Q:

What does the preamble say?

A:

Cornell University Law School defines the Preamble of the United States Constitution as a brief summary of the important principles contained within the Constitution itself. Because the Preamble is so succinct, it is often referenced in court and popular culture.

The Free Dictionary defines preamble as an introductory statement that concisely explains the purpose of a document, and the Preamble of the United States Constitution meets this definition. Similar to any other introduction, the Preamble serves as an outline for the basic constitutional rights and regulations that citizens of the United States can expect. As referenced in Constitution US, the Preamble of the Constitution begins with the well-known phrase, "We the people". This phrase and the assertions that follow are not actually part of the Constitution itself. In fact, the Preamble states that it exists to ordain the contents of the Constitution and gives a brief list of arguments in favor of its contents. Laws, the online legal resource, further explains that the significance of the Preamble is to establish the Constitution not as a mandate from the federal government itself, but rather from the people of the United States. The unique language chosen to begin the Preamble may explain why this prelude to the Constitution is so often quoted in the judicial system.

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  • Q:

    What is the purpose of the preamble?

    A:

    The purpose of the preamble is the outline the reasons behind the writing of the U.S. Constitution and the goals of the document. Although the preamble gives useful insight into the framers' intentions, the courts do not use it as a source of rights or powers that are not specifically enumerated in the body of the U.S. Constitution.

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  • Q:

    What are the advantages of a written constitution?

    A:

    A written constitution clearly defines the division of powers within a government, the powers and limitations of each branch therein, and the rights of the citizens at large. Written constitutions also allow literate citizens the opportunity to familiarize themselves with their government's laws and infrastructure, increasing the power of individuals.

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  • Q:

    What was the purpose of the 12th Amendment?

    A:

    The purpose of the 12th Amendment to the United States Constitution was to fix the flaws in the presidential election process. It came about as a result of the election of 1800, according to USConstitution.net.

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  • Q:

    What was America's first Constitution called?

    A:

    America's first Constitution was called the Articles of Confederation. The Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation on November 15, 1777, although ratification of the Constitution by all 13 states did not take place until March 1, 1781.

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