History Of Washington DC

The history of Washington DC is attached to its position as the capital city of the United States of America.

Considering the very early history of Washington, President George Washington selected a site which was along the Potomac River which was to become the capital city of US.


The Washington DC History also witnessed the time when in 1812, the capital city was attacked during the war of 1812. This episode has been named as the Burning of Washington of the Washington history.


While the government was being coming back to the city after that unfortunate incident, the city had managed the reconstruction work of various places and primarily of public buildings which also included the White House and United States Capitol. Moreover, the McMillan Plan of 1901 also provided a great deal of help in restoration work and also the beautification of the downtown core area. The restoration and beautification work of various buildings and establishment of the National Mall, along with numerous monuments and museums have a special mention in the history of Washington DC.


Another important point which gets mentioned while discussing the history of Washington is the abolishment of slavery throughout the entire district on April 16, 1862. Since there was a federal government, there were same wages for black and white school teachers as well as workers of the federal government. However, when Woodrow Wilson became the president, who was a southerner the federal offices and workplaces were segregated, starting in 1913. This unfortunate situation prevailed for a very long time in the history of Washington DC until 1950s.


During the early 20th century, the history of Washington is known for it being a significant place of African American culture. After the second world war, majority of  white people moved out of the city to newer suburban areas. With the incident of Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination in 1968, major riots took place in the African American neighborhoods. Due to these riots, large sections of the city remained devastated for a very long time. The Washington Metro opened in 1976. A rising economy and gentrification in the late 1990s and early 2000s led to revitalization of many neighborhoods.


The constitution of United States Constitution places the District under the exclusive legislation of Congress. This is the reason why in the entire history of Washington DC, its residents have been denied voting representation in Congress. However, with the 23rd Amendment to the United States Constitution which was ratified in 1961, provided the District representation in the Electoral College. And with the 1973 District of Columbia Home Rule Act , the local government was given more control of affairs which also included direct election of the city council and mayor.