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.
Why our founders changed their minds.
The Congress of the states had a problem. Mostly their problem was a lack of the power they needed to get almost anything accomplished. Passing laws was difficult and making changes to the Articles of Confederation was nearly impossible. Some of the primary complaints the founding fathers expressed about the articles of confederation are listed below. James Madison in particular had been thinking of ways to reorginize the government for years before the convention was held.
Problems with the Articles of Confederation.
- To add to or change the Articles of Confederation required a unanimous vote of the representatives.
- The government could only get money by begging it from the states. This made it hard to run the government expecially if they had to raise and pay an army for defense of the country.
- The country lacked a national court system to handle disputes between states.
- Congress had no power to regulate commerce with other countries or between states. Some of the representatives at the convention thought that the lack of regulation was to blame for economic problems in some of the states at that time.
- There was no executive to enforce the laws that Congress passed.
- Laws required a 9 of 13 vote to pass into the legal code. (There were 13 states at the time and each state had one representative). Some founders thought this should be change to make it easier to pass laws.
Getting a large group of people to all agree on something is extremely difficult.
What the preamble means.
The term "We the People" is one of the most important parts of this section. Before the Constitutional Convention the emphasis for the federal government had been on the State governments and how they interacted. The new Constitution was to pay more attention to protecting the rights of the individual and limiting the power of the government they were reforming with checks and balances to keep one section of the government from dominating the others.
The preamble in general explains the purpose behind the creation of the US Constitution. Part of the goal was to craft the government into a more organized and stable union. More than that the founders wanted to ensure that there was a justice system that gave out equal treatment to every citizen regardless of what state in which they lived. The purpose was to create a judiciary that gave citizens a legal recourse against an overly oppressive state government. They also intended to better organize the rules for defending the country and ensure they had the funds to accomplish the task. Having fought off the British forces with a mix of trained soldiers and untrained or lightly trained citizen militia the founders had a uniqueue understanding of the costs involved in providing for the common defense.