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.

With those words, our nation’s founders began the document that laid the groundwork for democracy in these United States in 1787. The original, signed, unamended version of the Constitution was 4,543 words, making it the shortest national constitution. It’s also the oldest, at 233 years as of this week.