Saturday, September 17, 2016, passed with little notice. The significance of that date is monumental, because on September 17, 1787, thirty-nine framers laid the groundwork for our young government and signed the Constitution. The Constitution is divided into three parts: the Preamble, the Articles, and the Amendments.
The Preamble states the purpose of the Constitution. It reads, “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 declares:
· “We the People” are in charge of our government.
· while no government is perfect, this new Republican form of self-governance is as close to perfect as possible.
· their opposition to the abuses they suffered under King George III.
· their commitment to law and order.
· by banding together, the states could better defend themselves against attack.
· their desire to enjoy the fruits of their labor, since they had few property rights under English rule.
· their commitment to freedom for themselves and all future Americans.
The Articles specify the powers and limits placed on the states and the federal government. They also identify the roles and responsibilities of each branch of government:
· Article I: establishes the Legislative branch of government, the Senate and House of Representatives. This article outlines their roles and responsibilities, as well as the procedure for passing laws.
· Article II: establishes the Executive branch of government. This article identifies the duties of the President, Vice-President, and the Cabinet.
· Article III: establishes the Judicial branch of government, the U.S. Supreme Court.
· Article IV: establishes states’ rights and their role in the federal government. This article ensures the citizens of all the states are being treated equally.
· Article V: establishes the procedure for amending the Constitution.
· Article VI: establishes the role of the federal government concerning laws, debt, and treaties.
· Article VII: establishes the procedure for ratifying the Constitution.
The Amendments are additions or changes to the Constitution, which ensure individual liberty by further limiting the federal government’s power. There are twenty-seven amendments. The first ten are known as the Bill of Rights. Go to www.usconstitution.net and www.billofrightsinstitute.org to learn more, and then teach others. Together, we can preserve liberty for future generations.
May God bless you and the United States of America!