What does the Preamble of the United States Constitution state?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A preamble in general serves as an opening statement that describes the primary purpose of the document that follows. It is not unlike an introductory paragraph to a literary essay. The text to the Preamble of the United States Constiturion is as follows:

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.

It follows the format of a traditional preamble by stating the reasons, purposes, intentions and philosophy for the drafting of the Constitution. Its intent includes the search for justice, tranquility, national defense, and liberty. Judicially, the preamble has little power in the courts; instead, it is recognized for the "spirit" it exudes, and the courts generally "express a preference for broad interpretations of individual freedoms."