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The U.S. Constitution: Preamble

The preamble sets the stage for the Constitution (Archives.gov). It clearly communicates the intentions of the framers and the purpose of the document. The preamble is an introduction to the highest law of the land; it is not the law. It does not define government powers or individual rights.

Establish Justice is the first of five objectives outlined in the 52-word paragraph that the Framers drafted in six weeks during the hot Philadelphia summer of 1787. They found a way to agree on the following basic principles:

"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."

In this video, designed to guide group recitations of the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, the words are supported by visuals and background music that give it emotional impact as it sets out the aspirations that “We the People” have for our government and for our way of life as a nation.

Promises of the Preamble

High school journalists share what the promises of the preamble to the Constitution mean to them. This video can be used as an inspirational element in a courtroom, classroom, or community program. It also can serve as an effective discussion starter to stimulate conversation about the Constitution.