Most of the leading Founders were lawyers. According to eighteenth-century law, a preamble explained the purposes of the document. The preamble was not part of the actual law, but was used to help explain the text.  It was considered a “key to open the Mind of the Makers.”

The Constitution’s Preamble lists six purposes:

(1) form a more perfect Union (the word “perfect” then meant “complete,” not “flawless”);

(2) establish Justice;

(3) insure domestic Tranquility;

(4) provide for the common defence [sic];

(5) promote the general Welfare;

(6) secure the Blessings of Liberty.

These purposes are not always consistent with each other. For example, the Founders understood that a government often commits injustice in the course of ”securing the common defence.”

cross-posted from the Electric City Weblog

Rob Natelson

The 10th Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”



Featured Articles

On the Constitution, history, the founders, and analysis of current events.

featured articles


Tenther Blog and News

Nullification news, quick takes, history, interviews, podcasts and much more.

tenther blog


State of the Nullification Movement

232 pages. History, constitutionality, and application today.

get the report


Path to Liberty

Our flagship podcast. Michael Boldin on the constitution, history, and strategy for liberty today

path to liberty


Maharrey Minute

The title says it all. Mike Maharrey with a 1 minute take on issues under a 10th Amendment lens. maharrey minute

Tenther Essentials

2-4 minute videos on key Constitutional issues - history, and application today


Join TAC, Support Liberty!

Nothing helps us get the job done more than the financial support of our members, from just $2/month!



The 10th Amendment

History, meaning, and purpose - the "Foundation of the Constitution."

10th Amendment



Get an overview of the principles, background, and application in history - and today.