The preamble to the United States Constitution begins with the words “We the People of the United States.” During the summer of 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 55 delegates at a Constitutional Convention wrote the Constitution which was signed on September 17 of that year. While the infamous words which became the cornerstone of our democracy, still holds true today, the demographics of the United States have changed significantly since that summer. We the People today look very different from we the people of that year. This design should bring to the forefront every American, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, age, abled or disabled or any other discriminatory factor, each and every one of us are the people of the United States of America. WE ARE THE PEOPLE. Never forget the all-inclusive heart and soul of our constitution when wearing or displaying this design.
This product is designed by and is solely owned by Just Dandy Stuff
Share a story on our social media platforms your pride to be an American and how you choose each and every day to show all human lives matter. Remind your fellow neighbors the one fundamental truth in this great land – We ARE the People of the United States of America. Start a conversation how each of us are individuals among the masses and should be accepted and how diversity is the only American way.
THE STORY BEHIND THIS CREATION by the designer
Below is simple questionnaire posed to the average American:
When was America discovered?
What is the birthdate of the United States?
Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?
What are the first words of the Declaration of Independence?
What are the Bill of Rights?
When was it written?
Is there a difference between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America and the Bill of Rights?
What is the current population and demographic breakdown of American population?
What are the first words of the Constitution?
The average American can easily and without hesitation correctly answer maybe three of the questions listed above.
While this is not meant to be a history lesson, the facts as we know them and celebrate every 4th of July to mark the history and heritage of this country, there is much the average American does not readily recall from their 4th or 5th grade history lessons. (Well, all things being relative the current education system follows Common Core which may not be all too “common” in knowledge.)
For example, the common response for the first question most would answer America was discovered in 1492 by a sailor named Christopher Columbus hired by the King and Queen of Spain to prove the world was not flat. It is now more commonly known that Christopher Columbus did not actually set foot in the continental United States in 1492. It should be commonly known the discovery of America in fact began thousands of years ago with the arrival of Native Americans in North America when numerous indigenous cultures formed on this land. The European colonization of the Americas began around the 1600s when most colonies emerged from foreign lands in pursuit of religious freedoms to escape poverty, warfare, political turmoil, famine and disease believing colonial life offered new opportunities.
Another misconception of American history was the Declaration of Independence – did you know it wasn’t signed until August 2, 1776 and was actually approved by the Second Continental Congress on July 2, 1776. It was determined July 4, 1776 would be a better date to memorialize our Independence Day to be aligned with other happenings in our history. (Wait! What?) Other tidbits of ‘in case you didn’t know’ trivia includes the fact that while Thomas Jefferson was a member of a five-person committee appointed by the Continental Congress to write the Declaration of Independence and even though he was the primary author he in fact did not sign it. (Double What???)
The infamous beginning words affirm our Declaration of Independence as it states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It went on to state that "these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved.”
The preamble to the United States Constitution beginning with the words “We the People of the United States” was in fact written during the summer of 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania when 55 delegates at a Constitutional Convention wrote the Constitution which was signed on September 17 of that year.
The Constitution of the United States was ratified in 1788 and has been in operation since 1789 after the Second Continental Congress declared the independence of the colonies as the "United States" in 1776 in Philadelphia after the Revolutionary War. The words, or as most refer to as the declaration, was written in 1787 and the Bill of Rights was added in 1791 to guarantee inalienable rights.
All of this began the “experiment” known as Democracy and has lasted for 246 years. (Here’s hoping it continues even with the abundance of turmoil we face today). Each of these directives of freedom and equality and the reverent words from our forefathers are still praised today. These penned words ring freedom, liberty, equality for all. These declarations and constitutions began the framework of defining freedoms and continue to redefine these rights with Amendments to the Constitution.
And while all these infamous words which became the cornerstone of our democracy still holds true today, the demographics of the United States have changed significantly since that summer. In 1776, the American colonies had a population of only 2.5 million people – this number did not include any Native Americans and only a small percentage of black people (some not all slaves were included in their census). Today, it holds 331 million people. A 13,240% increase in this nation’s population and more inclusive and more representative of the world’s diversity of nations and cultures and heritage (current census states our population as 57% Non-Latino White Americans, 18.7% Latino of any race, 12.1% Black Americans, 5.9% Asian Americans, 0.7% Native American, etc.)
And while the first words of our constitution starts with “We the People…” it is clear by historical events the original definition of “We” was not all inclusive as it did not wholeheartedly represent all the peoples of this great nation at that time. The “all” and the “we” continues to be redefined throughout our great history. The classification and characterization of “all” which was once thought to be clear and distinct and all-inclusive is constantly being revisited in attempts to be all-encompassing regardless of social definitions or predetermined assumptions.
In fact, it was not until January 31, 1865 (ratified on December 6, 1865) where congress passed the 13th amendment “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States…” Hence, abolishing slavery and correcting the “all” and the “we” to provide rights to them under the United States Constitution.
The Native Americans who anthropologists claim were the first inhabitants of this land since 15,000 BC were considered semi-independent nations and lived in communities separate from white settlers. Independent native nations began being recognized in 1871 as part of the Indian Appropriations Act of 1871 and started treating them as domestic dependent nations under federal law with tribal sovereignty. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution states that "Congress shall have the power to regulate Commerce with foreign nations and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes", determining that Indian tribes were separate from the federal government, the states, and foreign nations; On June 2, 1924, President Calvin Coolidge signed into law the Indian Citizenship Act, which marked the end of a long debate and struggle, at a federal level, over full birthright citizenship for American Indians.
And let’s not forget eventually in June 4, 1919 Congress passed and on August 18, 1920 it ratified the 19th amendment guaranteeing all American women the right to vote. (On a personal note, why did it take this country 143 years to agree women were included in the all “men” are created equal definition. It is after all in our title definition-- wo‘men’?!?)
And this country continues to revisit “rights” and “equality” with its continuing efforts to provide equal rights and full participation in society with the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) signed into law in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush, this landmark civil rights legislation increases access and opportunity for people with disabilities across community life, including employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and access to state and local government' programs and services. (Disabilities Act of 1995 and again on July 26, 2020 – continuing efforts to increase their rights).
And while the constitution defined marriage in the United States as a union of a man and a woman, on June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage, legalized it in all fifty states, and required states to honor out-of-state same-sex marriage licenses.
There are so many facts and factors that created this nation, none more significant than the purpose of all those who historically and continue to migrate here for new and better opportunities and with abundant freedoms for all as written in Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States of America.
And it all starts with the great words, “We the people…”.
However, there is a fundamental problem in the premise and promise of these words. The designated freedoms to all the people in this great nation were only held true for a specific section of the population or a pre-determined definition of “all” or “men” for years, decades and centuries.
While leader (or follower in some instances) and in its definitions and inclusion remain a work in progress in this great nation, it is evident the 246-year-old “experiment” known as Democracy continues to apply the original concepts of all men created equal to apply to its more modern-day definitions within its population. (The constitution should really be reworded – replace men with humans). While progress is slow, it is noteworthy to remember and understand progress is being made since the only constant is change. Be grateful our Democracy continues to learn and grow and adapt to the ever-changing group of humans who set foot on the land of the free and the brave. And with the continuing effort to define and redefine the freedoms and the inclusivity of all. It is a work in progress and the experiment continues forward to provide freedoms and for democracy to continue its effort towards life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to “all”.
So, and to be clear, “We the People” stands for the individual we and the collective we. Regardless of gender or race or religion, or culture or heritage or sexual orientation, or political belief or ability or disability or any other facet of your individuality, you are a member that comprises the “We” in “We the people”.
This design was created to declare and remind to all who see it that “We ‘ARE’ the People”.