When the Framers wrote the U.S. Constitution in 1787, they included six principles that would guide the nation for years to come. Those principles are listed in the Preamble.

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Something to think about: Why is the Preamble important to the Constitution?

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The Preamble introduces the six principles of the Constitution, thereby setting the tone for the rest of the document. Close Pop Up

The Framers of the Constitution wanted to avoid the same issues that the nation faced under the Articles of Confederation. They wanted to be sure that all of the states were united, and that all citizens worked together toward a common goal.

This lesson will examine the democratic process and ways in which Americans can participate in the process. It is important to understand what the democratic process is.

The United States is a democratic society. This means that American citizens have a government of elected representatives. The democratic process means that citizens actively participate in the decision-making of the government.

The Framers wrote the Constitution to correct the issues that the Articles of Confederation created. When they wanted to “form a more perfect union,” they were focused on the states becoming united. It is safe to say that the Founding Fathers had no idea that the United States would become the diverse, advanced society that it is today. They probably could not have imagined how the idea of “forming a more perfect union” would transform throughout the centuries.

Today, becoming a more perfect union includes participation in the democratic process. Every American citizen has the right to participate in the democratic process. In the following sections, you will analyze several examples of ways that citizens are able to participate in the democratic process. You will also examine ways in which the right to participate in the democratic process has expanded.