- from Washington, D.C.
Talk about moving around a lot! In the late 1700s, the United States government shifted from Philadelphia to New York. Then it moved to Princeton, New Jersey.
Congress couldn’t agree on a permanent home for the new nation’s government. Southerners wanted the capital in the South. Northerners wanted it in the North. One night, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia and Alexander Hamilton of New York made a deal. If the federal government would pay the North’s huge Revolutionary War debts, the new capital would be in the South. In return, the North would not raise major objections to slavery.
Maryland and Virginia each gave up some land along the Potomac River for the new capital, which wouldn’t be part of either state. Congress named the area the District of Columbia, in honor of Christopher Columbus. But people called it Washington, in honor of the country’s first president. Today, the city is Washington, District of Columbia, or D.C. for short.
Washington is a busy international city with tourists visiting from all over the world. It’s also home to over 600,000 citizens. Come take a tour of Washington, D.C.—past and present.