The Preamble

By Michael Kapic – July 4, 2024

Our Declaration of Independence was more than just declaring our independence from England. It spoke of an abused nation signaling a new future to an oppressor-nation that something different was about to begin in America. That declaration turned out to be the first of our three Freedom Charters. It follows that the Constitution takes its lead from the Declaration of Independence which then leads the Bill of Rights.

To refresh our understanding of those long-gone days, recall that in the mid-1700s, the English government had overextended itself in war debt and looked to their colonies for help to pay it down. The American-British citizens felt their voices were being ignored while continuing to pay more in taxes without equal representation. Parliament’s introduction of a series of Acts including the Sugar, Stamp and many others collectively known as the Intolerable Acts made life difficult, if not impossible in the colonies.

At the time, the colonies were politically organized under a governor appointed by the King or a chartering company. The people selected their own local legislators to work with their colony’s governor on issues important to them.

Colony conventions had been meeting, independently, over the prior 160 years to resolve issues that the governor’s or colonial legislatures could not resolve. The growing sense within the colonies was that they were second class citizens instead of respected British subjects. This simmering climate led to events that would be the cause for America declaring its independence.

One of the triggers for the coming events was the convention in Philadelphia on October 24, 1774. This became known as the First Continental Congress and it produced two results: A Declaration of Rights and Grievances letter sent to King George and the participants agreed to meet again at the Second Continental Congress, scheduled for May 10, 1775 to continue discussing remedies with all the colonies.

As they prepared to meet, however, the Revolutionary War broke out weeks before on April 19, 1775. The famous ‘shot heard round the world’* was fired at Lexington and Concord between the Patriots and the British Army.

The convention began in Philadelphia as scheduled but morphed into a provisional, war time government and quickly established a de facto national government with a president (Peyton Randolph), an army, a commander (George Washington), plans for war funds, and a notice of separation from England, among others things.

Of the Declarations 1338 total words, what follows is its preamble of approximately 400 words expressed in clauses enumerating the new nations foundational intentions.

The Declaration begins…

In Congress, July 4, 1776 (was the Declaration’s approved date in Congress but was not completely signed)

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, (eleven of the 13 colonies wrote constitutions reidentifying themselves as states in 1776.)

When in the Course of human events, (the strife that split and then led the nation of just under 3 million people to proclaim their intentions for freedom and individual liberty)

it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, (throwing off the shackles of an abusive government and begin the search for a new way toward individual liberty)

and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, (that this nation should rise under the values & virtues created by a Judeo-Christian God)

a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. (that their protection of individual liberties was paramount to a civil society)

We hold these truths to be self-evident, (after settling on the ideals of early Greeks and Romans, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Paine, Locke, the Bible, and others, these basic truths were declared)

that all men are created equal, (God created all of man-kind in his own image and likeness with equal opportunity to enjoy His blessings)

that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, (that the Creator has bestowed on all of man-kind these built in rights)

that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. (all rights springs from these three)

That to secure these rights, (to assume these rights are foundational and therefore, codified in self-governance)

Governments are instituted among Men, (the people created the body to govern themselves within limits)

deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, (certain powers & liberties are relinquished by the people to allow for the government to govern as the people require)

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, (if the government cannot control itself within the limits established by the people, the people have the authority act accordingly)

it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, (authority to act against the government they established comes from their basic rights)

and to institute new Government (to begin anew)

laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. (using their power, the people devise their governance to meet their own needs for safety and happiness)

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; (Cautiously and prudently the people should give serious contemplation to the final step)

and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. (even after a long and abusive experience do not hesitate to consider alternative action before it is too late)

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, (however, after all attempts to repair have failed and the evidence suggests that remedies are not forthwith, reconcile that it is time for alternative action)

it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, (The Creator has granted the people with a free will and blessings of rights to act when the time is right)

and to provide new Guards for their future security. (design and build a new and prudent government with safeguards against the prior experienced abuses)

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. (Taken in the context of today, when repairs instituted by such available tools as are in Article V come to naught, it is time to begin over. But not until all efforts within the Constitution have been employed. Utilize the second clause of Article V as provided in the early stages)

Happy 248th Birthday America!

*Concord Hymn


Sung at the Completion of the Battle Monument, July 4, 1837


By the rude bridge that arched the flood,

Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,

Here once the embattled farmers stood

And fired the shot heard round the world.


The foe long since in silence slept;

Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;

And Time the ruined bridge has swept

Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.


On this green bank, by this soft stream,

We set today a votive stone;

That memory may their deed redeem,

When, like our sires, our sons are gone.


Spirit, that made those heroes dare

To die, and leave their children free,

Bid Time and Nature gently spare

The shaft we raise to them and thee.