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Why Was Washington Made the Capital of the United States?


Washington, the capital of the United States of America, is situated on the Potomac River in the District of Columbia. The district is a piece of land ten miles square and it does not belong to any separate state but to all the states. The district is named in honour of Columbus, the discoverer of America.

The capital owes much to the first President of the USA George Washington. It was George Washington, who chose the place for the District and laid in 1790 the corner-stone of the Capitol, where Congress sits.

Why Was Washington Made the Capital of the United States?

After the American Revolution the United States needed a capital city. Various cities and sections of the country wanted the honor of being the nation's capital.

It was finally decided to create a new city. Congress passed a bill in 1790 giving permission for a site to be chosen. It was to be somewhere near the Potomac River and not over ten miles square (25.9 square kilometers). The land was to be called the District of Columbia, after Christopher Columbus; and the city to be built on it was to be named Washington, in honor of the country's first president.

In 1791 George Washington chose the place where the city now stands. He thought it was a good location because the Potomac River was deep enough for ships to come as far as the city.

The land was given to the federal government by the states of Maryland and Virginia.

President Washington chose a brilliant French engineer and architect, Major Pierre L'Enfant, to design the new city. The plan called for broad avenues lined with trees, beautiful government buildings, and monuments to honor great men.

By 1800 the president's house was nearly completed. The Capitol was built on a hill, renamed Capitol Hill, where the Congress was to meet. In 1800 President John Adams and other members of the government moved to the new federal city Washington.

Washington is not the largest city in the USA. It has a population of 900,000 people. Washington is a one-industry city. That industry is government. It does not produce anything except very much scrap paper. Every day 25 railway cars leave Washington loaded with scrap paper. The city's main output are laws and government decisions. Besides, Washington is the residence of the President and the Congress of the United States.

The White House is the President's residence. All American presidents except George Washington (the White House was not yet built in his time) have lived in the White House. It is a two-storied building which was built in 1799.

Not far from the Capitol there is the Washington Monument, which looks like a very big pencil. It rises 160 meters and is hollow inside. A special lift brings visitors to the top in 70 seconds from where they can enjoy a beautiful view of the whole city.

The Jefferson Memorial was built in memory of the third President of the USA, Thomas Jefferson, who was also the author of the Declaration of Independence. The memorial is surrounded by cherry-trees.

The Lincoln Memorial is devoted to the memory of the 16-th president of the USA, the author of Emancipation Proclamation, which gave freedom to Negro slaves in America.

On the other bank of the Potomac lies the Arlington National Cemetery where President Kennedy was buried. American soldiers and officers, who died in World War I and II are buried there too. Washington is a large scientific and cultural centre. There are five universities, a lot of research institutes, the National Academy of Sciences and the Library of Congress. Among its well-known buildings is Pentagon, the residence of the US Military department.

Date: 2016-03-03; view: 795

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