The Preamble and Bill of Rights

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THE PREAMBLE AND THE BILL OF RIGHTS
By 1787, Americans were dissatisfied with the current form of the United States government. The Articles of Confederation, although adequate when created, had some major draw backs. An elite group, known as the framers, assembled to form a more perfect union. The framers believed the United States needed a Constitution that would be for the common man. Over the summer of 1787 several committees met to create the preamble for the people. The most renowned committee responsible for writing the preamble consisted of William Johnson, Rufus King, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and Gouverneur Morris. This assembly, known as the Committee of Stile and Arrangement, was tasked with gathering all of the previously agreed upon articles and clauses and arranging them into a coherent order. On September 12, 1787, they revealed the final copy of the Preamble and it was signed into law five days later.

The Preamble does not grant nor prohibit any particular authority to the federal government. Along with explaining the purpose of the Constitution, It outlines the boundary of the government’s authority. The Preamble contained seven articles which defined the people’s rights.

Article one establishes the legislative powers of congress and divided it into the House of Representatives and the senate. The house members are to be divided proportionally among the states. This article establishes the method of election and the required qualifications of the members of each house and senate. It provides that each state may establish its own methods for electing members of congress. Article one also restricts the authority of congress and limits individual states powers.

Article two grants the power of the executive branch to the president. It establishes the duties and powers, as well as the qualifications for both the president and vice president. This article allows for civil officers to be impeached and removed from office.

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