Constitution of the United States: Primary Documents in American History
Signed on September 17, 1787, the Constitution established the government of the United States. This guide provides access to digital collections at the Library of Congress, external websites, and print materials related to the Constitution.
Author: Ken Drexler Reference Specialist, Researcher and Reference Services Division
Created: August 16, 2018
Last Updated: October 1, 2021
The members of the Constitutional Convention signed the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Constitutional Convention convened in response to dissatisfaction with the Articles of Confederation and the need for a strong centralized government. After four months of secret debate and many compromises, the proposed Constitution was submitted to the states for approval. Although the vote was close in some states, the Constitution was eventually ratified and the new Federal government came into existence in 1789. The Constitution established the U.S. government as it exists today.