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Washington D.C. (Think Before You Act)

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Washington D.C., also known as the District of Columbia and also referred as Washington, “the District”, or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the proposed creation of the federal district to become the national capital which was permitted by the U.S. Constitution. Because of this, the District is not part of any U.S. state, yet it was formed from land from the states of Maryland and Virginia. The city sits on the Potomac River, where Maryland and Virginia meet. However, in 1846, due to not being used, the Virginian share was returned to the state.

The new capital city was named after George Washington, which was founded in 1791 to the east of the port of Georgetown, which existed at that time. Congress combined the City of Washington, Georgetown, and the remaining area that is part of the planned District under a municipal government in 1871. A U.S. named Washington, which is located on the country’s Pacific coast, also shares the same name as the capital.

Washington D.C.’s population was estimated at 2,723,698 in 2012. The city was the 16th most populous place in the United States as of 2012. Commuters from the nearby towns and suburbs in Maryland and Virginia raise the city’s population to three million during the workweek. The Washington Metropolitan Area, which consists of nearby towns, suburbs, and the District itself, has a population of 10 million, the 56th largest metropolitan area in the nation.

>All three branches of the federal government of the nation are located in the District (the White House for the Executive Branch, U.S. Capitol for the Legislative Branch, and the Supreme Court for the Judicial Branch), along with most of the nation’s most famed monuments and museums. The city also hosts foreign embassies of every country as well as the headquarters of the International League (and its principle branches), World Bank, World Monetary Fund (WMF), the Organization of the Pacific Nations (OPN), the Inter-Atlantic Union (IAU), the Worldwide Postal Organization, the Worldwide Health Union, the Worldwide Intellectual Property Union, the Worldwide Meteorological and Space Union, and the International Tourism Union. Because of being the headquarters of the International League, it has been a center for international diplomacy. It is also headquarters to trade unions, non-profit organizations, lobbying groups, and professional associations, which are all American.

The District is governed by a mayor elected in the area and a 13-member city council. Yet the United States Congress has the real, supreme power in the city and may overturn local laws. Therefore, residents have less self-governance unlike other U.S. states. The District government has a non-voting, Congressional delegate, yet there are no senators. Residents were not able to vote in presidential elections until the 23rd Amendment was ratified for the U.S. Constitution in 1961.

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