They had to work in secret.

Had the nation’s creditors found out how bad things were, we might have been invaded.

And a couple of states were obstructing.

And they knew they wouldn’t be able to agree on slavery, or possibly even on a compromise.

And it was hot.

To understand why it matters that the Preamble is a Purview we have to go back to the Convention.


Citizens representing a community can ordain laws, called ordinances. A constitution is a law that:


  • first charters a government, setting legal duties, rights and powers;
  • then sets laws and restrictions binding on it (in this case, United States and state government) and on themselves.


The sovereign signs it into law and asserts its right to do so. Even sovereign citizens can ordain constitutions.

But ordinances don't bind state governments.

States as corporate entities are not citizens and don't ordain ordinances; they establish statutes.

The public and the incorporated states' governments authorized the delegates to ordain and to establish law,

subject to their ratification. 


Ratification is adopting someone else's act as your own.

By ratifying an enacted proposal a state agrees to adopt it in two ways:


  • as enforceable by their own courts and officers
  • as binding on their state governments and officers.


The incorporated states remain noncitizens.  


Most forms of government incorporate. Articles of incorporation are the details of this.

After the delegates, who weren't all attorneys, hashed out the details and wording for each Article,

they didn't want to change any text.

A committee drafted the Constitution's essential legal text,

making it valid for a democratic republic by relying for its authority

on the people's inalienable right and power of self-governance

while enacting it as both an ordinance and a statute,

a proposal created by and enforceable on both citizens and state governments as soon as ratified. 


This was not as easy as it might seem.

The Articles of Confederation required unanimous agreement for both amendment and ratification.

The delegates had known in advance this would not be possible. A couple of state governments were obstructing.

Rhode Island never showed up, to prevent any action taken from being valid.

Federation wasn't working, leaving the country vulnerable to self-destruction, but some people wanted recolonization.

The delegates voted at the Convention's start to instead start over from the first principle of inalienable rights. 


The committee first followed "We the People" by the states represented,

then changed it to "We the People of the United States".

It wasn't just the incorporated states that had agreed to the Convention. The states' (and United States') people had agreed.

The United States had been a legal entity since 1776,

and the Articles of Confederation had defined several clear national powers in 1781.

After the Articles, they completed the law with a list of states with delegates' signatures. 



Article VII:

"The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States,

shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the same."



Article VII provides for Ratification Conventions.

For the Constitution to bind any states nine states had

to ratify the proposal,

but it was a law when enacted.

Only a validly passed law can be ratified.






horizontal closeup near surface of all-white puzzle with a piece lowering into place casting its shadow below it

Steps to a Constitution


 The people ratified the whole Constitution.