The Constitution: Rules for Running a Country

We the People

The Constitution starts with three famous words: We the People. Given these words, who do you think has the power in our government? That’s right — WE do!

Back when the Constitution was written, this concept of self-government was pretty shocking. In those days, almost all countries were ruled by a king of some kind. People were used to their government telling them what to do, not the other way around.

The opening paragraph of the Constitution is called the Preamble.  It explains what the writers were trying to do:

  • Form a better union among the states
  • Create a fair legal system
  • Guarantee peace inside the country
  • Join all the states together to defend against attacks
  • Help support people’s well-being
  • Make sure all future generations remain free

And how did they plan to accomplish all this? Well, they tell you in the very last line of the Preamble: by establishing the Constitution!

Follow the link to watch a famous music video that’s all about the Preamble! (Can you sing along?)

Response Question: 

Choose one of the goals listed in the Preamble. How do you think creating rules for a new government to follow could help meet that goal?

Response not required