The Constitution was written by several committees over the summer of 1787, but the committee most responsible for the final form we know today is the "Committee of Stile and Arrangement". This Committee was tasked with getting all of the articles and clauses agreed to by the Convention and putting them into a logical order. On September 10, 1787, the Committee of Style set to work, and two days later, it presented the Convention with its final draft. The members were Alexander Hamilton, William Johnson, Rufus King, James Madison, and Gouverneur Morris. The actual text of the Preamble and of much of the rest of this final draft is usually attributed to Gouverneur Morris.
The newly minted document began with a grand flourish - the Preamble, the Constitution's r'aison d'etre. It holds in its words the hopes and dreams of the delegates to the convention, a justification for what they had done. Its words are familiar to us today, but because of time and context, the words are not always easy to follow.
The Constitution of the United States of America
- The National Constitution Center offers an internet portal with links to a variety of Constitution Day resources
- The National Constitution Center also provides an online, Interactive Constitution
- The National Archives provides an interactive, online feature about the Constitution, as well as biographical sketches of the 39 signers of the Constitution
Constitutional Topic: the Preamble
For an explanation and examination of each sentence in the Preamble