Preamble to the US Constitution

The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution introduces the document, created on September 17, 1787, as a democratic social contract among "We the People" to ensure "a more perfect Union."
Philadelphia Convention
Grade Level

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.



This text is in the public domain.
Text Dependent Questions
  1. Question
    To whom does "We the People" refer?
    It refers to citizens of the United States.
    (Note): If students are provided background knowledge regarding when the Constitution was written or have a general understanding of the time period, they may note that when the Constitution was written, there were certain limitations on who was included as "people".
  2. Question
    The people gathered to "form a more perfect Union." Find another phrase that provides another name for this union.
    The United States of America
  3. Question
    What was established as a result of this convening?
    The Constitution for the United States of America.
  4. Question
    On what five tenets was the Constitution built?
    1. Establish Justice
    2. Insure domestic tranquility
    3. Provide for common defense
    4. promote general welfare
    5. secure liberty for those at the time and all of the future generations
  5. Question
    Summarize the five tenets in your own words.
    (The following definitions were found at wordsmyth.net)
    a. Justice: the upholding of what is fair, just and right
    b. Domestic: part of the government responsible for national security
    c. Tranquility: the condition or quality of being peaceful, untroubled or calm
    d. Common: shared with another or others
    e. Defense: the act of protecting or guarding
    f. Welfare: state of health, happiness and good fortune
    g. Liberty: freedom from control of another (right or power to act freely)
    h. Posterity:all of the generations to come
Reveal Answers
Abolitionists William Still, Sojourner Truth, William Loyd Garrison, unidentified male and female slaves, and Black Union soldiers in front of American flag

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