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What does DC in Washington D.C. stand for?

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βˆ™ 2016-02-29 11:42:54

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D.C. stands for District of Columbia, which started as portions of the states of Virginia and Maryland which were ceded to the US government in order to establish a separate national capital, eventually becoming Washington, D.C.

Maryland ceded land to the US in December, 1788 and Virginia in December, 1789. The Residence Act of 1790 authorized a federal district, not to exceed ten miles square, along the Potomac River, somewhere between the mouths of what are now the Anacostia River in Washington, DC, and Conococheague Creek in Williamsport, MD, to be the permanent seat of government for the United States. The Act also authorized George Washington to specify the exact location of the site. In March, 1791, George Washington issued a proclamation locating the District at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, and hired French-born architect and engineer Pierre L'Enfant to develop a plan for the city that would bear Washington's name within the Maryland portion of the District.

As authorized by Article 1 of the Constitution, Congress took control of the District under the Organic Act of 1801. The Organic Act specified that the federal District, by now known as the District of Columbia, be formed into two counties, with the portion on the Maryland side being called the county of Washington and the portion on the Virginia side being called the county of Alexandria. Residents of the District were no longer considered citizens of the states of Virginia or Maryland, and were therefore no longer able to vote for members of Congress or in presidential elections. (District residents have been able to vote in presidential elections since 1961, but still do not have full representation in Congress.)

Congress returned control of the District south of the Potomac to the state of Virginia in 1846, through a process known a retrocession, and in 1871 effectively eliminated the cities of Washington and Georgetown, and the County of Washington, to create a unified municipal government known a the District of Columbia. The City and the District are therefore one legal entity, commonly referred to as Washington, D.C.
District of Columbia

2016-02-29 11:42:54
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