What is the Purpose of the Constitution of the United States?

What is the Purpose of the Constitution of the United States?
The Constitution of the United States of America was drafted in 1787. The Judicial, Executive and Legislative segments of the government came into effect in 1789. The main purpose of the constitution is to establish the basic rights of all American citizens.
Historyplex Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the nation. It was officially adopted on September 17, 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has been amended twenty-seven times since then. The first three articles of the constitution describes three branches of the federal government, and provides a set of rules and regulations they have to follow. It also confers them with individual powers. The three branches include a Legislature, a Bicameral Congress, and a Federal Judiciary.

The first ten amendments of the constitution are collectively known as the Bill of Rights, which was formalized for the protection of natural rights of liberty and property. This bill is an important constituent of American Law as well as the government, and symbolizes the freedom and culture of the United States of America.

The draft, as it is known today, is actually the refined version of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. The U.S. Constitution was initially ratified by only nine states. The final draft of the American constitution was penned by Jacob Shallus, and is still on display at the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

Importance of the Constitution

The Constitution of the United States of America defines a framework for the country's law and order. It addresses the need for the integration of the various states, initially the thirteen colonies, within unified legal paradigms. It is not only the shortest, but also one of the oldest written constitutions in world history. Its main purpose is clearly determined in the Preamble. This draft establishes:
  • The foundation of legal authority, along the governance of which the citizens of the United States of America can design individual contributions.
  • Framework of the federal government of the United States.
The U.S. Constitution provides the government with the framework for the organization of the government. The draft clearly defines the responsibilities of:
  • The bicameral Congress governance within the legislative branch of the government.
  • The President as the head of the government's executive branch.
  • The Supreme Court as head of the judicial branch of the government.
Purpose of the Constitution

The primary purpose of the Constitution is to provide a sense of direction to the organization of the three branches of the U.S. Government. The draft outlines the individual and combined powers of each branch, while reserving the rights of each individual state. It defines the importance of jury trials, civil liberties and duties, and the accountability of the government. The Preamble establishes the importance of the Union, and the need for a common line of defense to ensure general welfare of the American community. It also very clearly defines that the federal government does not enjoy authority outside the established clauses in the Preamble.

The U.S. Constitution also spells out the following civil liberties:
  • Freedom of religion
  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom to media access
  • Freedom of assembly
  • Freedom of petition
It specifies the following rights of individuals:
  • Right to possess firearms
  • Right to question arrests and property seizures without a warrant
  • Right to a public trial for criminal offenses
  • Right to question excessive bail or unusual punishment
The Constitution describes the legislative paradigms of the Congress' bicameral body, qualifications of representatives, and the duties of the Senate and House of Representatives. Similarly, in the judicial specifications, it emphasizes on the role of the United States Supreme Court in the enactment of laws. The Presidency is defined in the segment that highlights the Executive branch of the government. The oath, powers and duties are enumerated, alongside disqualification on the grounds of impeachment. The draft describes the desired interdependency and extradition between the states, civil privileges and immunities, taxation limitations, and the procedure by which the constitution could be amended or altered in the future.

In simple words, the constitution was actually created for the states by the states, and basically says how the government should behave. It somewhat restricts the powers of the government, says how it should be run, protects minorities from the possible abuse of majority rule, and protects the privacy and property rights of the people.