1980 United States presidential election in Illinois
The 1980 United States presidential election in Illinois took place on November 4, 1980. All 50 states and The District of Columbia, were part of the 1980 United States presidential election. Illinois voters chose 26 electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president. Illinois, the state where Republican candidate, former California Governor Ronald Reagan was born and raised, was won by him with an 8% margin of victory over Democratic candidate, President Jimmy Carter. Despite being the home state of Congressman John B. Anderson, he only won 7.3% of the popular vote, 346,754 votes, failed to carry any counties. This election is the most recent in which Rock Island County voted Republican
Gun politics in the United States
Gun politics is an area of American politics defined by two primary opposing ideologies about civilian gun ownership. People who advocate for gun control support increasing regulations related to gun ownership; these groups disagree on the interpretation of laws and court cases related to firearms as well as about the effects of firearms regulation on crime and public safety. It is estimated that U. S. civilians own 393 million firearms, that 35% to 42% of the households in the country have at least one gun. The U. S. has the highest estimated number of guns per capita, at 120.5 guns for every 100 people. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."Debates regarding firearm availability and gun violence in the United States have been characterized by concerns about the right to bear arms, such as found in the Second Amendment to the U.
S. Constitution, the responsibility of the United States government to serve the needs of its citizens and to prevent crime and deaths. Firearms regulation supporters say that indiscriminate or unrestricted gun rights inhibit the government from fulfilling that responsibility, causes a safety concern, as assault weapons are not legal. Gun rights supporters promote firearms for self-defense – including security against tyranny, as well as hunting and sporting activities. Firearms regulation advocates state that restricting and tracking gun access would result in safer communities, while gun rights advocates state that increased firearm ownership by law-abiding citizens reduces crime and assert that criminals have always had easy access to firearms. Gun legislation, or non-legislation, in the United States is augmented by judicial interpretations of the Constitution. In 1791, the United States adopted the Second Amendment, in 1868 adopted the Fourteenth Amendment; the effect of those two amendments on gun politics was the subject of landmark U.
S. Supreme Court decisions in 2008 and 2010, that upheld the right of individuals to possess guns for self-defense; the American hunting tradition comes from a time when the United States was an agrarian, subsistence nation where hunting was a profession for some, an auxiliary source of food for some settlers, a deterrence to animal predators. A connection between shooting skills and survival among rural American men was in many cases a necessity and a'rite of passage' for those entering manhood. Today, hunting survives as a central sentimental component of a gun culture as a way to control animal populations across the country, regardless of modern trends away from subsistence hunting and rural living. Prior to the American Revolution there was neither budget nor manpower nor government desire to maintain a full-time army. Therefore, the armed citizen-soldier carried the responsibility. Service in militia, including providing one's own ammunition and weapons, was mandatory for all men. Yet, as early as the 1790s, the mandatory universal militia duty evolved to voluntary militia units and a reliance on a regular army.
Throughout the 19th century the institution of the organized civilian militia began to decline. The unorganized civilian militia, still remains in current U. S. law, consisting of everyone from age 17 to 45, while including former military officers up to age 64, as codified in 10 U. S. C. § 246. Related to the militia tradition is the frontier tradition, with the need for self-protection pursuant to westward expansion and the extension of the American frontier. Though it has not been a necessary part of daily survival for over a century, "generations of Americans continued to embrace and glorify it as a living inheritance—as a permanent ingredient of this nation's style and culture". In the years prior to the American Revolution, the British, in response to the colonists' unhappiness over direct control and taxation of the colonies, imposed a gunpowder embargo on the colonies in an attempt to lessen the ability of the colonists to resist British encroachments into what the colonies regarded as local matters.
Two direct attempts to disarm the colonial militias fanned what had been a smoldering resentment of British interference into the fires of war. These two incidents were the attempt to confiscate the cannon of the Concord and Lexington militias, leading to the Battles of Lexington and Concord of April 19, 1775, the attempt, on April 20, to confiscate militia powder stores in the armory of Williamsburg, which led to the Gunpowder Incident and a face off between Patrick Henry and hundreds of militia members on one side and the Royal Governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, British seamen on the other; the Gunpowder Incident was settled by paying the colonists for the powder. According to historian Saul Cornell, states passed some of the first gun control laws, beginning with Kentucky's law to "curb the practice of carrying concealed weapons in 1813." There was opposition and, as a result, the individual right interpretation of the Second Amendment began and grew in direct response to these early gun control laws, in keeping with this new "pervasive spirit of individualism."
As noted by Cornell, "Ironically, the first gun control movement helped give birth to the first self-conscious gun rights ideology built around a constitutional right of individual self-defense."The individual right interpretation of the Second Amendment first arose in Bliss v. Commonwealth, which evaluated the right to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state pursuant to Section 28 of the Second Constitution of Kentucky; the right to bear arms in defense
Ronald Wilson Reagan was an American politician who served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989. Prior to his presidency, he was a Hollywood actor and union leader before serving as the 33rd governor of California from 1967 to 1975. Reagan was raised in a poor family in small towns of northern Illinois, he graduated from Eureka College in 1932 and worked as a sports announcer on several regional radio stations. After moving to California in 1937, he found work as an actor and starred in a few major productions. Reagan was twice elected President of the Screen Actors Guild—the labor union for actors—where he worked to root out Communist influence. In the 1950s, he was a motivational speaker at General Electric factories. Reagan had been a Democrat until 1962, when he became a conservative and switched to the Republican Party. In 1964, Reagan's speech, "A Time for Choosing", supported Barry Goldwater's foundering presidential campaign and earned him national attention as a new conservative spokesman.
Building a network of supporters, he was elected governor of California in 1966. As governor, Reagan raised taxes, turned a state budget deficit to a surplus, challenged the protesters at the University of California, ordered in National Guard troops during a period of protest movements in 1969, was re-elected in 1970, he twice ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination, in 1968 and 1976. Four years in 1980, he won the nomination and defeated incumbent president Jimmy Carter. At 69 years, 349 days of age at the time of his first inauguration, Reagan was the oldest person to have assumed office until Donald Trump in 2017. Reagan faced former vice president Walter Mondale when he ran for re-election in 1984, defeated him, winning the most electoral votes of any U. S. president, 525, or 97.6 percent of the 538 votes in the Electoral College. This was the second-most lopsided presidential election in modern U. S. history after Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1936 victory over Alfred M. Landon, in which he won 98.5 percent or 523 of the 531 electoral votes.
Soon after taking office, Reagan began implementing sweeping new economic initiatives. His supply-side economic policies, dubbed "Reaganomics", advocated tax rate reduction to spur economic growth, economic deregulation, reduction in government spending. In his first term he survived an assassination attempt, spurred the War on Drugs, fought public sector labor. Over his two terms, the economy saw a reduction of inflation from 12.5% to 4.4%, an average annual growth of real GDP of 3.4%. Reagan enacted cuts in domestic discretionary spending, cut taxes, increased military spending which contributed to increased federal outlays overall after adjustment for inflation. Foreign affairs dominated his second term, including ending the Cold War, the bombing of Libya, the Iran–Iraq War, the Iran–Contra affair. In June 1987, four years after he publicly described the Soviet Union as an "evil empire", Reagan challenged Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall!", during a speech at the Brandenburg Gate.
He transitioned Cold War policy from détente to rollback by escalating an arms race with the USSR while engaging in talks with Gorbachev. The talks culminated in the INF Treaty. Reagan began his presidency during the decline of the Soviet Union, the Berlin Wall fell just ten months after the end of his term. Germany reunified the following year, on December 26, 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed; when Reagan left office in 1989, he held an approval rating of 68 percent, matching those of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Bill Clinton, as the highest ratings for departing presidents in the modern era, he was the first president since Dwight D. Eisenhower to serve two full terms, after a succession of five prior presidents did not. Although he had planned an active post-presidency, Reagan disclosed in November 1994 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease earlier that year. Afterward, his informal public appearances became more infrequent, he died at home on June 5, 2004. His tenure constituted a realignment toward conservative policies in the United States, he is an icon among conservatives.
Evaluations of his presidency among historians and the general public place him among the upper tier of American presidents. Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6, 1911, in an apartment on the second floor of a commercial building in Tampico, Illinois, he was the younger son of Jack Reagan. Jack was a salesman and storyteller whose grandparents were Irish Catholic emigrants from County Tipperary, while Nelle was of half English and half Scottish descent. Reagan's older brother, Neil Reagan, became an advertising executive. Reagan's father nicknamed his son "Dutch", due to his "fat little Dutchman"-like appearance and "Dutchboy" haircut. Reagan's family lived in several towns and cities in Illinois, including Monmouth and Chicago. In 1919, they returned to Tampico and lived above the H. C. Pitney Variety Store until settling in Dixon. After his election as president, Reagan resided in the upstairs White House private quarters, he would quip that he was "living above the store again". Ronald Reagan wrote that his mother "always expected to find the best in people and did".
She attended the Disciples of Christ church and was active, influential, within it.
2016 United States presidential election
The 2016 United States presidential election was the 58th quadrennial American presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. The Republican ticket of businessman Donald Trump and Indiana Governor Mike Pence defeated the Democratic ticket of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U. S. Senator from Virginia Tim Kaine, despite losing the popular vote. Trump took office as the 45th President, Pence as the 48th Vice President, on January 20, 2017. Trump emerged as the front-runner amidst a wide field of Republican primary candidates, while Clinton defeated Senator Bernie Sanders and became the first female presidential nominee of a major American party. Trump's populist, nationalist campaign, which promised to "Make America Great Again" and opposed political correctness, illegal immigration, many free-trade agreements, garnered extensive free media coverage. Clinton emphasized her political experience, denounced Trump and many of his supporters as bigots, advocated the expansion of President Obama's policies.
The tone of the general election campaign was characterized as divisive and negative. Trump faced controversy over his views on race and immigration, incidents of violence against protestors at his rallies, his alleged sexual misconduct, while Clinton was dogged by declining approval ratings and an FBI investigation of her improper use of a private email server. Clinton had held the lead in nearly every pre-election nationwide poll and in most swing state polls, leading some commentators to compare Trump's victory to that of Harry S. Truman in 1948 as one of the greatest political upsets in modern U. S. history. While Clinton received 2.87 million more votes nationwide, a margin of 2.1%, Trump won a majority of electoral votes, with a total of 306 electors from 30 states, including upset victories in the pivotal Rust Belt region. Trump received 304 electoral votes and Clinton garnered 227, as two faithless electors defected from Trump and five defected from Clinton. Trump is the fifth person in U.
S. history to become president while losing the nationwide popular vote. He is the first president without any prior experience in public service or the military, the oldest at inauguration and is believed by many to be the wealthiest; the United States government's intelligence agencies concluded on January 6, 2017, that the Russian government had interfered in the elections in order to "undermine public faith in the U. S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, harm her electability and potential presidency". President Trump criticized these conclusions, calling the issue a "hoax" and "fake news". Trump has criticized accusations of collusion between Russia and his campaign, citing a lack of evidence. Investigations regarding such collusion were started by the FBI, the Senate Intelligence Committee, the House Intelligence Committee; the Special Counsel investigation began in May 2017 and concluded in March 2019. In a letter sent to Congress on March 24, Attorney General William Barr quoted the special counsel's report in stating that "the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."
Article Two of the United States Constitution provides that the President and Vice President of the United States must be natural-born citizens of the United States, at least 35 years old, residents of the United States for a period of at least 14 years. Candidates for the presidency seek the nomination of one of the political parties, in which case each party devises a method to choose the candidate the party deems best suited to run for the position. Traditionally, the primary elections are indirect elections where voters cast ballots for a slate of party delegates pledged to a particular candidate; the party's delegates officially nominate a candidate to run on the party's behalf. The general election in November is an indirect election, where voters cast ballots for a slate of members of the Electoral College. President Barack Obama, a Democrat and former U. S. Senator from Illinois, was ineligible to seek reelection to a third term due to the restrictions of the Twenty-second Amendment; the series of presidential primary elections and caucuses took place between February and June 2016, staggered among the 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.
S. territories. This nominating process was an indirect election, where voters cast ballots for a slate of delegates to a political party's nominating convention, who in turn elected their party's presidential nominee. Speculation about the 2016 campaign began immediately following the 2012 campaign, with New York magazine declaring the race had begun in an article published on November 8, two days after the 2012 election. On the same day, Politico released an article predicting the 2016 general election would be between Clinton and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, while a New York Times article named New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Senator Cory Booker from New Jersey as potential candidates. With seventeen major candidates entering the race, starting with Ted Cruz on March 23, 2015, this was the largest presidential primary field for any political party in American history. Prior to the Iowa caucuses on February 1, 2016, Walker, Jindal and Pataki withdrew due to low polling numbers.
Despite leading many polls in Iowa, Trump came in second to Cruz, after whic
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush was an American politician who served as the 41st president of the United States from 1989 to 1993 and the 43rd vice president of the United States from 1981 to 1989. A member of the Republican Party, he held posts that included those of congressman, CIA director; until his son George W. Bush became the 43rd president in 2001, he was known as George Bush. Bush postponed his university studies after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, enlisted in the Navy on his 18th birthday, became one of its youngest aviators, he served until September 1945, attended Yale University, graduating in 1948. He moved his family to West Texas where he entered the oil business and became a millionaire by the age of 40 in 1964. After founding his own oil company, Bush was defeated in his first run for the United States Senate in 1964, but won election to the House of Representatives from Texas's 7th congressional district in 1966, he was reelected in 1968 but was defeated for election to the Senate in 1970.
In 1971, President Richard Nixon appointed Bush as Ambassador to the United Nations, he became Chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1973. The following year, President Gerald Ford appointed him Chief of the Liaison Office in China and made him the director of Central Intelligence. Bush ran for president in 1980, was defeated in the Republican primary by Ronald Reagan, as Reagan's running mate Bush became vice-president after the ticket's election. During his eight-year tenure as vice president, Bush headed task forces on deregulation and the war on drugs. Bush in 1988 defeated Democratic opponent Michael Dukakis, becoming the first incumbent vice president to be elected president in 152 years. Foreign policy drove the Bush presidency. Bush signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, which created a trade bloc consisting of the United States and Mexico. Domestically, Bush signed a bill to increase taxes, he lost the 1992 presidential election to Democrat Bill Clinton following an economic recession and the decreased importance of foreign policy in a post–Cold War political climate.
After leaving office in 1993, Bush was active in humanitarian activities alongside Clinton, his former opponent. With George W. Bush's victory in the 2000 presidential election and his son became the second father–son pair to serve as President, following John Adams and John Quincy Adams. At the time of his death, he was the longest-lived president in U. S. history, a record surpassed by Jimmy Carter on March 22, 2019. George Herbert Walker Bush was born at 173 Adams Street in Milton, Massachusetts on June 12, 1924 to Prescott Sheldon Bush and Dorothy Bush; the Bush family moved from Milton to Connecticut shortly after his birth. Bush was named after his maternal grandfather George Herbert Walker, known as "Pop", young Bush was called "Poppy" as a tribute to his namesake. Bush began his formal education at the Greenwich Country Day School attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts beginning in 1938, where he held a number of leadership positions which included president of the senior class, secretary of the student council, president of the community fund-raising group, a member of the editorial board of the school newspaper, captain of the varsity baseball and soccer teams.
Six months after the United States entered World War II following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, Bush enlisted in the U. S. Navy after he graduated from Phillips Academy on his 18th birthday, he became a naval aviator. After completing the 10-month course, he was commissioned as an ensign in the Naval Reserve at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi on June 9, 1943, just three days before his 19th birthday, which made him one of the youngest aviators in the Navy. In September 1943, he was assigned to Torpedo Squadron 51 as the photographic officer; the following year, his squadron was based in USS San Jacinto as a member of Air Group 51, where his lanky physique earned him the nickname "Skin". During this time, the task force was victorious at the Battle of the Philippine Sea, one of the largest air battles of World War II. Bush was promoted to lieutenant on August 1, 1944, San Jacinto commenced operations against the Japanese in the Bonin Islands, he piloted one of the four Grumman TBM Avengers of VT-51 that attacked the Japanese installations on Chichijima on September 2, 1944.
His crew included Lt. William White, his aircraft was hit by flak during the attack, but Bush released bombs and scored several hits. With his engine ablaze, he flew several miles from the island, where he and one other crew member bailed out. Bush spent four hours in his inflated liferaft, protected by fighter aircraft circling above, until the submarine USS Finback came to his rescue, he participated in the rescue of other aviators. Several of those shot down during the attack were executed, their livers were eaten by their captors; this experience shaped Bush profoundly, leading him to ask, "Why had I been spared and what did God have for me?"In November 1944, Bush returned to San Jacinto and participated in operations in the Philippines until his squadron was replaced and sent home to the United States. By 1944 he had flown 58 combat missions for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals, the Presiden
Minnesota is a state in the Upper Midwest and northern regions of the United States. Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd U. S. state on May 11, 1858, created from the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory. The state has a large number of lakes, is known by the slogan the "Land of 10,000 Lakes", its official motto is L'Étoile du Nord. Minnesota is the 12th largest in area and the 22nd most populous of the U. S. states. This area is the center of transportation, industry and government, while being home to an internationally known arts community; the remainder of the state consists of western prairies now given over to intensive agriculture. Minnesota was inhabited by various indigenous peoples for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans. French explorers and fur traders began exploring the region in the 17th century, encountering the Dakota and Ojibwe/Anishinaabe tribes. Much of what is today Minnesota was part of the vast French holding of Louisiana, purchased by the United States in 1803.
Following several territorial reorganizations, Minnesota in its current form was admitted as the country's 32nd state on May 11, 1858. Like many Midwestern states, it remained centered on lumber and agriculture. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, a large number of European immigrants from Scandinavia and Germany, began to settle the state, which remains a center of Scandinavian American and German American culture. In recent decades, immigration from Asia, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, Latin America has broadened its demographic and cultural composition; the state's economy has diversified, shifting from traditional activities such as agriculture and resource extraction to services and finance. Minnesota's standard of living index is among the highest in the United States, the state is among the best-educated and wealthiest in the nation; the word Minnesota comes from the Dakota name for the Minnesota River: The river got its name from one of two words in the Dakota language,'Mní sóta' which means "clear blue water", or'Mnißota', which means cloudy water.
Native Americans demonstrated the name to early settlers by dropping milk into water and calling it mnisota. Many places in the state have similar names, such as Minnehaha Falls, Minneota, Minnetonka and Minneapolis, a combination of mni and polis, the Greek word for "city". Minnesota is the second northernmost U. S. state and northernmost contiguous state. Its isolated Northwest Angle in Lake of the Woods county is the only part of the 48 contiguous states lying north of the 49th parallel; the state is part of the U. S. region known as part of North America's Great Lakes Region. It shares a Lake Superior water border with Michigan and a land and water border with Wisconsin to the east. Iowa is to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota are to the west, the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba are to the north. With 86,943 square miles, or 2.25% of the United States, Minnesota is the 12th-largest state. Minnesota has gneisses that are about 3.6 billion years old. About 2.7 billion years ago, basaltic lava poured out of cracks in the floor of the primordial ocean.
The roots of these volcanic mountains and the action of Precambrian seas formed the Iron Range of northern Minnesota. Following a period of volcanism 1.1 billion years ago, Minnesota's geological activity has been more subdued, with no volcanism or mountain formation, but with repeated incursions of the sea, which left behind multiple strata of sedimentary rock. In more recent times, massive ice sheets at least one kilometer thick ravaged the state's landscape and sculpted its terrain; the Wisconsin glaciation left 12,000 years ago. These glaciers covered all of Minnesota except the far southeast, an area characterized by steep hills and streams that cut into the bedrock; this area is known as the Driftless Zone for its absence of glacial drift. Much of the remainder of the state outside the northeast has 50 feet or more of glacial till left behind as the last glaciers retreated. Gigantic Lake Agassiz formed in the northwest 13,000 years ago, its bed created the fertile Red River valley, its outflow, glacial River Warren, carved the valley of the Minnesota River and the Upper Mississippi downstream from Fort Snelling.
Minnesota is geologically quiet today. The state's high point is Eagle Mountain at 2,301 feet, only 13 miles away from the low of 601 feet at the shore of Lake Superior. Notwithstanding dramatic local differences in elevation, much of the state is a rolling peneplain. Two major drainage divides meet in Minnesota's northeast in rural Hibbing, forming a triple watershed. Precipitation can follow the Mississippi River south to the Gulf of Mexico, the Saint Lawrence Seaway east to the Atlantic Ocean, or the Hudson Bay watershed to the Arctic Ocean; the state's nickname, "Land of 10,000 Lakes", is apt, as there are 11,842 Minnesota lakes over 10 acres in size. Minnesota's portion of Lake Superior is the largest at 962,700 acres and deepest body of wate
Washington, D. C. formally the District of Columbia and referred to as Washington or D. C. is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father; as the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually; the signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. The U. S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the U. S. Congress, the District is therefore not a part of any state; the states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria.
The City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land ceded by Virginia. Washington had an estimated population of 702,455 as of July 2018, making it the 20th most populous city in the United States. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. Washington's metropolitan area, the country's sixth largest, had a 2017 estimated population of 6.2 million residents. All three branches of the U. S. federal government are centered in the District: Congress and the U. S. Supreme Court. Washington is home to many national monuments, museums situated on or around the National Mall; the city hosts 177 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profit, lobbying groups, professional associations, including the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, AARP, the National Geographic Society, the Human Rights Campaign, the International Finance Corporation, the American Red Cross.
A locally elected mayor and a 13‑member council have governed the District since 1973. However, Congress may overturn local laws. D. C. residents elect a non-voting, at-large congressional delegate to the House of Representatives, but the District has no representation in the Senate. The District receives three electoral votes in presidential elections as permitted by the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1961. Various tribes of the Algonquian-speaking Piscataway people inhabited the lands around the Potomac River when Europeans first visited the area in the early 17th century. One group known as the Nacotchtank maintained settlements around the Anacostia River within the present-day District of Columbia. Conflicts with European colonists and neighboring tribes forced the relocation of the Piscataway people, some of whom established a new settlement in 1699 near Point of Rocks, Maryland. In his Federalist No. 43, published January 23, 1788, James Madison argued that the new federal government would need authority over a national capital to provide for its own maintenance and safety.
Five years earlier, a band of unpaid soldiers besieged Congress while its members were meeting in Philadelphia. Known as the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, the event emphasized the need for the national government not to rely on any state for its own security. Article One, Section Eight, of the Constitution permits the establishment of a "District as may, by cession of particular states, the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States". However, the Constitution does not specify a location for the capital. In what is now known as the Compromise of 1790, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson came to an agreement that the federal government would pay each state's remaining Revolutionary War debts in exchange for establishing the new national capital in the southern United States. On July 9, 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, which approved the creation of a national capital on the Potomac River; the exact location was to be selected by President George Washington, who signed the bill into law on July 16.
Formed from land donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia, the initial shape of the federal district was a square measuring 10 miles on each side, totaling 100 square miles. Two pre-existing settlements were included in the territory: the port of Georgetown, founded in 1751, the city of Alexandria, founded in 1749. During 1791–92, Andrew Ellicott and several assistants, including a free African American astronomer named Benjamin Banneker, surveyed the borders of the federal district and placed boundary stones at every mile point. Many of the stones are still standing. A new federal city was constructed on the north bank of the Potomac, to the east of Georgetown. On September 9, 1791, the three commissioners overseeing the capital's construction named the city in honor of President Washington; the federal district was named Columbia, a poetic name for the United States in use at that time. Congress held its first session in Washington on November 17, 1800. Congress passed the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 that organized the District and placed the entire territory under the exclusive control of the federal