Constitution of the United States – Preamble: a more perfect Union
“To form a more perfect Union”
The Articles of Confederation that got us through the Revolutionary War proved to be a temporary arrangement, inadequate to the demands of the post-war nation.
With the weak federal government unable to force compliance from the states, individual states proved unwilling to honor requests of money to pay off the war debt. Other requests were likewise stalled or ignored. The states became contentiously competitive. The viability of the country came into question.
A strong federal government was needed to bring discipline, consistency, and even a sense of national identity to the country. A strong central government was necessary to keep the Union from falling apart. It was needed as a mechanism to enforce the Constitution.
The trick is to keep from crushing the sovereignty of the individual states.
The trick is to learn from the past so that we can improve in the future.
I like the phrase “more perfect”. Perfection implies that no change is necessary. By definition, perfection cannot be improved upon. But without change, you have stagnation, and stagnation leads to decay and ultimate failure. Authors have explored various possible utopias for centuries, and they all seem to end in failure. It is my view that the real utopia is not a destination. In my opinion, the real utopia is a culture that continues to work to improve.
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Ulysses, Sir Alfred, Lord Tennyson
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