We The People

The Constitution gets its power and authority from the people, not from the states.

The original states are reflections of what Great Britain, through their grants of land and Charters to specific groups, established as independent groups with no consideration of any larger organization, other than having fealty and providing revenue to the Crown. At this time in history, the smallness of each colony was the most efficient means to exploit the new lands.

The First Continental Congress consisting of delegates from 12 of the 13 colonies met to address grievances against the King and Great Britain. Delegates were sent from the colonial assemblies, legislative bodies of the governments chartered by Great Britain.  Each colony had differing opinions as to what should be done, but as a group they petitioned Parliament for help.

King George basically said “no way”, and by the time The Second Continental Congress met, the war of resistance had started. This Congress continued to petition Parliament and The King looking for a peaceable solution, but were rebuffed, with The King declaring the colonies to be in s state of “open and avowed rebellion”. George Washington was placed in charge of the armies, the Declaration of Independence was issued, and this Congress  issued the Articles of Confederation that established a government to replace the British Parliament.

The Congress of the Confederation had several important achievements: guiding the armies through the end of the war, removing claims to land west of the new states for the establishment of new states, and because of the inability of the Confederation to compel compliance from any of the individual states, a Constitutional Convention was convened to rewrite the rules.

During the Confederation, European powers did not quit and go home. They continued to meddle by establishing political and commercial alliances with individual states to weaken the new nation. The individual former semi-autonomous colonies, now semi-autonomous states, also began to place commerce restrictions (tariffs and taxes) on other states. The Confederation as a loose collection of  former semi-autonomous colonies, now semi-autonomous states, was a failure. To survive, the rules has to be rewritten.

The new Constitution contains three components: The Preamble (principles), The Articles (rules), and The Amendments. The importance of examining the Preamble is that it is a key to open the mind of the Makers. The Constitution “is an act of the people and not of the states in their political capacities. … It is an ordinance or establishment of government … and it binds as a fundamental law promulgated by the sovereign authority [of the people] ….” In the statement  “We, the people of the United States,” not We, the states, “do ordain and establish;” the power and authority for the new rule-set in The Constitution. It comes from the people, not the states.  By this statement the states and their sovereignty are reduced to lesser administrative levels.

This bears repeating: The Constitution gets its power and authority from the people, not from the states.

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