the notes, on August 6, it reads: "We the people of the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts," etc., "do ordain, declare and establish the following Constitution." In that form it was tentatively approved on August 7. But the preamble, in that form, never is mentioned again. When the document came back from the Committee on Style in early September, the preamble had been amended to eliminate the spelled-out names of States, and to make it read simply that "we the people" ordain and establish. The change was not haggled over. No significance was attached to it. Why arouse antagonism in New York or North Carolina (where there was opposition enough already) by presuming to speak, in the preamble, as if it were unnecessary for New York or North Carolina even to debate the matter? The tactful and prudent thing was to name no States. Only the people-as-States could create the Union; only the people in ratifying States would be bound, as States, by its provisions.
The States in the Constitution
IN THE end, that was the way the compact read. It bound States--
"The ratification of the Conventions of nine States shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between"-- between whom?--"between the States so ratifying the same." Not among people; it was "between States." And this proposal was put forward "by the unanimous consent," not of delegates assembled or of people gathered, but by "the unanimous consent of the States present the 17th day of September in the year of our Lord 1787. . . ."
On the plain evidence of the instrument itself, it is therefore clear: States consented to the drafting of the Constitution; States undertook to bind themselves by its provisions. If nine States rati-