Tuesday, September 20, 2011

HOW THE U.S. CAPITAL CAME TO BE. Somehow, when I was in school, the penny never dropped (duh!)that GEORGE WASHINGTON actually FOUNDED Washington, DC. Tired of moving from pillar to post--we had 8 seats of government in the quarter century between the Declaration of Independence and the move to the District of Columbia--the legislators charged GW with selecting the site and design for a permanent capital. You can see for yourself, its in the very first article of the Constitution. 

When something had to be done, Washington was the man to do it. Behind the scenes, ALEXANDER HAMILTON wheedled and twisted arms to get the Southern states to agree to assume a larger share of the Revolutionary War debt by making it a federal, rather than a state, responsibility. In return, the new capital did not go to civilized New York or Philadelphia. No. It was to be built completely new, south of the Mason-Dixon line, on the Potomac River, at a site of Washington's choosing. 

It was no accident, of course, that the Father of our country lived just a half day's ride on horseback from the site he eventually selected. He also had a high opinion of the river's beauty and (ever practical) its suitability for trade. #

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