Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly called Washington or D.C., is the capital city and the federal district of the United States. The city is located on the east bank of the Potomac River, which forms its southwestern border with Virginia and borders Maryland to its north and east. Washington, D.C. was named for George Washington, a Founding Father, victorious commanding general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War and the first president of the United States, who is widely considered the "Father of his country". The district is named for Columbia, the female personification of the nation.

Washington, D.C. anchors the southern end of the Northeast megalopolis, one of the nation's largest and most influential cultural, political, and economic regions that also includes some of the nation's largest and most prominent cities, including Baltimore, Boston, New York City, ...Read more

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly called Washington or D.C., is the capital city and the federal district of the United States. The city is located on the east bank of the Potomac River, which forms its southwestern border with Virginia and borders Maryland to its north and east. Washington, D.C. was named for George Washington, a Founding Father, victorious commanding general of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War and the first president of the United States, who is widely considered the "Father of his country". The district is named for Columbia, the female personification of the nation.

Washington, D.C. anchors the southern end of the Northeast megalopolis, one of the nation's largest and most influential cultural, political, and economic regions that also includes some of the nation's largest and most prominent cities, including Baltimore, Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia. As the seat of the U.S. federal government and several international organizations, the city is an important world political capital. The city had 20.7 million domestic visitors and 1.2 million international visitors, ranking seventh among U.S. cities as of 2022.

The U.S. Constitution provides for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress. As such, Washington, D.C. is not part of any state, nor is it one itself. The Residence Act, adopted on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of the capital district along the Potomac River. The city was founded in 1791, and Congress held its first session there in 1800. In 1801, the District of Columbia, formerly part of Maryland and Virginia and including the existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria, was officially recognized as the federal district; the city initially comprised only a portion of its modern territory, as a distinct entity within the larger federal district. In 1846, Congress returned the land originally ceded by Virginia, including the city of Alexandria. In 1871, it created a single municipal government for the remaining portion of the district, though locally elected government lasted only three years and did not return for over a century. There have been several unsuccessful efforts to make the district into a state since the 1880s; a statehood bill passed the House of Representatives in 2021 but was not adopted by the U.S. Senate.

Designed in 1791 by Pierre Charles L'Enfant, the city is divided into quadrants, which are centered around the Capitol and include 131 neighborhoods. As of the 2020 census, the city had a population of 689,545, making it the 23rd-most populous city in the U.S., third-most populous city in the Southeast after Jacksonville and Charlotte, and third-most populous city in the Mid-Atlantic after New York City and Philadelphia. Commuters from the city's Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. The Washington metropolitan area, which includes parts of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, is the country's sixth-largest metropolitan area with a 2020 population of 6.3 million residents.

The city hosts all three branches of the U.S. federal government, Congress (legislative), the president (executive), and the Supreme Court (judicial), and the governmental buildings that house most of the federal government, including the White House, the Capitol, the Supreme Court Building, and multiple federal departments and agencies. The city is home to many national monuments and museums, located primarily on or around the National Mall, including the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Washington Monument. The city hosts 177 foreign embassies and serves as the headquarters for the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, and other international organizations. Many of the nation's largest industry associations, non-profit organizations, and think tanks are based in the city, including AARP, American Red Cross, Atlantic Council, Brookings Institution, National Geographic Society, The Heritage Foundation, Wilson Center, and others.

A locally elected mayor and 13-member council have governed the district since 1973, though Congress is empowered to overturn local laws. Washington, D.C. residents are, on a federal level, politically disenfranchised since the city's residents do not have voting representation in Congress, although the city's residents elect a single at-large congressional delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives who has no voting authority. The city's voters choose three presidential electors in accordance with the Twenty-third Amendment.

Various tribes of the Algonquian-speaking Piscataway people, also known as the Conoy, inhabited the lands around the Potomac River and present-day Washington, D.C. when Europeans first arrived and colonized the region in the early 17th century. The Nacotchtank, also called the Nacostines by Catholic missionaries, maintained settlements around the Anacostia River in present-day Washington, D.C. Conflicts with European colonists and neighboring tribes ultimately forced the Piscataway people to relocate, some of whom established a new settlement in 1699 near Point of Rocks, Maryland.[1]

Founding  Built in 1765, Old Stone House in Georgetown is the city's oldest still standing building. James Hoban's 1793 plans for what today is the White House In 1800, following relocation of the nation's capital from Philadelphia, the U.S. Congress began assembling in the newly constructed United States Capitol.

Prior to the establishment of the city as the nation's capital in 1800, the nation's capital was Philadelphia, which served as the capital on five separate occasions during the American Revolution and its aftermath from May 1775 to July 1776, December 1776 to February 1777, March 1777 to September 1777, July 1778, July 1778 to March 1781, and March 1781 to June 1783. The Continental Congress was briefly based in five additional locations: York, Pennsylvania in September 1777, Princeton, New Jersey in 1783, Annapolis, Maryland from November 1783 to August 1784, Trenton, New Jersey from November to December 1784, and New York City from January 1785 to March 1789.

On October 6, 1783, after the capital was forced by the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783 to relocate to Princeton, New Jersey, Congress resolved to consider a new location for it.[2] The following day, Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts moved "that buildings for the use of Congress be erected on the banks of the Delaware near Trenton, or of the Potomac, near Georgetown, provided a suitable district can be procured on one of the rivers as aforesaid, for a federal town".[3]

In Federalist No. 43, published January 23, 1788, James Madison argued that the new federal government would need authority over a national capital to provide for its own maintenance and safety.[4] The Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783 emphasized the need for the national government not to rely on any state for its own security.[5]

Article One, Section Eight of the U.S. Constitution permits the establishment of a "District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States".[6] However, the constitution does not specify a location for the capital. In the Compromise of 1790, Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson agreed that the federal government would pay each state's remaining Revolutionary War debts in exchange for establishing the new national capital in the Southern United States.[7][a]

On July 9, 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, which approved the creation of a national capital on the Potomac River. Under the Residence Act, the exact location was to be selected by President George Washington, who signed the bill into law on July 16, 1790. Formed from land donated by Maryland and Virginia, the initial shape of the federal district was a square measuring 10 miles (16 km) on each side and totaling 100 square miles (259 km2).[8][b]

Two pre-existing settlements were included in the territory, the port of Georgetown, founded in 1751,[9] and the port city of Alexandria, Virginia, founded in 1749.[10] In 1791 and 1792, a team led by Andrew Ellicott, including Ellicott's brothers Joseph and Benjamin and African American astronomer Benjamin Banneker, surveyed the borders of the federal district and placed boundary stones at every mile point; many of these stones are still standing.[11][12]

A new federal city was then constructed on the north bank of the Potomac River, to the east of Georgetown. On September 9, 1791, three commissioners overseeing the capital's construction named the city in honor of President Washington. The same day, the federal district was named Columbia, a feminine form of Columbus, which was a poetic name for the United States commonly used at that time.[13][14] Congress held its first session there on November 17, 1800.[15][16]

Congress passed the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801, which officially organized the district and placed the entire territory under the exclusive control of the federal government. The area within the district was organized into two counties, the County of Washington to the east and north of the Potomac and the County of Alexandria to the west and south.[17] After the Act's passage, citizens in the district were no longer considered residents of Maryland or Virginia, which ended their representation in Congress.[18]

Burning during War of 1812

On August 24, 1814, during the War of 1812, British forces invaded and occupied the city after defeating an American force at Bladensburg. In retaliation for acts of destruction by American troops in the Canadas, the British set fire to multiple government buildings in the city, including the United States Capitol, the Treasury Building and the White House. All the buildings set on fire were gutted in what became known as the burning of Washington. However, a storm forced the British to evacuate the city after just 24 hours.[19] Most government buildings were repaired quickly; however, the Capitol was largely under construction at the time and was not completed in its current form until 1868.[20]

The August 24, 1814, burning of Washington by British forces during the War of 1812, depicted in an 1816 portrait 
The August 24, 1814, burning of Washington by British forces during the War of 1812, depicted in an 1816 portrait
City of Washington from Beyond the Navy Yard, an 1833 portrait of Washington, D.C. by George Cooke featuring the Anacostia River (foreground), the Potomac River (left), and Capitol Hill (center-right) 
City of Washington from Beyond the Navy Yard, an 1833 portrait of Washington, D.C. by George Cooke featuring the Anacostia River (foreground), the Potomac River (left), and Capitol Hill (center-right)
Retrocession and the Civil War  The U.S. Capitol dome was under construction during Lincoln's first inauguration on March 4, 1861; five weeks later, the American Civil War was launched following the Confederate bombardment and fall of Fort Sumter on April 13, 1861.

In the 1830s, the district's southern territory of Alexandria declined economically due in part to neglect of it by Congress.[21] Alexandria was a major market in the domestic slave trade and pro-slavery residents feared that abolitionists in Congress would end slavery in the district, further depressing the local economy. Alexandria's citizens petitioned Virginia to take back the land it had donated to form the district through a process known as retrocession.[22]

The Virginia General Assembly voted in February 1846, to accept the return of Alexandria. On July 9, 1846, Congress went further, agreeing to return all territory that Virginia had ceded to the district during its formation. This left the district's area consisting only of the portion originally donated by Maryland.[21] Confirming the fears of pro-slavery Alexandrians, the Compromise of 1850 outlawed the slave trade in the district, although not slavery itself.[23]

The outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861 led to the expansion of the federal government and notable growth in the city's population, including a large influx of freed slaves.[24] President Abraham Lincoln signed the Compensated Emancipation Act in 1862, which ended slavery in the district, freeing about 3,100 slaves in the district nine months prior to the Emancipation Proclamation.[25] In 1868, Congress granted the district's African American male residents the right to vote in municipal elections.[24]

Growth and redevelopment  The Eisenhower Executive Office Building, built between 1871 and 1888, was the world's largest office building from its opening until 1943, when it was surpassed by The Pentagon.

By 1870, the district's population had grown 75% from the previous census to nearly 132,000 residents.[26] Despite the city's growth, however, Washington still had dirt roads and the city lacked basic sanitation. Some members of Congress suggested moving the capital farther west, but President Ulysses S. Grant refused to consider the proposal.[27]

Congress passed the Organic Act of 1871, which repealed the individual charters of the cities of Washington and Georgetown, abolished Washington County, and created a new territorial government for the whole District of Columbia[28] and making "the city of Washington...legally indistinguishable from the District of Columbia."[29]

After the reorganization, in 1873, President Grant appointed Alexander Robey Shepherd as Governor of the District of Columbia. Shepherd authorized large-scale projects that greatly modernized the city but ultimately bankrupted the district government. In 1874, Congress replaced the territorial government with an appointed three-member board of commissioners.[30]

In 1888, the city's first motorized streetcars began service. Their introduction generated growth in areas of the district beyond the City of Washington's original boundaries, leading to an expansion of the district over the next few decades.[31] Georgetown's street grid and other administrative details were formally merged to those of the City of Washington in 1895.[32] However, the city had poor housing conditions and strained public works, leading it to become the first city in the nation to undergo urban renewal projects as part of the City Beautiful movement in the early 20th century.[33]

The City Beautiful movement built heavily upon the already-implemented L'Enfant Plan, with the new McMillan Plan leading urban development in the city throughout the movement. Much of the old Victorian Mall was replaced with modern Neoclassical and Beaux-Arts architecture; these designs are still prevalent in the city's governmental buildings today.

Increased federal spending as a result of the New Deal in the 1930s led to the construction of new government buildings, memorials, and museums in the district,[34] though the chairman of the House Subcommittee on District Appropriations Ross A. Collins from Mississippi justified cuts to funds for welfare and education for local residents, saying that "my constituents wouldn't stand for spending money on niggers."[35]

World War II led to an expansion of federal employees in the city;[36] by 1950, the district's population reached its peak of 802,178 residents.[26]

Civil rights and home rule era  The March on Washington at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool on August 28, 1963

The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified in 1961, granting the district three votes in the Electoral College for the election of president and vice president, but still not affording the city's residents representation in Congress.[37]

After the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968, riots broke out in the city, primarily in the U Street, 14th Street, 7th Street, and H Street corridors, which were predominantly black residential and commercial areas. The riots raged for three days until more than 13,600 federal troops and Washington, D.C. Army National Guardsmen stopped the violence. Many stores and other buildings were burned, and rebuilding from the riots was not completed until the late 1990s.[38]

In 1973, Congress enacted the District of Columbia Home Rule Act providing for an elected mayor and 13-member council for the district.[39] In 1975, Walter Washington became the district's first elected and first black mayor.[40]

Since the 1980s, the D.C. statehood movement has grown in prominence. In 2016, a referendum on D.C. statehood resulted in an 85% support among Washington, D.C. voters for it to become the nation's 51st state. In March 2017, the city's congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced a bill for statehood. Reintroduced in 2019 and 2021 as the Washington, D.C., Admission Act, the U.S. House of Representatives passed it in April 2021. After not progressing in the Senate, the statehood bill was introduced again in January 2023.[41]

^ Humphrey, Robert Lee; Chambers, Mary Elizabeth (1977). Ancient Washington: American Indian Cultures of the Potomac Valley. George Washington University. ISBN 978-1-888028-04-1. Archived from the original on January 26, 2021. Retrieved March 6, 2018. ^ "October 6, 1783". Journals of the Continental Congress. Library of Congress: American Memory: 647. October 1783. Archived from the original on January 15, 2022. Retrieved January 14, 2022. ^ "October 7, 1783". Journals of the Continental Congress. Library of Congress: American Memory: 654. October 1783. Archived from the original on January 14, 2022. Retrieved January 14, 2022. ^ Madison, James. "The Federalist No. 43". The Independent Journal. Library of Congress. Archived from the original on September 14, 2013. Retrieved September 5, 2011. ^ Crew, Harvey W.; Webb, William Bensing; Wooldridge, John (1892). "IV. Washington Becomes The Capital". Centennial History of the City of Washington, D.C. Dayton, OH: United Brethren Publishing House. p. 66. Archived from the original on November 18, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2015. ^ "Constitution of the United States". National Archives and Records Administration. Archived from the original on August 19, 2011. Retrieved July 22, 2008. ^ a b Crew, Harvey W.; Webb, William Bensing; Wooldridge, John (1892). Centennial History of the City of Washington, D.C. Dayton, OH: United Brethren Publishing House. p. 124. ^ a b Crew, Harvey W.; Webb, William Bensing; Wooldridge, John (1892). Centennial History of the City of Washington, D.C. Dayton, OH: United Brethren Publishing House. pp. 89–92. ^ "Georgetown Historic District". National Park Service. Archived from the original on July 2, 2008. Retrieved July 5, 2008. ^ "Alexandria's History". Alexandria Historical Society. Archived from the original on April 4, 2009. Retrieved April 4, 2009. ^ Bordewich, Fergus M. (2008). Washington: the making of the American capital. HarperCollins. pp. 76–80. ISBN 978-0-06-084238-3. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2015. ^ "Boundary Stones of the District of Columbia". BoundaryStones.org. Archived from the original on December 17, 2014. Retrieved May 27, 2008. ^ Crew, Harvey W.; Webb, William Bensing; Wooldridge, John (1892). Centennial History of the City of Washington, D.C. Dayton, OH: United Brethren Publishing House. p. 101. Archived from the original on January 26, 2021. Retrieved June 1, 2011. ^ "Get to Know D.C." Historical Society of Washington, D.C. Archived from the original on September 18, 2010. Retrieved July 11, 2011. ^ "The Senate Moves to Washington". United States Senate. February 14, 2006. Archived from the original on July 5, 2017. Retrieved July 11, 2008. ^ Tom (July 24, 2013). "Why Is Washington, D.C. Called the District of Columbia?". Ghosts of DC. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019. ^ Crew, Harvey W.; Webb, William Bensing; Wooldridge, John (1892). "IV. Permanent Capital Site Selected". Centennial History of the City of Washington, D.C. Dayton, Ohio: United Brethren Publishing House. p. 103. Archived from the original on November 18, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2015. ^ "Statement on the subject of The District of Columbia Fair and Equal Voting Rights Act" (PDF). American Bar Association. September 14, 2006. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 16, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2011. ^ "Saving History: Dolley Madison, the White House, and the War of 1812". White House Historical Association. Archived from the original on August 10, 2011. Retrieved February 21, 2010. ^ "A Brief Construction History of the Capitol". Architect of the Capitol. Archived from the original on December 10, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2012. ^ a b Richards, Mark David (Spring–Summer 2004). "The Debates over the Retrocession of the District of Columbia, 1801–2004" (PDF). Washington History: 54–82. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 18, 2009. Retrieved January 16, 2009. ^ Greeley, Horace (1864). The American Conflict: A History of the Great Rebellion in the United States. Chicago: G. & C.W. Sherwood. pp. 142–144. ^ "Compromise of 1850". Library of Congress. September 21, 2007. Archived from the original on September 3, 2011. Retrieved July 24, 2008. ^ a b Dodd, Walter Fairleigh (1909). The government of the District of Columbia. Washington, D.C.: John Byrne & Co. pp. 40–45. ^ "Ending Slavery in the District of Columbia". D.C. Office of the Secretary. Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2012. ^ a b "Historical Census Statistics on Population Totals By Race, 1790 to 1990" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. September 13, 2002. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 4, 2011. Retrieved November 6, 2023. ^ Bordewich, Fergus M. (2008). Washington: the making of the American capital. HarperCollins. p. 272. ISBN 978-0-06-084238-3. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2015. ^ "An Act to provide a Government for the District of Columbia". Statutes at Large, 41st Congress, 3rd Session. Library of Congress. Archived from the original on January 20, 2013. Retrieved July 10, 2011. ^ Cite error: The named reference Tikkanen-2023 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Wilcox, Delos Franklin (1910). Great cities in America: their problems and their government. The Macmillan Company. pp. 27–30. ^ Kathryn Schneider Smith, ed. (2010). Washington at Home: An Illustrated History of Neighborhoods in the Nation's Capital (2 ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 1–11. ISBN 978-0-8018-9353-7. ^ Tindall, William (1907). Origin and government of the District of Columbia. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. pp. 26–28. ^ Ramroth, William (2007). "The City Beautiful Movement". Planning for Disaster. Kaplan. p. 91. ISBN 978-1-4195-9373-4. ^ Gelernter, Mark (2001). History of American Architecture. Manchester University Press. p. 248. ISBN 978-0-7190-4727-5. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2015. ^ Home Rule or House Rule? Congress and the Erosion of Local Governance in the District of Columbia Archived August 13, 2021, at the Wayback Machine by Michael K. Fauntroy, University Press of America, 2003 at Google Books, page 94 ^ Williams, Paul Kelsey (2004). Washington, D.C.: the World War II years. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-1636-3. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2015. ^ "Twenty-third Amendment". CRS Annotated Constitution. Legal Information Institute (Cornell University Law School). Archived from the original on August 30, 2012. Retrieved August 28, 2012. ^ Schwartzman, Paul; Robert E. Pierre (April 6, 2008). "From Ruins To Rebirth". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on May 4, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2008. ^ "District of Columbia Home Rule Act". Government of the District of Columbia. February 1999. Archived from the original on August 26, 2011. Retrieved May 27, 2008. ^ Mathews, Jay (October 11, 1999). "City's 1st Mayoral Race, as Innocent as Young Love". The Washington Post. p. A1. Archived from the original on October 14, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2015. ^ Flynn, Meagan (January 24, 2023). "D.C. leaders herald Senate statehood bill despite steep odds". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 29, 2023. Retrieved July 18, 2023.


Cite error: There are <ref group=lower-alpha> tags or {{efn}} templates on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=lower-alpha}} template or {{notelist}} template (see the help page).

Photographies by:
Kmccoy - CC BY-SA 2.0
Statistics: Position
2662
Statistics: Rank
44924

Add new comment

Esta pregunta es para comprobar si usted es un visitante humano y prevenir envíos de spam automatizado.

Security
741269835Click/tap this sequence: 9614

Google street view

Where can you sleep near Washington, D.C. ?

Booking.com
483.685 visits in total, 9.176 Points of interest, 404 Destinations, 281 visits today.