"The blessings of liberty" is one of the six goals of the US constitution that is mentioned in the Preamble. Historyplex tells you what exactly does ‘secure the blessings of liberty’ mean.
Did You Know?
The Preamble was not discussed beforehand on the floor of the Constitutional Convention. It was placed in the Constitution as an afterthought.
The span of years between 1765 to 1783 lays the cornerstone of the United States of America as a nation. This time span is known as the American Revolution where thirteen American colonies, i.e., Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Providence Plantations came together to overthrow the authority of Great Britain. On 4th of July 1776, the thirteen states announced their independence from the rule of British monarchy and founded a new nation- the United States of America.
The constitution of the newly formed United States of America came into force in 1789. It was composed in 1787 in the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention. It included the set rules to guide the new government. After the ratification of nine states, the Constitutional Congress passed the resolution to put the Constitution into operation.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
◆ The Preamble serves as an introduction of the Constitution. Surprisingly, it wasn’t discussed beforehand at the time of writing the Constitution. The Preamble was written at the last moment by Gouverneur Morris, a member of the Committee of Style, who outlined the near-final draft of the Constitution.
◆ The sole purpose of the Preamble is to introduce the Constitution. It cannot be used to invest power in the government or to limit its actions. It is not used as a deciding factor in any legal process due to its limited nature, except as a frivolous litigation. Nevertheless, it does have some considerable power as it specifies six purposes of the Constitution.
Blessings of Liberty
◆ Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity is one of the purposes of the Constitution given in the Preamble. It appears at the end of the list of purposes.
◆ Justice Joseph Story comments on it in his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States as “its true office is to expound the nature and extent and application of the powers actually conferred by the Constitution.” Alexander Hamilton, a founding father of the United States, described the above words secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity as “a better recognition of popular rights, than volumes of those aphorisms, which make the principal figure in several of our state bills of rights.”
► The Preamble talks about the liberty or freedom that the nation achieved after fighting the American Revolution. It talks about keeping that freedom safe for the current and next generations. It promises people’s rights to them. According to the Constitution, it is the government’s job to follow the constitution and secure the blessings of liberty for the people to protect their right as citizens of the nation. However, when the government fails to secure the blessings of liberty, it is the citizens’ duty to do so.
► In criminal prosecutions, an accused has the right to a speedy and public trial. A jury consists of impartial and average citizens to decide the verdict of the accused. The accused has the legal right to know what he is accused of and who are the witnesses against him. He has the right to get his own lawyer and witnesses. In this way, a person’s rights, even if he is accused of a crime, are preserved.
► A constitution gives people the right to abolish a government if it does not meet the people’s expectations. As written in the Constitution, “whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, 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.”
► The creation of Homeland Security in 2002 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States is an example of securing the blessings of liberty. The Homeland Security Department works to protect the US territory from external threats. In this way, the department tries to keep the nation’s freedom safe.