We the People — Preamble to the Constitution

Contributor: Elephango Editors. Lesson ID: 10192

Did you know that the Preamble to the Constitution was not discussed on the floor of the Constitutional Convention? Examine how the Preamble serves as an introduction to the U.S. Constitution.


Civics, United States

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Listen to the Preamble to the Constitution read aloud in the video below.

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  • Do Americans realize how unique this is?

The Preamble begins with the words, “We the People."

The Constitution writers wanted to clarify that the government’s power would come from the people and not from a single ruler. They wanted to clarify that the government exists to serve the people and that the government must answer to them.

Read the full Preamble below.

“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 of the United States Constitution consists of several key phrases, each essential for understanding the document's purpose.

"We the People"

This phrase signifies all American citizens, emphasizing that the Constitution's rights and principles apply to everyone, regardless of their background or education.

"in Order to form a more perfect Union"

This reflects the desire to create a stronger and more effective government than the previous Articles of Confederation, which had limitations.

"establish Justice"

This emphasizes the enduring importance of justice, a key motivator for the American Revolution, and the commitment to uphold it under the Constitution.

"insure domestic Tranquility"

This phrase acknowledges the need for peace within the nation, particularly in response to events like Shays' Rebellion, highlighting the importance of maintaining order.

"provide for the common defence"

They were recognizing the need for collective defense against external threats when individual states lacked sufficient power to protect themselves.

"promote the general Welfare"

This phrase signifies the government's responsibility to ensure the well-being of its citizens as much as possible.

"secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity"

This underscores the Constitution's role in safeguarding hard-earned rights, protecting against unjust laws, and preventing tyranny, both for the current generation and future ones.

"do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”

This final phrase signifies that the people are the source of power, highlighting the document's creation by and for the people of the United States.

Explore the Preamble further with the following video.

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