Washington (/ ˈ w ɒ ʃ ɪ ŋ t ə n / ()), officially the State of Washington, is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States.Named for George Washington—the first U.S. president—the state was formed from the western part of the Washington Territory, which was ceded by the British Empire in 1846, in accordance with the Oregon Treaty in the settlement of the ...
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- Early Settlement
- 19th Century
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Archaeological evidence indicates American Indians settled in the area at least 4,000 years ago, around the Anacostia River. Early European exploration of the region took place early in the 17th century, including explorations by Captain John Smith in 1608. At the time, the Patawomeck (loosely affiliated with the Powhatan) and the Doeg lived on the...
The United States capital was originally located in Philadelphia, beginning with the First and Second Continental Congress, followed by the Congress of the Confederation upon ratification of the first federal constitution. In June 1783, a mob of angry soldiers converged upon Independence Hall to demand payment for their service during the American Revolutionary War. Congress requested that John Dickinson, the governor of Pennsylvania, call up the militia to defend Congress from attacks by the...
Plan of the City of Washington
In early 1791, President Washington appointed Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant to devise a plan for the new city in an area of land at the center of the federal territory that lay between the northeast shore of the Potomac River and the northwest shore of the Potomac's Eastern Branch. L'Enfant then designed in his "Plan of the city intended for the permanent seat of the government of the United States ... " the city's first layout, a grid centered on the United States Capitol, which would stan...
The District of Columbia relied on Congress to support capital improvements and economic development initiatives. However, Congress lacked loyalty to the city's residents and was reluctant to provide support. Congress did provide funding for the Washington City Canalin 1809, after earlier private financing efforts were unsuccessful. Construction began in 1810 and the canal opened in late 1815, connecting the Anacostia River with Tiber Creek. Construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (C&O)...
War of 1812
During the War of 1812, the British Army conducted an expedition between August 19 and 29, 1814, that took and burned the capital city. In the Battle of Bladensburg on August 24, the British routed an American militia, which had gathered at Bladensburg, Maryland to protect the capital. The militia then abandoned Washington without a fight. President James Madisonand the remainder of the U.S. government fled the capital shortly before the British arrived. The British then entered and burned th...
Railroads arrive in Washington
The B&O opened a rail line from Baltimore to Washington in 1835.: 157 Passenger traffic on the Washington Branch had increased by the 1850s, as the company opened a large station in 1851 on New Jersey Avenue NW, just north of the Capitol.: 92 Further railroad development continued after the Civil War, with a new B&O line (the Metropolitan Branch) connecting Washington to the west, and the introduction of competition from the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad in the 1870s. In 1907, Union Station...
In 1901, the Senate Park Improvement Commission of the District of Columbia (the "McMillan Commission"), which Congress had formed the previous year, formulated the McMillan Plan, an architectural plan for the redevelopment of the National Mall. The commission was inspired by L'Enfant's 1791 plan for the city, which had not been fully realized. The...
Terrorism and security
The Washington area was a main target of the September 11, 2001 attacks. American Airlines Flight 77 was hijacked by five Islamist terrorists and flew into the Pentagon in Arlington County, just across the Potomac River from Washington, killing 125 people inside the building, as well as 64 onboard the airliner, including the five terrorists. United Airlines Flight 93, which was also hijacked and which went down in an open field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, supposedly intended to target eit...
Washington Navy Yard shooting
On September 16, 2013, the Washington Navy Yard shooting occurred when lone gunman Aaron Alexis fatally shot twelve people and injured three others in a mass shooting at the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) inside the Washington Navy Yard in the Southeast quadrant of the city. The attack, which took place in the Navy Yard's Building 197, began around 8:20 a.m. EDT and ended when Alexis was killed by police around 9:20 a.m. EDT. It was the second-deadliest mass murder on...
On November 8, 2016, Washington voters were asked to advise the Council to approve or reject a proposal, which included advising the council to petition Congress to admit the District as the 51st State and approve a constitution and boundaries for the new state. The voters of the District of Columbia voted overwhelmingly to advise the Council to approve the proposal, with 86% of voters voting to advise approving the proposal.Challenges, including Republican opposition in Congress and constitu...
New migration patterns have appeared. Washington has a steadily declining black population, due to many African Americans' leaving the city for suburbs. At the same time, the city's Caucasian and Hispanic populations have steadily increased. Since 2000 there has been a 7.3% decrease in the African-American population, and a 17.8% increase in the wh...Crew, Harvey W.; Webb, William Bensing; Wooldridge, John (1892). Centennial History of the City of Washington, D. C. Dayton, Ohio: United Brethren Publishing House. LCCN 06028029. OCLC 2843595. Ret...Hazleton, George Cochrane, Jr. (1914). The National Capitol: Its Architecture, Art, and History. New York: J.F. Taylor & Company. LCCN 96845486. OCLC 1848763. Retrieved December 31, 2017 – via Goog...Stewart, John (1898). "Early Maps and Surveyors of the City of Washington, D.C." Records of the Columbia Historical Society. 2: 48–71. OCLC 40326234. Retrieved December 31, 2017 – via Google Books.
Washington, D.C., legally named the District of Columbia, in the United States of America, was founded on July 16, 1790, after the inauguration of City of Washington, the new capital of the country.
The Washington metropolitan area, also commonly referred to as the National Capital Region, Greater Washington, or colloquially as the DMV (which stands for District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia), is the metropolitan area centered on Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States.