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Preamble (1787)

The Preamble is the introduction to the Constitution and explains the general purposes of government. Written by Gouverneur Morris, the Preamble states: “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.”

Some, including Patrick Henry, objected to the Preamble’s wording and its claim that the people, rather than the respective states, were the agents of the compact.