“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union”. What do these words mean to you? Do you know where this phrase comes from? Do you know what it is the Preamble to? Is it important to our lives?
These words are the opening words of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States. It was signed in convention on September 17, 1787 and ratified on June 21, 1788. The Preamble’s first fifty-two words introduces everything that is to follow in the Constitution’s seven articles and twenty-seven amendments. It proclaims who is adopting this Constitution: “We the People of the United States.” It describes why it is being adopted—the purposes behind the enactment of America’s charter of government. And it describes what is being adopted: “this Constitution—a single authoritative written text to serve as fundamental law of the land. Written constitutionalism was a distinctively American innovation, and one that the framing generation considered the new nation’s greatest contribution to the science of government. The provisions of the document declare the enactment of the provisions that followed in the articles and amendments.
The Constitution is “owned” by the people, not the government or any branch thereof. We the People are the stewards of the U.S. Constitution and remain ultimately responsible for its continued existence and its faithful interpretation. Article VI declares that this Constitution shall be the supreme law for the entire nation. Tuesday, September 17th is Constitution Day. Each citizen should review the Constitution so they will know what it says and how it pertains to their daily Life.
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 Constitution’s Articles and Amendments can be found on the interactive website: www.constitutioncenter.org