Our Constitution – The Basics

WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, 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.

Preamble to the United States Constitution

So begins the Constitution of the United States. This preamble sets forth the purposes and goals of a document intended to replace the failed Articles of Confederation and establish a new constitutional order intended to last for generations.

And, it has!

As we commemorate Constitution Day today, September 17, let’s think about why the Constitution was established (remember, we are talking basics today) –


Under the Articles of Confederation, the United States was failing as a nation. Yes, its creation was a noble venture, an attempt to seal on paper what the colonies had fought for on the battlefield, but the government created by this document was not strong enough to forge a new nation, and it failed. The national congress had no authority to fund or enforce its laws; there was no national military; the same with currency; there was no standard judicial system; some states refused to provide their share of funding to the nation; each state created and regulated its own foreign policy; each state was allotted just one vote in congress, creating a contention between large and small states. There were many more faults, but suffice it to say a change was needed.

There was an immediate and desperate need for a new government before the loosely-knit confederation failed. The knit needed to be so tightly woven that it could not possibly unravel, would provide a barrier of protection from hostile (external and internal) forces, yet still flexible enough to retain and maintain liberty and justice for all citizens of the nation and of the states.


Any new document would need to bind the states to each other, creating an unbreakable force, bound together not just by law, but by a common interest in promoting the general welfare of each and every citizen of the fledgling nation. The document, while creating a federal government strong enough to keep the states together, would need to be equally as strong in protecting without fail the God-given blessings of liberty promised to every man and woman, and frankly, to each state.


Schoolhouse Rock says it best, and in a tune we can all remember!

The drafting of the United States Constitution created just what was needed. A new government. Again. This time, one strong enough to create a nation, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for a common defense, promote the general welfare, and most-importantly, secure the blessings of liberty to all current and future citizens.

During the coming week, we will show just how the Constitution does just what it says it will do.

In the meantime, take a look at the Constitution here and remind yourself what it says and what it means to you. Today is a great day to ponder this amazing, God-inspired document, signed 236 years ago, but still as relevant and important today as it was back then!

And, respond and comment – what does the Constitution mean to you?

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