How did the following clause of the Constitution–Article I, Section 8, clause 1— come into being? “The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the Unites States.” And how did the common defense clause and the general welfare clause make their way into the Preamble of the Constitution?
The general welfare clause makes its first appearance in Article III of the Articles of Confederation of 1781. The same is true for the common defense clause. These two clauses have been linked together from the very beginning in the quest for an expression of the appropriate role of the federal government.