Thomas Cahill wrote a series of books collectively called The Hinges of History. He explains why he chose that title.
“We normally think of history as one catastrophe after another, war followed by war, outrage by outrage – almost as if history were nothing more than all the narratives of human pain, assembled in sequence. And surely this is, often enough, an adequate description. But history is also the narratives of grace, the recountings of those blessed and inexplicable moments when someone did something for someone else, saved a life, bestowed a gift, gave something beyond what was required by circumstance.”
The U.S. Constitution is undoubtedly one of those narratives of grace, a Hinge of History, a work of genius bestowed upon us during a unique time in human history. The Preamble, which is only one sentence, sums up the Constitution’s goals.
“We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, 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.”
“One sentence,” said Constitutional author Akhil Reed Amar, “this one simple sentence, changes everything. It’s the pivot of world history, the hinge of history,” applying Cahill’s concept to the Preamble’s principles. “Before this sentence, you have self-government, democracy, existing almost nowhere on planet earth.”
Can you memorize this world-changing sentence? Give it a shot! See if you can do better than Barney Fife - https://youtu.be/yx5d3haRG7M