Parts of the Constitution
  • The Preamble
  • The Articles (7)
  • The Amendments (27)

The Preamble

The Preamble is the one-paragraph introduction to the Constitution.  It begins the Constitution by stating the goals of  the Constitution. Below is a picture of the real document with the preamble written out. 

Here are the words which are written:

We the People  of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, 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.

The Constitution was written over 200 years ago.  Words and phrases were used differently. Below is a more modern statement of the preamble. 

We the people of the United States want to form a better country, create a fair  and just legal system, have peace inside the country, defend our country from other countries, help everyone live a better life, and make sure these things last during our lifetimes and our children's.  Therefore, we make and authorize this plan of government for the United States of America.


The Articles  (7)

Article I  (1) The Legislative Branch
A long part with 10 sections, creates the Congress to make laws, divides Congress into a Senate and House of Representatives, makes rules for election of members, gives some powers to Congress, limits other powers
Article II (2) The Executive Branch
Sets up the presidency and vice presidency to carry out or execute the laws, election rules, powers of the president, how to impeach
Article III (3)  The Judicial Branch
Sets up the Supreme Court, duties and powers of Supreme Court and federal courts,  power of judicial review, defines treason
Article IV  (4)  The States
Creates rules for states to get along with other states, guarantees to states, admitting states to the Union  
Article V (5)  Making Amendments
How to add amendments to the Constitution
Article VI (6)  Supreme Law of the Land
The Constitution is the highest law of the land
Article VII (7)  Ratification 
The Constitution became effective when 9 out of 13 states approved it

The Amendments (27)
    I (1) Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, petition
    II (2) Right to bear arms
    III (3) Quartering of troops
    IV (4) Search and seizure
    V (5) Due process, double jeopardy, self-incrimination
    VI (6) Jury trial, right to counsel
    VII (7) Common law suits
    VIII (8) Excess bail or fines, cruel and unusual punishment
    IX (9) Rights not named
    X (10) Powers reserved to states
    XI (11) Lawsuits against a state
    XII (12) Election of president and vice president
    XIII (13) Abolition of slavery
    XIV (14) Due process, equal protection, privileges of citizens
    XV (15) Rights not to be denied because of race
    XVI (16) Income tax
    XVII (17) Election of senators
    XVIII (18) Prohibition
    XIX (19) Women's right to vote
    XX (20) Presidential term and succession
    XXI (21) Repeal of prohibition
    XXII (22) President limited to 2 terms
    XXIII (23) Right to vote for president and VP for persons in  D.C.
    XXIV (24) No poll tax
    XXV (25) Presidential succession
    XXVI (26) Right to vote at age 18
    XXVII (27) Compensation for members of Congress

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