A More Perfect Union

The importance of examining the Preamble is that it is a key that opens a view into the mind of the Makers.Foremost in the minds of the Makers, as the first requirement stated in the Preamble, is the need to form “a more perfect Union”. Clearly, (at least to me), the chaos that resulted from the structure defined by the Articles of the Confederation and implemented by that loosely-knit Confederation Congress demonstrated that the lack of unity, the competition and hostility among the former colonies, now quasi-independent states, was a poor solution for their new condition and definition of independence.  As a group they defeated the British and then chose to remain separate loosely allied governmental entities.

In the context of their time, thirteen million people lived on the eastern seaboard from Maine to Florida in small communities joined by dirt paths and roads, slow boats between ports, and poor communications capabilities. Using an information systems analogy, decision-making was highly distributed to local, isolated decision centers. In order to meet the needs of the new society that was being formed, a structure needed to be made that bound the disparate colonies into a framework of rules for commerce and mutual defense, and to pay for those actions.

The intellectual elite (leaders) of that era decided to centralize some of their functions that the individual states performed, upscaling to provide coherent organized policies. The Rule Set of the Constitution reflects reactions to their time: local, isolated decision centers formed around colonial business charters, and the (till then) massive focusing of decision making power into the hands of a hereditary Crown (the King). They wanted protection – defense and control of the decision-making system.

If the Makers had had the issues of our day – huge population compared to theirs and near-instantaneous communications – would their solution be the same for “a more perfect union”?

Or, should the question be: How do we engineer The Rule Set to reflect the conditions of our day, while remaining true to the Principles of The Preamble?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.