Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii. There are over 500 federally recognized tribes within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations; the term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives, while Native Americans are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. Native Hawaiians are not counted as Native Americans by the US Census, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander"; the ancestors of modern Native Americans arrived in what is now the United States at least 15,000 years ago much earlier, from Asia via Beringia. A vast variety of peoples and cultures subsequently developed. Native Americans were affected by the European colonization of the Americas, which began in 1492, their population declined precipitously due to introduced diseases as well as warfare, territorial confiscation and slavery.
After the founding of the United States, many Native American peoples were subjected to warfare and one-sided treaties, they continued to suffer from discriminatory government policies into the 20th century. Since the 1960s, Native American self-determination movements have resulted in changes to the lives of Native Americans, though there are still many contemporary issues faced by Native Americans. Today, there are over five million Native Americans in the United States, 78% of whom live outside reservations; when the United States was created, established Native American tribes were considered semi-independent nations, as they lived in communities separate from British settlers. The federal government signed treaties at a government-to-government level until the Indian Appropriations Act of 1871 ended recognition of independent native nations, started treating them as "domestic dependent nations" subject to federal law; this law did preserve the rights and privileges agreed to under the treaties, including a large degree of tribal sovereignty.
For this reason, many Native American reservations are still independent of state law and actions of tribal citizens on these reservations are subject only to tribal courts and federal law. The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 granted U. S. citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States. This emptied the "Indians not taxed" category established by the United States Constitution, allowed natives to vote in state and federal elections, extended the Fourteenth Amendment protections granted to people "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States. However, some states continued to deny Native Americans voting rights for several decades. Bill of Rights protections do not apply to tribal governments, except for those mandated by the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968. Since the end of the 15th century, the migration of Europeans to the Americas has led to centuries of population and agricultural transfer and adjustment between Old and New World societies, a process known as the Columbian exchange.
As most Native American groups had preserved their histories by oral traditions and artwork, the first written sources of the conflict were written by Europeans. Ethnographers classify the indigenous peoples of North America into ten geographical regions with shared cultural traits, called cultural areas; some scholars combine the Plateau and Great Basin regions into the Intermontane West, some separate Prairie peoples from Great Plains peoples, while some separate Great Lakes tribes from the Northeastern Woodlands. The ten cultural areas are as follows: Arctic, including Aleut and Yupik peoples Subarctic Northeastern Woodlands Southeastern Woodlands Great Plains Great Basin Northwest Plateau Northwest Coast California Southwest At the time of the first contact, the indigenous cultures were quite different from those of the proto-industrial and Christian immigrants; some Northeastern and Southwestern cultures, in particular, were matrilineal and operated on a more collective basis than that with which Europeans were familiar.
The majority of Indigenous American tribes maintained their hunting grounds and agricultural lands for use of the entire tribe. Europeans at that time had patriarchal cultures and had developed concepts of individual property rights with respect to land that were different; the differences in cultures between the established Native Americans and immigrant Europeans, as well as shifting alliances among different nations in times of war, caused extensive political tension, ethnic violence, social disruption. Before the European settlement of what is now the United States, Native Americans suffered high fatalities from contact with new European diseases, to which they had not yet acquired immunity. Smallpox epidemics are thought to have caused the greatest loss of life for indigenous populations. William M Denevan, noted author and Professor Emeritus of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said on this subject in his essay "The Pristine Myth: The Landscape of the Americas in 1492".
Old World diseases were the primary killer. In many regions the tropical lowlands, populations fell by 90 percent or more in the first century after the contact. "Estimates of the pre-Columbian population of what today constitutes the U. S. vary ranging from William M Denevan's 3.8 million in his 1992 w
Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. The state's name, originates from the Ojibwe word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake". With a population of about 10 million, Michigan is the tenth most populous of the 50 United States, with the 11th most extensive total area, is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River, its capital is Lansing, its largest city is Detroit. Metro Detroit is among the nation's largest metropolitan economies. Michigan is the only state to consist of two peninsulas; the Lower Peninsula is noted as shaped like a mitten. The Upper Peninsula is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile channel that joins Lake Huron to Lake Michigan; the Mackinac Bridge connects the peninsulas. The state has the longest freshwater coastline of any political subdivision in the world, being bounded by four of the five Great Lakes, plus Lake Saint Clair; as a result, it is one of the leading U.
S. states for recreational boating. Michigan has 64,980 inland lakes and ponds. A person in the state is never more than six miles from a natural water source or more than 85 miles from a Great Lakes shoreline; the area was first occupied by a succession of Native American tribes over thousands of years. Inhabited by Natives, Métis, French explorers in the 17th century, it was claimed as part of New France colony. After France's defeat in the French and Indian War in 1762, the region came under British rule. Britain ceded this territory to the newly independent United States after Britain's defeat in the American Revolutionary War; the area was part of the larger Northwest Territory until 1800, when western Michigan became part of the Indiana Territory. Michigan Territory was formed in 1805, but some of the northern border with Canada was not agreed upon until after the War of 1812. Michigan was admitted into the Union in 1837 as a free one, it soon became an important center of industry and trade in the Great Lakes region and a popular immigrant destination in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Although Michigan developed a diverse economy, it is known as the center of the U. S. automotive industry, which developed as a major economic force in the early 20th century. It is home to the country's three major automobile companies. While sparsely populated, the Upper Peninsula is important for tourism thanks to its abundance of natural resources, while the Lower Peninsula is a center of manufacturing, agriculture and high-tech industry; when the first European explorers arrived, the most populous tribes were Algonquian peoples, which include the Anishinaabe groups of Ojibwe, Odaawaa/Odawa, the Boodewaadamii/Bodéwadmi. The three nations co-existed peacefully as part of a loose confederation called the Council of Three Fires; the Ojibwe, whose numbers are estimated to have been between 25,000 and 35,000, were the largest. The Ojibwe were established in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and northern and central Michigan, inhabited Ontario and southern Manitoba, Canada; the Ottawa lived south of the Straits of Mackinac in northern and southern Michigan, but in southern Ontario, northern Ohio and eastern Wisconsin.
The Potawatomi were in southern and western Michigan, in addition to northern and central Indiana, northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, southern Ontario. Other Algonquian tribes in Michigan, in the south and east, were the Mascouten, the Menominee, the Miami, the Sac, the Fox; the Wyandot were an Iroquoian-speaking people in this area. French voyageurs and coureurs des bois settled in Michigan in the 17th century; the first Europeans to reach what became Michigan were those of Étienne Brûlé's expedition in 1622. The first permanent European settlement was founded in 1668 on the site where Père Jacques Marquette established Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan as a base for Catholic missions. Missionaries in 1671–75 founded outlying stations at Saint Ignace and Marquette. Jesuit missionaries were well received by the area's Indian populations, with few difficulties or hostilities. In 1679, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle built Fort Miami at present-day St. Joseph. In 1691, the French established a trading post and Fort St. Joseph along the St. Joseph River at the present-day city of Niles.
In 1701, French explorer and army officer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit or "Fort Pontchartrain on-the-Strait" on the strait, known as the Detroit River, between lakes Saint Clair and Erie. Cadillac had convinced King Louis XIV's chief minister, Louis Phélypeaux, Comte de Pontchartrain, that a permanent community there would strengthen French control over the upper Great Lakes and discourage British aspirations; the hundred soldiers and workers who accompanied Cadillac built a fort enclosing one arpent and named it Fort Pontchartrain. Cadillac's wife, Marie Thérèse Guyon, soon moved to Detroit, becoming one of the first European women to settle in what was considered the wilderness of Michigan; the town became a major fur-trading and shipping post. The Église de Saint-Anne was founded the same year. While the original building does not survive, the congregation remains active. Cadillac departed to serve as the French governor of Louisiana from 1710 to 1716.
French attempts to consol
United States Constitution
The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States. The Constitution comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government, its first three articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress. Articles Four and Six embody concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments, the states in relationship to the federal government, the shared process of constitutional amendment. Article Seven establishes the procedure subsequently used by the thirteen States to ratify it, it is regarded as the oldest codified national constitution in force. Since the Constitution came into force in 1789, it has been amended 27 times, including an amendment to repeal a previous one, in order to meet the needs of a nation that has profoundly changed since the eighteenth century. In general, the first ten amendments, known collectively as the Bill of Rights, offer specific protections of individual liberty and justice and place restrictions on the powers of government.
The majority of the seventeen amendments expand individual civil rights protections. Others modify government processes and procedures. Amendments to the United States Constitution, unlike ones made to many constitutions worldwide, are appended to the document. All four pages of the original U. S. Constitution are written on parchment. According to the United States Senate: "The Constitution's first three words—We the People—affirm that the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens. For over two centuries the Constitution has remained in force because its framers wisely separated and balanced governmental powers to safeguard the interests of majority rule and minority rights, of liberty and equality, of the federal and state governments."The first permanent constitution of its kind, adopted by the people's representatives for an expansive nation, it is interpreted and implemented by a large body of constitutional law, has influenced the constitutions of other nations. From September 5, 1774, to March 1, 1781, the Continental Congress functioned as the provisional government of the United States.
Delegates to the First and the Second Continental Congress were chosen through the action of committees of correspondence in various colonies rather than through the colonial or state legislatures. In no formal sense was it a gathering representative of existing colonial governments; the process of selecting the delegates for the First and Second Continental Congresses underscores the revolutionary role of the people of the colonies in establishing a central governing body. Endowed by the people collectively, the Continental Congress alone possessed those attributes of external sovereignty which entitled it to be called a state in the international sense, while the separate states, exercising a limited or internal sovereignty, may rightly be considered a creation of the Continental Congress, which preceded them and brought them into being; the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was the first constitution of the United States. It was drafted by the Second Continental Congress from mid-1776 through late 1777, ratification by all 13 states was completed by early 1781.
The Articles of Confederation gave little power to the central government. The Confederation Congress lacked enforcement powers. Implementation of most decisions, including modifications to the Articles, required unanimous approval of all thirteen state legislatures. Although, in a way, the Congressional powers in Article 9 made the "league of states as cohesive and strong as any similar sort of republican confederation in history", the chief problem was, in the words of George Washington, "no money"; the Continental Congress could print money but it was worthless. Congress couldn't pay it back. No state paid all their U. S. taxes. Some few paid an amount equal to interest on the national debt no more. No interest was paid on debt owed foreign governments. By 1786, the United States would default on outstanding debts. Internationally, the United States had little ability to defend its sovereignty. Most of the troops in the 625-man United States Army were deployed facing – but not threatening – British forts on American soil.
They had not been paid. Spain closed New Orleans to American commerce. S. officials protested, but to no effect. Barbary pirates began seizing American ships of commerce. If any military crisis required action, the Congress had no credit or taxing power to finance a response. Domestically, the Articles of Confederation was failing to bring unity to the diverse sentiments and interests of the various states. Although the Treaty of Paris was signed between Great Britain and the U. S. and named each of the American states, various states proceeded blithely to violate it. New York and South Carolina prosecuted Loyalists for wartime activity and redistributed their lands. Individual state legislatures independently laid embargoes, negotiated directly with foreign authorities, raised armies, and
Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico
Zuni Pueblo is a census-designated place in McKinley County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 6,302 as of the 2010 Census, it is inhabited by members of the Zuni people. The first contact with Europeans occurred in 1539 in the ancient village of Hawikku when Esteban, an Arab/Berber of Moroccan origin, entered Zuni territory seeking the fabled "Seven Cities of Cibola."It is on the Trails of the Ancients Byway, one of the designated New Mexico Scenic Byways. Zuni Pueblo is located at 35°4′10″N 108°50′48″W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 8.8 square miles, all land. As of the census of 2000, there were 6,367 people, 1,488 households, 1,334 families residing in the CDP; the population density was 720.0 people per square mile. There were 1,622 housing units at an average density of 183.4 per square mile. The racial makeup of the CDP was 97.03% Native American, 2.12% White, 2.01% Hispanic or Latino, 0.03% African American, 0.03% Asian, 0.30% from other races, 0.49% from two or more races.
There were 1,488 households out of which 42.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.1% were married couples living together, 31.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 10.3% were non-families. 9.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 1.5% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.26 and the average family size was 4.54. In the CDP, the population was spread out with 34.7% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 32.3% from 25 to 44, 16.8% from 45 to 64, 6.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.2 males. The median income for a household in the CDP was $22,559, the median income for a family was $22,067. Males had a median income of $18,345 versus $18,635 for females; the per capita income for the CDP was $6,908. About 40.0% of families and 43.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 49.7% of those under age 18 and 41.7% of those age 65 or over.
The area is served by four miles to the west. Zuni Public Schools operates schools serving the community; the Zuni Public Library is located at 27 East Chavez Circle. In 1974 Dr. Lotsee Patterson and Ben Wakashige started a project to help tribal areas establish libraries; the Zuni library opened in 1975. Zuni Indian Reservation Zuni people Pueblo of the Zuni - official site Zuni Department of Tourism Historic photos of Zuni Pueblo, Timothy H. O'Sullivan, photographer American Southwest, a National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
The Zuni are Native American Pueblo peoples native to the Zuni River valley. The current day Zuni are a Federally recognized tribe and most live in the Pueblo of Zuni on the Zuni River, a tributary of the Little Colorado River, in western New Mexico, United States; the Pueblo of Zuni is 55 km south of New Mexico. The Zuni tribe lived in multi level adobe houses. In addition to the reservation, the tribe owns trust lands in Catron County, New Mexico, Apache County, Arizona; the Zuni call their homeland Halona Idiwan' Middle Place. Archaeology suggests that the Zuni have been farmers in their present location for 3,000 to 4,000 years, it is now thought that the Zuni people have inhabited the Zuni River valley since the last millennium B. C. at which time they began using irrigation techniques which allowed for farming maize on at least household-sized plots. More Zuni culture may have been related to both the Mogollon and Ancestral Pueblo peoples cultures, who lived in the deserts of New Mexico, Arizona and southern Colorado for over two millennia.
The "village of the great kiva" near the contemporary Zuni Pueblo was built in the 11th century AD. The Zuni region, was only sparsely populated by small agricultural settlements until the 12th century when the population and the size of the settlements began to increase. In the 14th century, the Zuni inhabited a dozen pueblos between 1,400 rooms in size. All of these pueblos, except Zuni, were abandoned by 1400, over the next 200 years, nine large new pueblos were constructed; these were the "seven cities of Cibola" sought by early Spanish explorers. By 1650, there were only six Zuni villages. In 1539, Moorish slave Estevanico led an advance party of Fray Marcos de Niza's Spanish expedition; the Zuni killed Estevanico as a spy. This was Spain's first contact with any of the Pueblo peoples. Francisco Vásquez de Coronado traveled through Zuni Pueblo; the Spaniards built a mission at Hawikuh in 1629. The Zunis tried to expel the missionaries in 1632, but the Spanish built another mission in Halona in 1643.
Before the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, the Zuni lived in six different villages. After the revolt, until 1692, they took refuge in a defensible position atop Dowa Yalanne, a steep mesa 5 km southeast of the present Pueblo of Zuni. After the establishment of peace and the return of the Spanish, the Zuni relocated to their present location, returning to the mesa top only in 1703; the Zunis were self-sufficient during the mid-19th century, but faced raiding by the Apaches and Plains Indians. Their reservation was recognized by the United States federal government in 1877. Frank Hamilton Cushing, an anthropologist associated with the Smithsonian Institution, lived with the Zuni from 1879 to 1884, he was ethnologists at Zuni. In 1979, however, it was reported that some members of the Pueblo consider he had wrongfully documented the Zuni way of life, exploiting them by photographing and revealing sacred traditions and ceremonies. A controversy during the early 2000s was associated with Zuni opposition to the development of a coal mine near the Zuni Salt Lake, a site considered sacred by the Zuni and under Zuni control.
The mine would have extracted water from the aquifer below the lake and would have involved construction between the lake and the Zuni. The plan was abandoned in 2003 after several lawsuits; the Zuni traditionally speak the Zuni language, a language isolate that has no known relationship to any other Native American language. Linguists believe that the Zuni have maintained the integrity of their language for at least 7,000 years; the Zuni do, share a number of words from Keresan and Pima pertaining to religion and religious observances. The Zuni continue to practice their traditional religion with its regular ceremonies and dances, an independent and unique belief system; the Zuni are a traditional people who live by irrigated agriculture and raising livestock. The Zuni farmed less and turned to sheep and cattle herding as a means of economic development, their success as a desert agri-economy is due to careful management and conservation of resources, as well as a complex system of community support.
Many contemporary Zuni rely on the sale of traditional arts and crafts. Some Zuni still live in the old-style Pueblos, their location is isolated, but they welcome respectful tourists. The Zuni Tribal Fair and rodeo is held the third weekend in August; the Zuni participate in the Gallup Inter-Tribal Ceremonial held in early or mid-August. The A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center is a tribal museum that showcases Zuni history and arts; the Zuni utilize many local plants in their culture. For an extensive list, see main article Zuni ethnobotany. Traditionally, Zuni women made pottery for water storage, they used symbols of their clans for designs. Clay for the pottery is sourced locally. Prior to its extraction, the women give thanks to the Earth Mother according to ritual; the clay is ground, sifted and mixed with water. After the clay is rolled into a coil and shaped into a vessel or other design, it will be scraped smooth with a scraper. A thin layer of finer clay, called slip, is applied to the surface for extra smoothness and color.
The vessel is polished with a stone. It is painted with home-made organic dyes; the intended function of the pottery dictates its shape and images painted on its surface. To fire the pottery, the Zuni used animal dung in traditional kilns. Today
Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas
The Kickapoo Tribe of Indians of the Kickapoo Reservation in Kansas is one of three Federally recognized tribes of Kickapoo people. The other Kickapoo tribes in the United States are the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas and the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma; the Tribu Kikapú are a distinct subgroup of the Oklahoma Kickapoo and reside on a hacienda near Múzquiz Coahuila, Mexico. The Kansas Kickapoo Tribe owns a gymnasium, day care center, senior center, the Kickapoo Nation school, which teaches grades from kindergarten through 12th grade; the Kickapoo Indian Reservation in Kansas is located in Brown County in northeastern Kansas. The reservation is five by six miles in size or 19,200 acres; the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas is headquartered in Kansas. The tribe is governed by an elected Kickapoo Tribal Council; the current administration is: Chairman: Lester Randall Vice-Chairman: Fred Thomas Treasurer: Russell Bradley Secretary: Carla Cavin Member: Tina Wahwasuck Member: Jason Thomas Member: Bernadette Thomas Members of the Kansas Kickapoo speak English.
The Fox and the Sauk came from the Kickapoo. The Tribe owns and operates the Golden Eagle Casino and snack bar, located in Horton. "Kickapoo" comes from their word "Kiwigapawa," which translates into "he moves from here to there." The tribe is part of the central Algonquian group and has close ethnic and linguistic connections with the Sac and Fox. The Kickapoo were first recorded in history in about 1667–70 at the confluence of the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers. Under pressure from the Menominee, the Kickapoo and their allies moved south and west into southern Michigan, northern Iowa and Illinois. A treaty dated June 7, 1803 between the U. S. Government and the Delaware, Potawatomi, Eel River, Kickapoo and Kaskaskia tribes occupying the country drained by the Ohio and Miami Rivers and a subsequent treaty dated August 7, 1803 ceded lands granted in the Treaty of Greenville in 1795 by General Anthony Wayne, Fort Wayne and Vincennes, Indiana. By these treaties and succeeding treaties in 1809, 1815, 1816, 1819, 1820 the tribe ceded all their lands on the Wabash and Vermilion Rivers and moved into Missouri on the Osage River.
A mere decade in 1832, the tribe ceded their lands in Missouri and were granted a "permanent" home south of the Delaware Nation in Kansas near Fort Leavenworth. Around the same time as the Kickapoo moved into Kansas, some of them went to Texas, invited to settle there by the Spanish colonial governor to serve as a buffer between Mexico and American expansionists; the Mexican War of Independence and the Texas Revolution proved that the tide of settlers would not be stopped by the few hundred Kickapoo. At the conclusion of the Texas Revolution, these groups moved south into Mexico. In 1854 the eastern portion of the Kansas lands was ceded to the United States leaving the Kickapoo the western 150,000 acres. Two provisions of this treaty were to have long-lasting effects on the tribe; the treaty authorized a survey of the Kickapoo lands which could be used as the basis for fee simple allotment and it granted a railroad right-of-way across the reservation. Using these two clauses as a basis, the local agent, William Badger, convinced the Commissioner of Indian Affairs Charles E.
Mix that the Kickapoo were desirous of having their lands allotted. Considering that the tribe had always held their lands in common, it is unlikely that the tribe wanted allotment. However, in light of Badger's persuasion, Mix directed that allotment proceed if 1) the Indians paid for the costs of surveying and allotting the land, 2) 80 acres was allotted to each head of household, 3) any lands remaining after allotment of the Kansas Kickapoo be reserved for resettlement of the Mexican Kickapoo. Holding the lands not allotted for the Southern Kickapoo, was not in the interests of the railroad and Badger began pressuring tribal members for allotment. Though they complained, it was a political election, not the tribal issues with their agent, that removed Badger from office and replaced him with his brother-in-law Charles B. Keith in 1861. Keith was a political ally of Senator Samuel C. Pomeroy, the president of the Atchison and Pike’s Peak Railroad, the central section of the Transcontinental railroad, formed in 1859.
The railroad wanted to gain the right-of-way across the Kickapoo Reservation and title to any surplus lands when the reservation was allotted. Pomeroy and Keith both met with and wrote letters to Commissioner Mix urging allotment and by 1862, a treaty was again made with the Kickapoo. June 28, 1862 agreement allowed for Chiefs to receive 320 acres, heads of households to receive 160 acres, all other tribe members to get 40 acres, with the bulk of the remaining 125,000 acres to be sold to the railroad; those who chose not to accept allotment could continue to hold their lands in common until such time as an arrangement could be made to locate a new reserve in Oklahoma, i.e. Indian Territory, any Southern Kickapoo had one year to return to Kansas and take up their allotment, or it would be forfeit; when news of the treaty's approval broke, protest erupted. The Kickapoo indicated that they were unaware that the agreement had been reached and thought that they were still negotiating terms; the Kansas Attorney General, Warren William Guthrie, launched a grand jury hearing.
The charges were considered serious enough that allotment was suspended and the new Commissioner of Indian Affairs, William P. Dole, appointed in 1863, traveled
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