- from Washington, D.C.
Talk about moving around a lot! In the late 1700s, the United States government moved from Philadelphia to New York. Then it went to Princeton, New Jersey.
The new nation’s government needed a home. But Congress couldn’t agree where. Southerners wanted it 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 paid the North’s huge Revolutionary War debts, the new capital would be in the South. In turn, the North would not try to stop slavery in the South.
Maryland and Virginia each gave up land along the Potomac River. The new capital would go in that place. But it wouldn’t be part of either state. Congress named the area the District of Columbia. This was to honor 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.
Tourists come to Washington from all over the world. It’s also home to over 600,000 people. Come take a tour of Washington, D.C.—past and present.