- from Washington, D.C.
Talk about moving around a lot! In the late 1700s, the United States government was shifted from Philadelphia to New York and then to Princeton, New Jersey.
Congress just couldn’t seem to settle 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 struck a compromise. The North would agree to locate the new capital in the South if the federal government would pay its large Revolutionary War debts. In turn, the North would not raise serious objections to slavery.
Maryland and Virginia each gave the government land along the Potomac River for the new capital, which would not 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 bustling international city, a tourist mecca, and home to over 600,000 citizens. Come take a tour of Washington, D.C.—past and present.