Formation of a colony, much less a country is no simple matter. The partakers of such an undertaking would be required to accept a magnitude of unknowns. At the time of the formation of this United States, accepting unknowns of a new world would have to be seen as less detrimental than continued existence in their locations, before undertaking the venture. For writers of the constitution to say, “…in order to form a more perfect Union..,” requires them to have knowledge or experienced imperfect Unions. More precisely, imperfect Unions of State, or suppressive and tyrannical forms of government would serve as examples best not followed. That experience was documented in The Declaration of Independence.
Thirteen Colonies banded together to present themselves a force to be reckoned with, against an empire. For authors of the Constitution to use words in a hap-hazard manner is most unlikely. These men knew they were crafting a document that not only created a nation, but knew full well their reward would come at the end of a rope, if they failed. Therefore, each sentence, phrase, and word gained its permanence in the Constitution with powerful and deliberate meaning and purpose.
The word “IN” is not placed where it is by coincidence. The word “in”, placed before the word “order”, meets eleven definitions spanning use as a preposition, adverb, and adjective, as establish in The Merriam-Webster Dictionary 2004 edition. The significance of this two letter word was not missed by our document drafters however, that fact seems wholly incomprehensible by the legal and political roughage of today. These drafters were not men of babbling ignorance nor were they fool’s of educated status. They were men knowledgeable in their fields, suffered injustices, and painfully determined not to continue as surfs to an empire of tyrannical nobility. They understood “We The People” are the country, and staked their lives on it.
The meanings of the word “in” shows the predicament they found themselves, specifically as offenses in “The Declaration of Independence”, committed by the King of Britain. The word “ORDER” meets the definition; arrangement of things or events.
The events and circumstances facing the colonies was in and of itself an existence of inferiority. A demand of payments of taxes and fees, with no representation in Parliament fostered a feeling of servitude. As a result, disorder was bond to develop and ferment. Injustice was the foundation for the use of the word, “ORDER”.
The use of the two words, “to form”, establishes creativity and a willingness to do something different. Because the framers of the constitution were men of faith, education, and knowledge; they possessed foundational knowledge to reason out a better formula for governing.
Consider the foundations they worked from. They earned their living through self employment, private and public investment, learning hard lessons taught through trial and error. All was learned in a land for which they were a collection of colonies, not as a sovereign country. Colonies grew and advance by honorable and dishonorable means. To claim all steps taken were in full respect to the original inhabitants is an exercise in self imposed ignorance. Among the honorable treaties and promises, were some dirty deals and maneuvers. Within the confines of Holy Scripture, academic learning and life experiences, the wisest course of action proved itself to be the establishment, “a more perfect union”.
To have a desiring grow to a magnitude of tangibility and manifest itself in the writing of four simple words; “a more perfect union” found in the Preamble signifies the depths of despair felt among colonist. These four words established the objective and full intent, regardless of the consequences. “A more perfect union”, clearly notifies any and all readers of the Constitution of the United States, what the objective is and was at its creation. The four words used gives acknowledgement to other unions of state more flawed than what the founding fathers were creating. As a source of examples and knowledge, they looked at history, distant and recent history at that time.
It is logical to assume, nearly every country form of government is perfect to those who benefit greatest from the way it is formed and operated. For Dictators, absolute control is great. If you have all the power, who would dare say you are wrong? If someone protests too loudly, as dictator, you can order them to disappear and they do.
In a Democracy, mob rule is the rule. What the majority wants, and votes in, is what will be. Rome tried this method and ended in destruction, though they merged with the Vatican. For their efforts ancient great Rome slipped into history, replaced by a religion government; the Catholic faith.
Imperfection was the order of the day and had been for over a thousand years. Using the strongest and truest knowledge available to them, the framers of the Constitution created a basis for independence of the person and a country, with warts and all.
© L. M. O’Neal February 2010