Which State Is Washington DC In: The city of Washington, D.C., is not in any of the 50 states. It is in D.C., which stands for the District of Columbia, where it is.
In the beginning, the United States government was based in Philadelphia, where the Continental Congress met. But soon after the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress decided that the United States needed a capital that wasn’t tied to any one state.
In 1790, the Founding Fathers of the United States made a deal that called for a new, permanent capital and government district to be built in an undeveloped area made up of land from the states of Maryland and Virginia. Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States of America, is now in this area.
How Washington D.C. Became The US Capital
Before Washington, D.C. became the country’s center, it was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the time, it made sense to have the capital in Philadelphia because it was close to both the states in the North where slavery was illegal and the states in the South where it was allowed. But the Philadelphia Munity in 1783 made it hard for the city to keep being the US capital.
In 1783, the Continental Congress was trying to figure out how to pay the men who fought against the British during the Revolutionary War. A group of soldiers from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who were upset about not getting paid, marched to Philadelphia and stopped the doors of the Congress.
At the same time, the Governor of Pennsylvania wouldn’t let the federal politicians be protected by state troops. At some point, members of Congress snuck out of what is now called Independence Hall, the building where the Continental Congress met, and went to Princeton, New Jersey.
In the years after that, the Congress went to other places in the US. The Congress’s last stop was in New York City, but in 1787, members went back to Philadelphia to write the US Constitution. So that there wouldn’t be any more problems like the Philadelphia Mutiny,
An article was added to the Constitution that gave Congress the power to make a special federal district that would be directly controlled by the federal government and wouldn’t have to rely on the protection of a state government. But where would a place like that be?
When Congress met in 1789, there were two suggestions for the new federal district: Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Germantown, Pennsylvania. Germantown was just outside of Philadelphia, and Lancaster was in the middle of Pennsylvania.
Alexander Hamilton, a Founding Father, had another idea. He thought that the federal district should be in an undeveloped area that included parts of both Maryland and Virginia. Hamilton suggested this as part of a bigger deal with James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, two other Founding Fathers.
Under this deal, the new federal district would be in a place that the slave-owning states of the South liked. They were afraid that the capital in the North would be more friendly to the Abolitionist movement, which wanted to get rid of slavery in the whole country.
In return, the South was to pay off the debts that the Northern states had gotten into during the Revolutionary War. With the Residence Act, which made the new federal district and put the permanent capital of the United States in the area where the city of Washington is now, this settlement was made official.
George Washington, the first President of the United States, picked the exact spot where the city was founded in 1790, between the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. The states of Maryland and Virginia gave up the land where the new capital city and federal district were to be built.
In September 1791, the city was named Washington after the first president of the United States. The new federal area was called the Territory of Columbia, which was a patriotic reference to the United States during the Revolutionary War. The name came from Christopher Columbus. The Territory of Columbia became known as the District of Columbia in 1871.
Philadelphia was to be the US capital for ten years. During that time, the people of Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania worked hard to keep the capital from moving to the new federal district. They even offered President Washington a luxurious house to stay in.
But none of it helped. Yellow fever, which broke out in Philadelphia in 1793 and made people worry about safety in the area, also hurt the fight to keep the US capital there. Also, people who were born and raised in Virginia, like Washington, Madison, and Jefferson, were glad to have the city close to home. So, on May 15, 1800, the US Congress stopped doing business in Philadelphia and started moving to the new federal district. On June 11, 1800, Philadelphia was no longer the capital of the United States. Since then, the capital of the United States of America has been Washington, D.C.