If you’ve ever tried to memorize the preamble of the American constitution, you might have struggled.
After all, it’s a long sentence.
Some of the words, like “ordain,” might challenge you.
But you want to have it in memory so you can form a more perfect union with your country.
And that’s a noble mission.
On this page, I’ll show you exactly how to memorize it.
You’ll be able to recite it word-perfectly.
And use the same technique to memorize other aspects of the constitution too, including the amendments.
Let’s dive in.
How to Memorize The Preamble of the Constitution
Any time you’re committing a verbatim text to memory, you want to use a Memory Palace.
In case you’re not familiar, this technique lets you mentally place information you don’t know in an imaginary recreation of locations you know well.
Let’s use the preamble itself as an example:
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.
To remember “we the people of the United States,” we will want to place something that reminds us of these words along a mental journey.
Let’s break this down.
One: Create A Memory Palace
The best way to do this quickly is to make a quick drawing of where you’re going to place the text you want to memorize.
In my experience, this amount of material will require 2-3 rooms.
Draw them out by hand and plan the journey you’re going to follow.
Two: Assign And Place Your Associations
One of the trickiest aspects for people new to using mnemonic strategies is assigning associations.
The easiest way to get started is to learn the pegword method.
This technique will equip you with one or more image per letter of the alphabet.
Then, when you look at a word like “we,” you will instantly think of a Wendy, or the restaurant chain Wendy’s.
To make “we the people” memorable, you could imagine Wendy smoking a joint filled with people.
Here’s another example:
For a phrase like “provide for the common defence,” you can look at the “pr” in “provide” and think of someone like the musician Prince. He can be throwing a comma at your favorite defense athlete in a sport of your choice.
Laying out these associations along a Memory Palace journey is not enough.
You need to revisit them using active recall so that long term memories can form.
The way I speed this process up is to follow these patterns:
- Recall the text forward
- Recall it backward
- Recall it out of order
I know that sounds strange.
But to take another example, when I memorized my TEDx Talk using the how to memorize a speech technique, I literally recalled it backward to help make the memory of each word bulletproof.
Whenever memorizing something, it’s important to go beyond the core text.
You will help yourself immensely by creating some context.
One thing you can add is to also work on memorizing the amendments to the constitution.
And read about its history.
Memorize the names of its authors.
Use a number system to remember the relevant historical dates.
The more you frame this individual memory project in the larger context, the easier it will be for you to remember.
And remember the pegword method we talked about?
It will give you more relevant associations to use. For example, if you have memorized the presidents, many of them could serve as your associative images.
Memorizing The Constitution Is Easy
As you’ve seen, it doesn’t take much to get set up so you can rapidly commit the preamble to memory.
Everything comes down to preparing your memory systems in advance so that you can memorize it easily.
If you’d like to learn more about the Memory Palace technique, please consider registering for this free course:
It will help you prepare your systems and grant you a more perfect union with the skill that matters most: