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  1. Why Isn't Washington, D.C. a State? - HISTORY › news › washington-dc-statehood
    • After Reconstruction, Congress Abolishes D.C.’s Government
    • Civil Rights Era Brings Change
    • Could D.C. Become The 51st State?

    Washington, D.C. is the ancestral home of the Nacotchtank people, also known as Anacostans. After British colonists drove them out of their land, it became part of Maryland and Virginia. In 1790, both of these states ceded the territory to establish the District of Columbia as the capitalof the United States. At the time there were about 3,000 people living in D.C.—too few to become a state—and white men who owned property in D.C. continued to vote in either Maryland or Virginia as they had before. The U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17) instructed that the seat of government be a “District (not exceeding ten miles square)” over which Congress would “exercise exclusive legislation.” James Madison spelled out the reason for the arrangement, explainingthat maintaining an isolated district would prevent any state from holding too much power by being home to the national government. Starting in the early 19th century, Congress established a series of different government...

    The 1870s system that denied D.C. residents the right vote for their own local government—as well as the congressional members and president who oversaw that government—stayed in place for nearly a century. During that time, D.C.’s Black population grew. In 1957, D.C. became the nation’s first predominantly-Black city. In 1970, the Black population peaked at over 537,000 people, or 71 percentof the city’s population. By then, many residents had moved to the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia where they had full voting rights. Black D.C. residents fought to change their city’s unequal status during the civil rights movement, and won some key victories. The first was the right to vote for the president and vice president through the 23rd Amendment, ratified in 1961. The city held its first presidential election in 1964, voting overwhelmingly for the sitting president Lyndon B. Johnson over Barry Goldwater, a Republican senator from Arizona who’d voted against the Civil Rights Actearlier...

    Since 1980, D.C. has advocated for congressional representation through statehood. Activists and politicians have connected D.C.’s fight for representation to similar struggles in the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa. Like D.C. residents in 1960, the U.S. citizens who live in these territories pay federal taxes but have no voting members in Congress and can’t vote for president. Many statehood advocates have pointed out that there is no constitutional reason that D.C., a 68-square-mile city with a larger population than Wyoming and Vermont, cannot become a state. “Opponents of Washington statehood make specious legal arguments, claiming that the Constitution mandates complete federal authority over the district and thus precludes statehood,” Susan Rice, Barack Obama’s former national security advisor, wrote in the New York Times. “But the Constitution merely states that the federal enclave cannot exceed 1...

    • Becky Little
  2. The Reason Washington, D. C. Is Not a State | Reader's Digest › article › washington-dc-not-state
    • Why Is The Push For D.C. Statehood Gaining Traction?
    • Why Wasn’T D.C. A State from The Beginning?
    • What Will Happen If Washington, D.C. Becomes A State?

    The movement to make Washington, D.C. a state has been gaining traction for a while. After all, Washington, D.C. is home to around 706,000 Americans who don’t get the perks that come with statehood. For instance, D.C. didn’t have any electoral votes until the passing of the 23rd Constitutional amendment in 1961. The presidential election of 1964 was the first time the residents of D.C. actually had an electoral say in who would end up in their White House. In Congress, D.C. has only a “shadow delegation,” representatives who sit in Congress but cannot vote. And yet it’s more populous than two actual states: Wyoming and Vermont. Though H.R. 51 is the first statehood bill to pass the House, delegates have been filing similar bills since 1993. But the disturbing response to Black Lives Matter protests in Washington, D.C. in early June has brought the debate over D.C. statehood to the forefront. National Guard troops swarmed the streets, and Attorney General William Barr ordered the cle...

    Well, America’s Founding Fathers decided, when they wrote the Constitution, that it was imperative that the center of government was not in a state. In America’s early post-Revolution days, it would see several different temporary centers of government, all of them northern cities like Philadelphia and New York. While drafting the Constitution in 1787, the Founding Fathers decided that the new nation should have a permanent capital. But they were reluctant to give that much power to one single state. So they wrote in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution that “[The Congress shall have Power] To exercise exclusive Legislation…over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may…become the Seat of the Government of the United States.” The article also stated that this 100-mile district would come from land ceded by the states so that the new seat of government would be independent of any state. Check out more facts about U.S. history you didn’t learn in school. But the locati...

    Washington, D.C. would gaina member of the House of Representatives and two new senators. (The fact that those senators would likely be Democratic is a big reason House and Senate Republicans oppose statehood.) The mayor, Muriel Bowser, will have the title of “governor” instead. The land of the new state would be all of the current land of Washington, D.C., except for a “capital district” over which the federal government would continue to have control. This district would include the White House and the buildings and monuments surrounding the National Mall. Also, the capital would get a name change! Instead of standing for the District of Columbia, the “D.C.” will stand for “Douglass Commonwealth.” This pays homage to abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who lived there for 17 years. Next, check out some more surprising facts you never knew about Washington, D.C.

  3. Here's Why Washington D.C. Isn't a State | Time › 4296175 › washington-dc-statehood-history

    Apr 15, 2016 · W ith Washington, D.C.’s mayor calling for a November vote on statehood, it raises the question, why wasn’t the nation’s capital made a state in the first place?. First, it’s worth ...

    • Tessa Berenson
  4. Why Isn't Washington, D.C. Already a State? | HowStuffWorks › american-history

    Jun 26, 2020 · Washington, D.C. isn't designated as a state so it currently doesn't have representation in Congress. Many Democrats want to change that.

  5. Washington, D.C. Won't Become a State, But Not for the ... › news-and-politics › bryan-preston

    Jan 27, 2021 · Washington, D.C. Won't Become a State, But Not for the Reasons NBC Claims ... But the main reason D.C. will not become a state is that, as TIME reported in 2016, it would require a constitutional ...

    • Bryan Preston
  6. Sorry, Dems — but DC was created purposely so it would NOT be ... › 2021/03/26 › sorry-dems-but-dc-was

    Mar 26, 2021 · Washington would likely be nothing but a swampy backwater village if it hadn’t been created for, again, the purpose of not being a state. And it doesn’t matter if there are 20 or 20 million ...

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  8. Explained: The many obstacles in making Washington, DC the ... › article › explained
    • Why Is Washington DC Not A State?
    • So, What Led to Renewed Calls For Statehood?
    • And, What Are The Political Challenges?
    • But, Why Do Democrats and Republicans Disagree Over DC?

    After the US declared independence from British rule in 1776, the country’s founding leaders desired that the new national capital should be founded on a federal district, and not be a part of any state. The district which was thus created was named after the explorer Columbus, and the city after George Washington, the first US president. Since its founding, numerous legislative initiatives tried to expand representation for DC, but these efforts only gathered pace during the Civil Rights era of the late 1950s. In 1961, the 23rd Amendment to the US Constitution was passed, giving D.C. residents the right to vote for president starting in 1964. Since 1974, the city has had its own council and mayor, but continues to be under the direct jurisdiction of the US Congress. D.C. gets one member in the House of Representatives, who has no voting power. In 1985, a constitutional amendment that would have given DC several rights of a full state failed. Another setback came in 1993, when the H...

    Last year, the DC statehood question again came to the fore after Black Lives Matter protests rocked the nation’s largest cities– including DC, where African Americans are the largest ethnic group, making up just less than half of the city’s 68 lakh population. In June 2020, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed a law that would shrink the District of Columbia to only include key federal government buildings, and convert the rest of the current District into a 51st US state, which would be named after the leading 19th-century Black abolitionist Frederick Douglass. That law failed in the US Senate, which was then Republican-controlled. Another impetus came this year after right-wing activists sieged the US Capitol on January 6, when it was pointed out that city leaders did not have the authority to mobilise the National Guard like governors of full states can. ‘HR 51’, the new bill passed on Thursday, is identical to the one that failed last year.

    For DC statehood to succeed, both chambers of Congress (House and Senate) would have to support the initiative, which would then require the approval of the US President. In the November 2020 general election, the Democratic Party won control of all three– the House, Senate and the Presidency. Now, although the House has approved the bill and Biden has signalled his support for the measure should it become law, the statehood question is expected to hit a roadblock in the Senate. In the 100-member upper house, the Democrats and Republicans are tied at 50 seats each, and Biden’s party barely holds on to power thanks to the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris. The Democrats’ razor-thin majority makes it difficult for them to build consensus within their ranks in dealing with contentious issues, such as the DC question. Moreover, the Democrats could find their troubles in the Senate greatly amplified should the Republicans resort to what is known as the filibuster– a rule...

    The principal reason why this entire process hits a hurdle is that both Democrats and Republicans are acutely aware of the impact that DC as a 51st state would have on the nation’s legislative math. Currently, the Senate– the powerful upper house of the US Congress– has 100 seats, two from each US state irrespective of its population. DC is believed to be Democrat-leaning, and the addition of its two additional seats to the Senate is expected to tip the scales of power in favour of the Democrats in the long term. Republicans have thus fiercely resisted the idea, especially because the Senate has characteristically had thin majorities in recent times. Republicans too just managed to control the chamber for six years until their 2020 loss, and the Democrats’ current mandate is even less decisive. Former President Donald Trump, who is still the most important figure in his party, has said that the Republicans would be “very, very stupid” to admit DC as a state. Senator Mitch McConnell,...

    • The Indian Express
  9. The District of Columbia Should Not Be a State | National Review › magazine › 2020/10/19

    Oct 01, 2020 · Besides being politically and legally infeasible, D.C. statehood would be bad for the health of the American republic. While some aspects of the argument in favor of it have improved in recent...

  10. The Founders Didn’t Want DC As A State. Neither Does This DC ... › 2017/04/24 › founders-didnt-want

    Apr 24, 2017 · Congress Doesn’t Even Have the Power to Make DC a State Furthermore, it’s not clear at all that DC can legally follow the same process to join the union as have former territories like the Western...

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