"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
The author of the Wikipedia article on the Preamble describes it in the following manner.
"The Preamble to the United States Constitution is a brief introductory statement of the Constitution's fundamental purposes and guiding principles. It states in general terms, and courts have referred to it as reliable evidence of, the Founding Fathers' intentions regarding the Constitution's meaning and what they hoped the Constitution would achieve. The phrase 'We the people' epitomizes the United States government's republican form."
If this is so then the first thing that needs to be recognized is the fact is that the founding fathers who gathered together were representatives of their respective independent States. Thus, we know that they were speaking on behalf of the States and not of the individual persons of their respective State as promoted by one ideology. We can know this because the union they refer to is an union of States not an union of people. The name that they chose for this new nation is proof of that.
While I might agree with the author in regards to the fact that the first phrase epitomizes the fact that the government is of a republican form, it says more than that. The word people is also a collective term. Thus, the word State may be used synonymously in its place also. So, that phrase serves two purposes. In applying this term we can use a more specific manner for the interpretation of the Constitution of the U.S. Constitution.
We can now say “We, the States,” and do so without corrupting the intent of the founding fathers. We can also refer it as saying “We the people who rule” without corrupting the meaning behind the phrase since it is the people who make up the governments of each state that are the representatives of their respective States and act in the name of their States. It also complies with the political definition of the word State which each State was at the time of the Constitution's writing. It would also recognize that each State was intended to be self ruling. By its ratification, each State was assured of remaining a self ruling State.
We can now expand that phrase to include the second phrase. Thus, we have, “We, the States, in order to form a more perfect union of States,." From this we must remember that this constitution was intended on replacing the old constitution of the Articles of Confederation. Therefore the intent to was declare that this constitution was an improvement over the last which they considered as flawed thus declaring that this was a more perfect document of rule of government.
Further expansion gives us this. “We the States, in order to form a more perfect union of States, establish justice for the States,”. We must recognize this from the fact that the founding fathers thought that the Crown was not treating the colonies in a just manner. The Declaration of Independence reveals some of the grievances that the colonies had with the Crown.
The “insure domestic tranquility” phrase would then be written as “insure domestic tranquility among the States,”. This phrase was included in hopes of averting something that seemed to be a common occurrence in Europe, wars between the States over there. That was the primary purpose of the establishment of the Supreme Court. It was set up to be the arbitrator of any domestic disputes that might lead to a war between any of the States such a the Civil war that occurred later. As set up in this manner the Supreme Court would be an unbiased independent party of any dispute brought before it.
To “provide for the common defense” phrase is pretty obvious that it was meant to be thought of in respect to the States. Its intent being to declare to all foreign nations that an attack upon one State was an attack on every State. It recognized the strength of the foreign States and the weakness of each independent State at this time and saw the value of unity for this purpose.
The rest of the preamble deals with foreign policy. It was to declare that the President was to pursue a foreign policy that was to promote the general welfare of the States, and secure the liberty for them and for their posterity in accordance to the will of the States. This was to assure that each State remained self ruled.
It is from this understanding we can see the the intent of the States who had just fought a war for the purpose of becoming self ruled and wanting to remain self ruled. To say that these States fought for independence then to turn around and subordinate themselves to another government would be inconsistent.
It is this understanding that allows us to see how the fathers remained consistent in regards to self rule under this constitution as it was declared under the previous one. It would take one hell of an argument to persuade me that this understanding was not the intent of the founding fathers as well as the States when they accepted this constitution.