At the Center of It All: Washington D.C.

There's only one place that can be called the epicenter of our democracy; that place is Washington D.C, also known as the District of Columbia. This is where America’s federal government operates.

Originally, in its early years, the nation's capital wasn't located in Washington D.C. Instead, delegates to the First Continental Congress gathered in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. During this time, the 13 colonies, located along the east coast from Georgia to Maine, formed the United States. And when George Washington became the first president in 1789, he originally took office in New York city.

The colonists wanted a capital that would fairly represent all citizens. That’s why President Washington chose a capital not too far north or south of the colonies--Washington D.C. In 1970, he and the colonists established D.C. as a federal district.

Washington D.C. came alive in its early years as the capital. It gained recognition over time as the home of the president and center of the 13 colonies.

America’s War of 1812 against Great Britain wiped out a lot of D.C.’s population. However, a large increase in the District’s population occurred following the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, when freed slaves flocked to D.C.

Although Washington D.C. is not a state, it functions much like a state and has its own designated sate bird, tree, and flower. These are the wood thrush, scarlet oak, and American beauty rose, respectively. However, citizens of D.C. are not allowed to vote for the House of Representatives or State.

D.C. is an influential capital even with its very small population. In this small district, the federal government and the president lead the great United States of America.

[Source: National Geographic ]