United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The legislature consists of two chambers: the House of the Senate; the Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D. C.. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment. Congress has 535 voting members: 100 senators; the House of Representatives has six non-voting members representing Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U. S. Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia in addition to its 435 voting members. Although they cannot vote in the full house, these members can address the house and vote in congressional committees, introduce legislation; the members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms representing the people of a single constituency, known as a "district". Congressional districts are apportioned to states by population using the United States Census results, provided that each state has at least one congressional representative.
Each state, regardless of population or size, has two senators. There are 100 senators representing the 50 states; each senator is elected at-large in their state for a six-year term, with terms staggered, so every two years one-third of the Senate is up for election. To be eligible for election, a candidate must be aged at least 25 or 30, have been a citizen of the United States for seven or nine years, be an inhabitant of the state which they represent; the Congress was created by the Constitution of the United States and first met in 1789, replacing in its legislative function the Congress of the Confederation. Although not mandated, in practice since the 19th century, Congress members are affiliated with the Republican Party or with the Democratic Party and only with a third party or independents. Article One of the United States Constitution states, "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives."
The House and Senate are equal partners in the legislative process—legislation cannot be enacted without the consent of both chambers. However, the Constitution grants each chamber some unique powers; the Senate ratifies treaties and approves presidential appointments while the House initiates revenue-raising bills. The House initiates impeachment cases. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required before an impeached person can be forcibly removed from office; the term Congress can refer to a particular meeting of the legislature. A Congress covers two years; the Congress ends on the third day of January of every odd-numbered year. Members of the Senate are referred to as senators. Scholar and representative Lee H. Hamilton asserted that the "historic mission of Congress has been to maintain freedom" and insisted it was a "driving force in American government" and a "remarkably resilient institution". Congress is the "heart and soul of our democracy", according to this view though legislators achieve the prestige or name recognition of presidents or Supreme Court justices.
One analyst argues that it is not a reactive institution but has played an active role in shaping government policy and is extraordinarily sensitive to public pressure. Several academics described Congress: Congress reflects us in all our strengths and all our weaknesses, it reflects our regional idiosyncrasies, our ethnic and racial diversity, our multitude of professions, our shadings of opinion on everything from the value of war to the war over values. Congress is the government's most representative body... Congress is charged with reconciling our many points of view on the great public policy issues of the day. Congress is changing and is in flux. In recent times, the American south and west have gained House seats according to demographic changes recorded by the census and includes more minorities and women although both groups are still underrepresented. While power balances among the different parts of government continue to change, the internal structure of Congress is important to understand along with its interactions with so-called intermediary institutions such as political parties, civic associations, interest groups, the mass media.
The Congress of the United States serves two distinct purposes that overlap: local representation to the federal government of a congressional district by representatives and a state's at-large representation to the federal government by senators. Most incumbents seek re-election, their historical likelihood of winning subsequent elections exceeds 90 percent; the historical records of the House of Representatives and the Senate are maintained by the Center for Legislative Archives, a part of the National Archives and Records Administration. Congress is directly responsible for the governing of the District of Columbia, the current seat of the federal government; the First Continental Congress was a gathering of representatives from twelve of the thirteen British Colonies in North America. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, referring to the new nation as the "United States of America"; the Articles of Confederation in 1781 created the Congress of the Confederation, a
Brooklyn is the most populous borough of New York City, with an estimated 2,648,771 residents in 2017. Named after the Dutch village of Breukelen, it borders the borough of Queens at the western end of Long Island. Brooklyn has several bridge and tunnel connections to the borough of Manhattan across the East River, the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connects Staten Island. Since 1896, Brooklyn has been coterminous with Kings County, the most populous county in the U. S. state of New York and the second-most densely populated county in the United States, after New York County. With a land area of 71 square miles and water area of 26 square miles, Kings County is New York state's fourth-smallest county by land area and third-smallest by total area, though it is the second-largest among the city's five boroughs. Today, if each borough were ranked as a city, Brooklyn would rank as the third-most populous in the U. S. after Los Angeles and Chicago. Brooklyn was an independent incorporated city until January 1, 1898, after a long political campaign and public relations battle during the 1890s, according to the new Municipal Charter of "Greater New York", Brooklyn was consolidated with the other cities and counties to form the modern City of New York, surrounding the Upper New York Bay with five constituent boroughs.
The borough continues, however. Many Brooklyn neighborhoods are ethnic enclaves. Brooklyn's official motto, displayed on the Borough seal and flag, is Eendraght Maeckt Maght, which translates from early modern Dutch as "Unity makes strength". In the first decades of the 21st century, Brooklyn has experienced a renaissance as an avant garde destination for hipsters, with concomitant gentrification, dramatic house price increases, a decrease in housing affordability. Since the 2010s, Brooklyn has evolved into a thriving hub of entrepreneurship and high technology startup firms, of postmodern art and design; the name Brooklyn is derived from the original Dutch colonial name Breuckelen, meaning marshland. Established in 1646, the name first appeared in print in 1663; the Dutch colonists named it after the scenic town of Netherlands. Over the past two millennia, the name of the ancient town in Holland has been Bracola, Brocckede, Brocklandia, Broikelen and Breukelen; the New Amsterdam settlement of Breuckelen went through many spelling variations, including Breucklyn, Brucklyn, Brookland, Brockland and Brookline/Brook-line.
There have been so many variations of the name. The final name of Brooklyn, however, is the most accurate to its meaning; the history of European settlement in Brooklyn spans more than 350 years. The settlement began in the 17th century as the small Dutch-founded town of "Breuckelen" on the East River shore of Long Island, grew to be a sizeable city in the 19th century, was consolidated in 1898 with New York City, the remaining rural areas of Kings County, the rural areas of Queens and Staten Island, to form the modern City of New York; the etymology of Breuckelen may be directly from the dialect word Breuckelen meaning buckle or from the Plattdeutsch Brücken meaning bridge. The Dutch were the first Europeans to settle Long Island's western edge, largely inhabited by the Lenape, an Algonquian-speaking American Indian tribe who are referred to in colonial documents by a variation of the place name "Canarsie". Bands were associated with place names, but the colonists thought their names represented different tribes.
The Breuckelen settlement was named after Breukelen in the Netherlands. The Dutch West India Company lost little time in chartering the six original parishes: Gravesend: in 1645, settled under Dutch patent by English followers of Anabaptist Lady Deborah Moody, named for's-Gravenzande, Netherlands, or Gravesend, England Brooklyn Heights: as Breuckelen in 1646, after the town now spelled Breukelen, Netherlands. Breuckelen was located along Fulton Street between Smith Street. Brooklyn Heights, or Clover Hill, is where the village Brooklyn was founded in 1816. Flatlands: as Nieuw Amersfoort in 1647 Flatbush: as Midwout in 1652 Nieuw Utrecht: in 1657, after the city of Utrecht, Netherlands Bushwick: as Boswijck in 1661 The colony's capital of New Amsterdam, across the East River, obtained its charter in 1653 than the village of Brooklyn; the neighborhood of Marine Park was home to North America's first tide mill. It was built by the Dutch, the foundation can be seen today, but the area was not formally settled as a town.
Many incidents and documents relating to this period are in Gabriel Furman's 1824 compilation. What is Brooklyn today left Dutch hands after the final English conquest of New Netherland in 1664, a prelude to the Second Anglo–Dutch War. New Netherland was taken in a naval action, the conquerors renamed their prize in honor of the overall English naval commander, Duke of York, brother of the monarch King Charles II of England and future king himself as King James II of England and James VII of Scotland; the English reorganized the six old Dutch towns on southwestern Long Island as Kings County on November 1, 1683, one of the "original twelve counties" established in New York Pro
Philadelphia, sometimes known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U. S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the sixth-most populous U. S. city, with a 2017 census-estimated population of 1,580,863. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U. S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis; the Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States. William Penn, an English Quaker, founded the city in 1682 to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony. Philadelphia played an instrumental role in the American Revolution as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 at the Second Continental Congress, the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787.
Several other key events occurred in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War including the First Continental Congress, the preservation of the Liberty Bell, the Battle of Germantown, the Siege of Fort Mifflin. Philadelphia was one of the nation's capitals during the revolution, served as temporary U. S. capital while Washington, D. C. was under construction. In the 19th century, Philadelphia became a railroad hub; the city grew from an influx of European immigrants, most of whom came from Ireland and Germany—the three largest reported ancestry groups in the city as of 2015. In the early 20th century, Philadelphia became a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration after the Civil War, as well as Puerto Ricans; the city's population doubled from one million to two million people between 1890 and 1950. The Philadelphia area's many universities and colleges make it a top study destination, as the city has evolved into an educational and economic hub. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Philadelphia area had a gross domestic product of US$445 billion in 2017, the eighth-largest metropolitan economy in the United States.
Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania and is home to five Fortune 1000 companies. The Philadelphia skyline is expanding, with a market of 81,900 commercial properties in 2016, including several nationally prominent skyscrapers. Philadelphia has more outdoor murals than any other American city. Fairmount Park, when combined with the adjacent Wissahickon Valley Park in the same watershed, is one of the largest contiguous urban park areas in the United States; the city is known for its arts, culture and colonial history, attracting 42 million domestic tourists in 2016 who spent US$6.8 billion, generating an estimated $11 billion in total economic impact in the city and surrounding four counties of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia has emerged as a biotechnology hub. Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps, is the home of many U. S. firsts, including the first library, medical school, national capital, stock exchange and business school. Philadelphia contains 67 National Historic Landmarks and the World Heritage Site of Independence Hall.
The city became a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in 2015, as the first World Heritage City in the United States. Although Philadelphia is undergoing gentrification, the city maintains mitigation strategies to minimize displacement of homeowners in gentrifying neighborhoods. Before Europeans arrived, the Philadelphia area was home to the Lenape Indians in the village of Shackamaxon; the Lenape are a Native American tribe and First Nations band government. They are called Delaware Indians, their historical territory was along the Delaware River watershed, western Long Island, the Lower Hudson Valley. Most Lenape were pushed out of their Delaware homeland during the 18th century by expanding European colonies, exacerbated by losses from intertribal conflicts. Lenape communities were weakened by newly introduced diseases smallpox, violent conflict with Europeans. Iroquois people fought the Lenape. Surviving Lenape moved west into the upper Ohio River basin; the American Revolutionary War and United States' independence pushed them further west.
In the 1860s, the United States government sent most Lenape remaining in the eastern United States to the Indian Territory under the Indian removal policy. In the 21st century, most Lenape reside in Oklahoma, with some communities living in Wisconsin, in their traditional homelands. Europeans came to the Delaware Valley in the early 17th century, with the first settlements founded by the Dutch, who in 1623 built Fort Nassau on the Delaware River opposite the Schuylkill River in what is now Brooklawn, New Jersey; the Dutch considered the entire Delaware River valley to be part of their New Netherland colony. In 1638, Swedish settlers led by renegade Dutch established the colony of New Sweden at Fort Christina and spread out in the valley. In 1644, New Sweden supported the Susquehannocks in their military defeat of the English colony of Maryland. In 1648, the Dutch built Fort Beversreede on the west bank of the Delaware, south of the Schuylkill near the present-day Eastwick neighborhood, to reassert their dominion over the area.
The Swedes responded by building Fort Nya Korsholm, or New Korsholm, named after a town in Finland with a Swedish majority. In 1655, a
Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. It is the center of the Greater Richmond Region. Richmond was incorporated in 1742 and has been an independent city since 1871; as of the 2010 census, the city's population was 204,214. The Richmond Metropolitan Area has a population of 1,260,029, the third-most populous metro in the state. Richmond is located at the fall line of the James River, 44 miles west of Williamsburg, 66 miles east of Charlottesville, 100 miles east of Lynchburg and 90 miles south of Washington, D. C. Surrounded by Henrico and Chesterfield counties, the city is located at the intersections of Interstate 95 and Interstate 64, encircled by Interstate 295, Virginia State Route 150 and Virginia State Route 288. Major suburbs include Midlothian to the southwest, Chesterfield to the south, Varina to the southeast, Sandston to the east, Glen Allen to the north and west, Short Pump to the west and Mechanicsville to the northeast; the site of Richmond had been an important village of the Powhatan Confederacy, was settled by English colonists from Jamestown in 1609, in 1610–1611.
The present city of Richmond was founded in 1737. It became Dominion of Virginia in 1780, replacing Williamsburg. During the Revolutionary War period, several notable events occurred in the city, including Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death" speech in 1775 at St. John's Church, the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom written by Thomas Jefferson. During the American Civil War, Richmond served as the second and permanent capital of the Confederate States of America; the city entered the 20th century with one of the world's first successful electric streetcar systems. The Jackson Ward neighborhood is a national hub of African-American culture. Richmond's economy is driven by law and government, with federal and local governmental agencies, as well as notable legal and banking firms, located in the downtown area; the city is home to both the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, one of 13 United States courts of appeals, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, one of 12 Federal Reserve Banks.
Dominion Energy and WestRock, Fortune 500 companies, are headquartered in the city, with others in the metropolitan area. After the first permanent English-speaking settlement was established in April 1607, at Jamestown, Captain Christopher Newport led explorers northwest up the James River, to an area, inhabited by Powhatan Native Americans; the earliest European settlement in the Central Virginia area was in 1611 at Henricus, where the Falling Creek empties into the James River. In 1619, early Virginia Company settlers struggling to establish viable moneymaking industries established the Falling Creek Ironworks. After decades of territorial conflicts with native tribes, the Falls of the James became more to white settlement in the late 1600s and early 1700s. In 1737, planter William Byrd II commissioned Major William Mayo to lay out the original town grid. Byrd named the city "Richmond" after the English town of Richmond near London, because the view of the James River was strikingly similar to the view of the River Thames from Richmond Hill in England, where he had spent time during his youth.
The settlement was laid out in April 1737, was incorporated as a town in 1742. In 1775, Patrick Henry delivered his famous "Give me Liberty or Give me Death" speech in St. John's Church in Richmond, crucial for deciding Virginia's participation in the First Continental Congress and setting the course for revolution and independence. On April 18, 1780, the state capital was moved from the colonial capital of Williamsburg to Richmond, to provide a more centralized location for Virginia's increasing westerly population, as well as to isolate the capital from British attack; the latter motive proved to be in vain, in 1781, under the command of Benedict Arnold, Richmond was burned by British troops, causing Governor Thomas Jefferson to flee as the Virginia militia, led by Sampson Mathews, defended the city. Richmond recovered from the war, by 1782 was once again a thriving city. In 1786, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was passed at the temporary capitol in Richmond, providing the basis for the separation of church and state, a key element in the development of the freedom of religion in the United States.
A permanent home for the new government, the Greek Revival style of the Virginia State Capitol building, was designed by Thomas Jefferson with the assistance of Charles-Louis Clérisseau, was completed in 1788. After the American Revolutionary War, Richmond emerged as an important industrial center. To facilitate the transfer of cargo from the flat-bottomed James River bateaux above the fall line to the ocean-faring ships below, an enterprising George Washington helped design the James River and Kanawha Canal from Westham east to Richmond, in the 18th century to bypass Richmond's rapids on the upper James River with the intent of providing a water route across the Appalachian Mountains to the Kanawha River flowing westward into the Ohio eventually to the Mississippi River; the legacy of the canal boatmen is represented by the figure in the center of the city flag. As a result of this and ample access to hydropower due to the falls, Richmond became home to some of the largest manufacturing facilities in the country, including iron works and flour mills, the largest facilities of their kind in The South.
The resistance to the s
Campania is a region in Southern Italy. As of 2018, the region has a population of around 5,820,000 people, making it the third-most-populous region of Italy. Located on the Italian Peninsula, with the Mediterranean Sea to the west, it includes the small Phlegraean Islands and Capri for administration as part of the region. Campania was part of Magna Græcia. During the Roman era, the area maintained a Greco-Roman culture; the capital city of Campania is Naples. Campania is rich in culture in regard to gastronomy, architecture and ancient sites such as Pompeii, Oplontis, Aeclanum and Velia; the name of Campania itself is derived from Latin, as the Romans knew the region as Campania felix, which translates into English as "fertile countryside" or "happy countryside". The rich natural sights of Campania make it important in the tourism industry along the Amalfi Coast, Mount Vesuvius and the island of Capri; the original inhabitants of Campania were three defined groups of the Ancient peoples of Italy, who all spoke the Oscan language, part of the Italic family.
During the 8th century BC, people from Euboea in Greece, known as Cumaeans, began to establish colonies in the area around the modern day province of Naples. Another Oscan tribe, the Samnites, moved down from central Italy into Campania. Since the Samnites were more warlike than the Campanians, they took over the cities of Capua and Cumae, in an area, one of the most prosperous and fertile in the Italian Peninsula at the time. During the 340s BC, the Samnites were engaged in a war with the Roman Republic in a dispute known as the Samnite Wars, with the Romans securing rich pastures of northern Campania during the First Samnite War; the major remaining independent Greek settlement was Neapolis, when the town was captured by the Samnites, the Neapolitans were left with no other option than to call on the Romans, with whom they established an alliance, setting off the Second Samnite War. The Roman consul Quintus Publilius Filo recaptured Neapolis by 326 BC and allowed it to remain a Greek city with some autonomy as a civitas foederata while aligned with Rome.
The Second Samnite War ended with the Romans controlling southern Campania and additional regions further to the south. Campania was a full-fledged part of the Roman Republic by the end of the 4th century BC, valued for its pastures and rich countryside, its Greek language and customs made it a centre of Hellenistic civilization, creating the first traces of Greco-Roman culture. During the Pyrrhic War the battle took place in Campania at Maleventum in which the Romans, led by consul Curius Dentatus, were victorious, they renamed the city Beneventum, which grew in stature until it was second only to Capua in southern Italy. During the Second Punic War in 216 BC, Capua, in a bid for equality with Rome, allied with Carthage; the rebellious Capuans were isolated from the rest of Campania. Naples resisted Hannibal due to the imposing walls. Capua was starved into submission in the Roman retaking of 211 BC, the Romans were victorious; the rest of Campania, with the exception of Naples, adopted the Latin language as official and was Romanised.
As part of the Roman Empire, with Latium, formed the most important region of the Augustan divisions of Italia. In ancient times Misenum, at the extreme northern end of the bay of Naples, was the largest base of the Roman navy, since its port was the base of the Classis Misenensis, the most important Roman fleet, it was first established as a naval base in 27 BC by Marcus Agrippa, the right-hand man of the emperor Augustus. Roman Emperors chose Campania as a holiday destination, among them Claudius and Tiberius, the latter of whom is infamously linked to the island of Capri, it was during this period that Christianity came to Campania. Two of the apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul, are said to have preached in the city of Naples, there were several martyrs during this time; the period of relative calm was violently interrupted by the epic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 which buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. With the Decline of the Roman Empire, its last emperor, Romulus Augustus, was put in a manor house prison near Castel dell'Ovo, Naples, in 476, ushering in the beginning of the Middle Ages and a period of uncertainty in regard to the future of the area.
The area had many duchies and principalities during the Middle Ages, in the hands of the Byzantine Empire and the Lombards. Under the Normans, the smaller independent states were brought together as part of the Kingdom of Sicily, before the mainland broke away to form the Kingdom of Naples, it was during this period that elements of Spanish and Aragonese culture were introduced to Campania. After a period as a Norman kingdom, the Kingdom of Sicily passed to the Hohenstaufens, who were a powerful Germanic royal house of Swabian origins; the University of Naples Federico II was founded by Frederick II in the city, the oldest state university in the world, making Naples the intellectual centre of the kingdom. Conflict between the Hohenstaufen house and the Papacy, led in 1266 to Pope Innocent IV crowning Angevin Dynasty duke Charles I as the king. Charles moved the capital from Palermo to Naples where he resided at the Castel Nuovo. During this period, much Gothic architec
Conrad Wise Chapman
Conrad Wise Chapman was a soldier and an artist known for his paintings of Confederate battlements surrounding Charleston Harbor. Chapman was born in Washington, D. C. and grew up in Europe where John Gadsby Chapman, was working as an artist. In 1861, he enlisted in Company D, Third Kentucky Infantry, Confederate, he was wounded in Shiloh along with seeing action in Mississippi and Louisiana, before a transfer to the 46th Virginia Infantry at the request of his father to Henry Alexander Wise. Over the next 10 months, he served with the 59th Virginia Infantry, known as the Wise Legion or Wise Brigade, with both the 46th and 59th at Chaffin's Farm on the James River in Henrico County. In September 1863, the Wise Brigade was ordered south to take part in the defence of Charleston, South Carolina. Chapman was commissioned to create thirty one paintings of the city's defenses by Brig. Gen. Thomas Jordan, chief of staff to commanding Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard; this was part of a campaign by Beauregard to increase support for his ideas about the defense of the harbor in the Confederate government.
Chapman served in the city from early September 1863 to March 1864. He intended to paint the entire series in Charleston, but having received word of his mother's illness, Chapman was granted furlough in April 1864 and left for Rome, Italy to visit his family, it is there that he painted 25 works—with five done by his father—from sketches he made in Charleston. After the end of the war, unable to reconcile to the Confederacy's loss, Conrad traveled to Mexico, where he painted a series of views of the Valley of Mexico, he spent time in France and England. In 1898, his entire collection of paintings went on view at the Union League Club in New York, where they attracted attention, but no buyers, he moved his family to Richmond where the following year he sold 31 paintings to Confederate Memorial Literary Society, which became the Museum of the Confederacy and is now the American Civil War Museum. Conrad created art. While there were several artists on the Union side who captured the war in painting, which were active, this was not the case on the Confederate side.
His works may be the only set of battle subjects painted by a Confederate army artist during the war. Chapman, Conrad Wise, Ben L. Bassham. Ten Months in the "Orphan Brigade": Conrad Wise Chapman's Civil War Memoir. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1999. ISBN 0873386388 OCLC 40359330 Chapman, Conrad Wise, Ben L. Bassham, Ruben Charles Cordova. Conrad Wise Chapman: Mexican light, 1865-1910. Nueva York: Galería Ramis Barquet, 2005. OCLC 62190341 Stevenson, Lauralee Trent. Confederate Soldier Artists: Painting the South's War. Shippensburg, PA: White Mane Pub, 1998. ISBN 157249073X OCLC 37903532
United States Capitol rotunda
The United States Capitol rotunda is the central rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D. C. built 1818–1824. It is located below the Capitol dome, built 1857–1866, it is the tallest part of the Capitol and has been described as its "symbolic and physical heart." The rotunda is connected by corridors leading south to the House of Representatives and north to the Senate chambers. To the immediate south is the semi-circular National Statuary Hall, the House of Representatives chamber until 1857. To the northeast is the Old Senate Chamber, used by the Senate until 1859 and by the Supreme Court until 1935; the rotunda is 96 feet in diameter, rises 48 feet to the top of its original walls and 180 feet 3 inches to the canopy of the dome, is visited by thousands of people each day. It is used for ceremonial events authorized by concurrent resolution, including the lying in state of honored dead; the doctor and architect William Thornton was the winner of the contest to design the Capitol in 1793.
Thornton had first conceived the idea of a central rotunda. However, due to lack of funds or resources, oft-interrupted construction, the British attack on Washington during the War of 1812, work on the rotunda did not begin until 1818; the rotunda was completed in 1824 under Architect of the Capitol Charles Bulfinch, as part of a series of new buildings and projects in preparation for the final visit of Marquis de Lafayette in 1824. The rotunda was designed in the neoclassical style and was intended to evoke the design of the Pantheon; the sandstone rotunda walls rise 48 feet above the floor. Walter, the fourth Architect of the Capitol. Walter had designed the Capitol's north and south extensions. Work on the dome began in 1856, in 1859, Walter redesigned the rotunda to consist of an inner and outer dome, with a canopy suspended between them that would be visible through an oculus at the top of the inner dome. In 1862, Walter asked painter Constantino Brumidi to design "a picture 65 feet in diameter, painted in fresco, on the concave canopy over the eye of the New Dome of the U.
S. Capitol." At this time, Brumidi may have added a watercolor canopy design over Walter's tentative 1859 sketch. The dome was being finished in the middle of the American Civil War and was constructed from fireproof cast iron. During the Civil War, the rotunda was used as a military hospital for Union soldiers; the dome was completed in 1866. The crypt had an open ceiling into the rotunda. Visitors can still see the holes in the stone circle that marked the rim of the open space in the rotunda floor. Underneath the floor of the crypt lies a tomb, the intended burial place for George Washington but after a lengthy battle with his estate and the state of Virginia the plans for him to be buried in the crypt were abandoned. In January 2013, the Architect of the Capitol announced a four-year, $10 million project to repair and conserve the Capitol Dome's exterior and the Capitol rotunda; the proposal required the stripping of lead paint from the interior of the dome, repair to the ironwork, repainting of the interior of the dome, rehabilitation of the interstitial space between the dome and rotunda, installation of new lighting in the interstitial space and the rotunda.
The dome and rotunda, which were last conserved in 1960, were showing significant signs of rust and disrepair. There was a danger that decorative ironwork could have fallen from the rotunda to the space below, that weather-related problems could damage the artwork in the rotunda. Without immediate repair, safety netting was installed, temporarily blocking the rotunda's artwork from view. Eight niches in the rotunda hold framed historical paintings. All measure 12 by 18 feet. Four of these are scenes from the American Revolution, painted by John Trumbull, commissioned by Congress to do the work in 1817; these are Declaration of Independence, Surrender of General Burgoyne, Surrender of Lord Cornwallis, General George Washington Resigning His Commission. These were placed between 1819 and 1824. Between 1840 and 1855, four more paintings were added; these were all done by different artists. These paintings are Landing of Columbus by John Vanderlyn, Discovery of the Mississippi by William Henry Powell, Baptism of Pocahontas by John Gadsby Chapman, Embarkation of the Pilgrims by Robert Walter Weir.
The Apotheosis of Washington is a large fresco by Greek-Italian Constantino Brumidi, visible through the oculus of the dome of the rotunda. The fresco depicts George Washington sitting exalted amongst the heavens, it covers an area of 4,664 square feet. The Frieze of American History is painted to appear as a carved stone bas-relief frieze but is a trompe-l'œil fresco cycle depicting 19 scenes from American history; the "frieze" occupies a band below the 36 windows. Brumidi designed the frieze and prepared a sketch in 1859 but did not begin painting until 1878. Brumidi painted seven and a half scenes. While working on William Penn and the Indians, Brumidi fell off the scaffolding and held on to a rail for 15 minutes until he was rescued, he died a few months in 1880. After Brumidi's death, Filippo Costaggini was commissioned to complete the eight and a half remaining scenes in Brumidi's sketches, he left a 31-foot gap due to an error in Brumidi's original design. In 1951, Allyn Cox completed the frieze.
Except for the last three panels named by Allyn Cox, the scenes have no partic