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The Constitution

Six Goals

Six Goals
The Five Principles
The Articles
The Ten Amendments
The 'Signers'
Locating Information

    The Constitution had six different goals.  Even though they may have had six goals, their main idea was to create a single, united nation.  They wanted their nation to have a fair government, and have a structured system of laws.

 The  Six  Goals

    "Form a More Perfect Union"

        According to the Articles of Confederation, the United States was a liberated alliance of independent, controversy states.  Most states acted like they weren't even a part of the same nation.

     One of the main goals of this Constitution was to get the states to agree, and work together.  They wanted the states to become a united nation.

     In order to make this goal possible, the Constitution gives a vast range of power to the national government. In example, only Congress (the national legislature) has the right to tax all of the people.  Another example, the President is responsible to make sure that all of the nation's laws are carried out. And federal courts dictate one system of laws for the nation.

"Establish Justice"

The second goal of the Constitution is to establish justice.  It means that every law is to be exactly the same to every American.  To create an equal, fair nation, all of the rights to the people must be the same.  No matter the person's race, religion, gender, country or origin, political views, or financial situation.  The Constitution gives this task to a federal system of courts. 

  The federal court has to deal with a huge range of issues.  The federal court has to hear the cases involving the Constitution, national laws, treaties, foreign ambassadors, and ships at sea.  They also have to settle different disputes between individuals, between individuals and the national government, and between the states.

When the federal courts decide their cases, they usually have to interpret the law to others.  The Supreme Court, which is the highest of all the rest, can rule a law passed by Congress, or a state legislature is not permitted by the Constitution.

Without a national system of courts, state or local courts would interpret national laws.  Some judges in states might even refuse to enforce the national laws that they didn't care for.  This would mean that we would definitely not have a structured system of laws.  There would be many disputes about the meaning of the laws, and certain disputes of some laws, may remain unsettled.  Confusion and unjust laws would probably result of the unsettlement.

"Ensure Domestic Tranquility"
Way back in the mid 1780's, Daniel Shay marched onto a Massachusetts courthouse with hundreds and hundreds of protestors.  Hearing of Shay's Rebellion, George Washington had said, "We are fast verging to [absence of government] and confusion!"  It made it clear that the national government needed to ensure the power of domestic tranquility.  The Constitution has given the government certain powers, so that they will be able to keep the peace.  Local governments, along with state governments, are allowed to use their own police to enforce national laws within their own borders.  However, when the crime has crossed state borders, the national police agencies, like the FBI, can step in to help protect life and property.

"Provide for the Common Defense"
     When the American Revolution had ended, the United States had no armed forces to defend itself.  Without an army, there as no way to force British troops to leave the western frontier.  Without a navy, there wasn't any way to prevent Spain from clasing part of the Mississippi River to the American Trade.
Farmers of the Constitution realized that the armed forces we definetly vital to a nation's survival.  Military power would help to prevent attack but other nations, but it would also protect economic and political interests.
    The Constitution gives congerss enough power to"raise and support Armies" and to "provide and mantain a Navy".  Today, the armed forces consist of the army, air force, navy, marine corps, and coast guard.  The Constitution also establishes the principle that the military is under civilian, or nonmilitry, control.  Article 2 of the Constitution states thatthe President is Commander in Cheif of the armed forces.  Even the highest-ranking military officer must answer to an elected official.

"Promote the General Welfare"



The Constitution states that the national government can promote the general welfare.  The national government has to power to collect taxes from the people.  The national government also has the power to set aside money that may benefit people of the United States.

    The workplace provides tons of examples on how the national government has promoted the general welfare.  Factory owners have to meet certain safety standards for their work areas. People that are disabled or are unemployed, receive financial support.  The Social Security system has made sure that all workers will receive income upon their retirement.

   General welfare has also been promoted by supporting education.  Education helps prepare people for the real world.  It helps people learn to become responsible, working citizens.  It provides training and tools for employment as well.

    Supporting education come in many different ways.  The national government has to pay for school nutrition programs in local school areas.  Many students also receive money to help pay for the costs of their college education.  This is also called getting a scholarship.

    Scientific research is also supported by general welfare. General welfare also promotes the development of improving the quality of life. Researches at the National Institutes of Health lead and have lead the fight against many different diseases.  Without general welfare, hardly any of this would have been possible.  Scientists that work at the Department of Agriculture help and have helped farmers improve on their crops and to develop better livestock.

"Secure the Blessings of Liberty"

One of the main reasons colonists fought the American Revolution was for the protection of liberty.  For this reason, it makes complete sense why the framers of the constitution would have made a huge deal about securing liberty as one of its major goals. Liberty is the freedom to live as you would like, as long as you follow and obey the laws of the country, and respect the rights of others.

    One was that the constitution has a job of ensuring liberty, is by limiting power to the government.  One example is that in the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments are very basic rights to our freedom. These basic rights are not allowed to be taken away by our government.

    Another way the constitution has kept liberty safe is by giving the people the right to vote.  We, the people, have the right to select our leaders to help make our laws.  And, we are also able to take the power away from our leaders, if we feel it is necessary. 

    The "blessings of liberty" have been extended to more Americans since the Constitution was written.  The times when the constitution has been changed, is only to make sure that we still have fair rights. No matter what our race, religion or gender is.  We are still able to have the same rights going towards voting, education, housing, employment and other opportunities in life.

Federal - national
Justice - fairness
Domestic Tranquility - peace at home
General Welfare - well-being of all people
Liberty - freedom to live as you please provideded you obey the laws and respect the rights of others


We the people...

"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."
   -The Preamble, the U.S. Constitution