates the RIGHT of Americans to have its government serve the welfare of the people in their collective needs - that is, their GENERAL welfare - and not use the resources of the people for the benefit of certain states or certain people, which would be SPECIAL welfare."
Provision 7: "The Founders said the purpose of the Constitution would be to secure the blessings of liberty for themselves and their posterity. This provision anticipated the RIGHT of all Americans to have their government continually engaged in the protection of the freedom of the people from generation to generation.
"The Constitution was designed to provide a `divided, balanced, limited' government so that it would remain in the center of the political spectrum and not drift toward anarchy or tyranny."
The Preamble of the United States Constitution tells us that the PEOPLE have the ultimate say in how the country is governed. The PEOPLE give certain powers to the government to exercise in good faith; if the government abuses its powers, the PEOPLE have the RIGHT to regain control of the government.