This puzzle came about in the course of researching the concept of natural rights, e.g. those inherent to human beings. A lot of what Madison put into the original version of the preamble echoed what was in the Declaration of independence, but those in Congress at the time, didn’t like such an explicit statement about how people were entitled to overthrow an abusive government. After all, they were now the government. Still, the preamble they came up with says a lot about their views on government and its role.
Even though it’s relatively short, it’s worth spending some time parsing the import of these judiciously chosen words. For help with this, please read an excellent expository article discovered in the course of doing the aforementioned research.
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Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.
ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.