In my last post, I argued that “We the People of the United States” is best understood as referring to a single people consisting of separate states. It is not a single people in a single undifferentiated nation like France, but instead is a country that consists of individual states that are united together.
This interpretation of the preamble views it as adopting an intermediate view between the nationalist view of a single people in an undifferentiated nation and the states rights view of multiple peoples in multiple states.
If the preamble adopts an intermediate view, does it fit with the remainder of the Constitution and what specifically is that view? The intermediate view of the preamble accords with the analysis of the Constitution adopted by James Madison in Federalist 39. In that number, Madison was responding to critics who argued that the Constitution was a national document and should have been a federal one. Madison wrote: