American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War known as the American War of Independence, was an 18th-century war between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies which declared independence as the United States of America. After 1765, growing philosophical and political differences strained the relationship between Great Britain and its colonies. Patriot protests against taxation without representation followed the Stamp Act and escalated into boycotts, which culminated in 1773 with the Sons of Liberty destroying a shipment of tea in Boston Harbor. Britain responded by closing Boston Harbor and passing a series of punitive measures against Massachusetts Bay Colony. Massachusetts colonists responded with the Suffolk Resolves, they established a shadow government which wrested control of the countryside from the Crown. Twelve colonies formed a Continental Congress to coordinate their resistance, establishing committees and conventions that seized power. British attempts to disarm the Massachusetts militia in Concord led to open combat on April 19, 1775.
Militia forces besieged Boston, forcing a British evacuation in March 1776, Congress appointed George Washington to command the Continental Army. Concurrently, the Americans failed decisively in an attempt to invade Quebec and raise insurrection against the British. On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted for independence, issuing its declaration on July 4. Sir William Howe launched a British counter-offensive, capturing New York City and leaving American morale at a low ebb. However, victories at Trenton and Princeton restored American confidence. In 1777, the British launched an invasion from Quebec under John Burgoyne, intending to isolate the New England Colonies. Instead of assisting this effort, Howe took his army on a separate campaign against Philadelphia, Burgoyne was decisively defeated at Saratoga in October 1777. Burgoyne's defeat had drastic consequences. France formally allied with the Americans and entered the war in 1778, Spain joined the war the following year as an ally of France but not as an ally of the United States.
In 1780, the Kingdom of Mysore attacked the British in India, tensions between Great Britain and the Netherlands erupted into open war. In North America, the British mounted a "Southern strategy" led by Charles Cornwallis which hinged upon a Loyalist uprising, but too few came forward. Cornwallis Cowpens, he retreated to Yorktown, intending an evacuation, but a decisive French naval victory deprived him of an escape. A Franco-American army led by the Comte de Rochambeau and Washington besieged Cornwallis' army and, with no sign of relief, he surrendered in October 1781. Whigs in Britain had long opposed the pro-war Tories in Parliament, the surrender gave them the upper hand. In early 1782, Parliament voted to end all offensive operations in America, but the war continued overseas. Britain scored a major victory over the French navy. On September 3, 1783, the belligerent parties signed the Treaty of Paris in which Great Britain agreed to recognize the sovereignty of the United States and formally end the war.
French involvement had proven decisive. Spain failed in its primary aim of recovering Gibraltar; the Dutch were compelled to cede territory to Great Britain. In India, the war against Mysore and its allies concluded in 1784 without any territorial changes. Parliament passed the Stamp Act in 1765 to pay for British military troops stationed in the American colonies after the French and Indian War. Parliament had passed legislation to regulate trade, but the Stamp Act introduced a new principle of a direct internal tax. Americans began to question the extent of the British Parliament's power in America, the colonial legislatures argued that they had exclusive right to impose taxes within their jurisdictions. Colonists condemned the tax because their rights as Englishmen protected them from being taxed by a Parliament in which they had no elected representatives. Parliament argued that the colonies were "represented virtually", an idea, criticized throughout the Empire. Parliament did repeal the act in 1766, but it affirmed its right to pass laws that were binding on the colonies.
From 1767, Parliament began passing legislation to raise revenue for the salaries of civil officials, ensuring their loyalty while inadvertently increasing resentment among the colonists, opposition soon became widespread. Enforcing the acts proved difficult; the seizure of the sloop Liberty in 1768 on suspicions of smuggling triggered a riot. In response, British troops occupied Boston, Parliament threatened to extradite colonists to face trial in England. Tensions rose after the murder of Christopher Seider by a customs official in 1770 and escalated into outrage after British troops fired on civilians in the Boston Massacre. In 1772, colonists in Rhode Island burned a customs schooner. Parliament repealed all taxes except the one on tea, passing the Tea Act in 1773, attempting to force colonists to buy East India Company tea on which the Townshend duties were paid, thus implicitly agreeing to Parliamentary supremacy; the landing of the tea was resisted in all colonies, but the governor of Massachusetts permitted British tea ships to remain in Boston Harbor, so the Sons of Liberty destroyed the tea chests in what became known as the "Boston Tea Party".
Parliament passed punitive legislation. It closed Boston Harbor until the tea was paid for and revoked the Massachusetts Charter, taking upon themselves the right to directly appoint the Massachusetts Governor's Council. Additionally, t
James Vincent Forrestal was the last Cabinet-level United States Secretary of the Navy and the first United States Secretary of Defense. Forrestal was a supporter of naval battle groups centered on aircraft carriers. In 1954, the world's first supercarrier was named USS Forrestal in his honor, as is the James V. Forrestal Building, which houses the headquarters of the United States Department of Energy, he is the namesake of the Forrestal Lecture Series at the United States Naval Academy, which brings prominent military and civilian leaders to speak to the Brigade of Midshipmen, of the James Forrestal Campus of Princeton University in Plainsboro Township, New Jersey. Forrestal was born in Matteawan, New York, the youngest son of James Forrestal, an Irish immigrant who dabbled in politics, his mother, the former Mary Anne Toohey raised him as a devout Roman Catholic. He was an amateur boxer. After graduating from high school at the age of 16, in 1908, he spent the next three years working for a trio of newspapers: the Matteawan Evening Journal, the Mount Vernon Argus and the Poughkeepsie News Press.
Forrestal entered Dartmouth College in 1911, but transferred to Princeton University in his sophomore year. He served as an editor for The Daily Princetonian; the senior class voted him "Most Likely to Succeed", but he left just prior to completing work on a degree. Forrestal married the former Josephine Stovall, a Vogue writer, in 1926, she developed alcohol and mental problems. Forrestal went to work as a bond salesman for William A. Read and Company in 1916; when the USA entered World War I, he enlisted in the Navy and became a Naval Aviator, training with the Royal Flying Corps in Canada. During the final year of the war, Forrestal spent much of his time in Washington, D. C. at the office of Naval Operations while completing his flight training. He reached the rank of Lieutenant. After the war, Forrestal made his fortune on Wall Street, he became a partner, vice-president, president of the company. He acted as a publicist for the Democratic Party committee in Dutchess County, New York helping politicians from the area win elections at both the state and national level.
One of those individuals aided by his work was Franklin D. Roosevelt. By some accounts, Forrestal was a compulsive workaholic, skilled administrator, introspective, philosophic and insecure. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Forrestal a special administrative assistant on June 22, 1940. Six weeks he nominated him for the newly established position, Undersecretary of the Navy. In his nearly four years as undersecretary, Forrestal proved effective at mobilizing domestic industrial production for the war effort. Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Ernest J. King, wanted to control logistics and procurement, but Forrestal prevailed. In September 1942, to get a grasp on the reports for materiel his office was receiving, he made a tour of naval operations in the Southwest Pacific and a stop at Pearl Harbor. Returning to Washington, D. C. he made his report to President Roosevelt, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, the cabinet. In response to Forrestal's elevated request that materiel be sent to the Southwest Pacific area, told Forrestal, "Jim, you've got a bad case of localitis."
Forrestal shot back in a heated manner, "Mr. Secretary, if the Marines on Guadalcanal were wiped out, the reaction of the country will give you a bad case of localitis in the seat of your pants", he became Secretary of the Navy on May 19, 1944, after his immediate superior Secretary Frank Knox died from a heart attack. Forrestal led the Navy through the closing year of the war and the painful early years of demobilization that followed; as Secretary, Forrestal introduced a policy of racial integration in the Navy. Forrestal traveled to combat zones to see naval forces in action, he was in the South Pacific in 1942, present at the Battle of Kwajalein in 1944, witnessed the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. After five days of pitched battle, a detachment of Marines was sent to hoist the American flag on the 545-foot summit of Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima; this was the first time in the war that the U. S. flag had flown on Japanese soil. Forrestal, who had just landed on the beach, claimed the historic flag as a souvenir.
A second, larger flag was run up in its place, this second flag-raising was the moment captured by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal in his famous photograph. Forrestal, along with Secretary of War Henry Stimson and Under Secretary of State Joseph Grew, in the early months of 1945 advocated a softer policy toward Japan that would permit a negotiated armistice, a'face-saving' surrender. Forrestal's primary concern was not the resurgence of a militarized Japan, but rather "the menace of Russian Communism and its attraction for decimated, destabilized societies in Europe and Asia," and, keeping the Soviet Union out of the war with Japan. So did he feel about this matter that he cultivated negotiation efforts that some regarded as approaching insubordination, his counsel on ending the war was followed, but not until the atomic bombs had been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The day after the Nagasaki attack, the Japanese sent out a radio transmission saying that it was ready to accept the terms of the allies' Potsdam Declaration, "with the understanding that said declaration does not comprise any demand which prejudices the prerogatives of His Majesty a
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D. C; the composition and powers of the Senate are established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The Senate is composed of senators; each state, regardless of its population size, is represented by two senators who serve staggered terms of six years. There being at present 50 states in the Union, there are presently 100 senators. From 1789 until 1913, senators were appointed by legislatures of the states; as the upper chamber of Congress, the Senate has several powers of advice and consent which are unique to it. These include the approval of treaties, the confirmation of Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, federal judges, flag officers, regulatory officials, other federal executive officials and other federal uniformed officers.
In addition to these, in cases wherein no candidate receives a majority of electors for Vice President, the duty falls to the Senate to elect one of the top two recipients of electors for that office. Furthermore, the Senate has the responsibility of conducting the trials of those impeached by the House; the Senate is considered both a more deliberative and more prestigious body than the House of Representatives due to its longer terms, smaller size, statewide constituencies, which led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere. The presiding officer of the Senate is the Vice President of the United States, President of the Senate. In the Vice President's absence, the President Pro Tempore, customarily the senior member of the party holding a majority of seats, presides over the Senate. In the early 20th century, the practice of majority and minority parties electing their floor leaders began, although they are not constitutional officers; the drafters of the Constitution created a bicameral Congress as a compromise between those who felt that each state, since it was sovereign, should be represented, those who felt the legislature must directly represent the people, as the House of Commons did in Great Britain.
This idea of having one chamber represent people while the other gives equal representation to states regardless of population, was known as the Connecticut Compromise. There was a desire to have two Houses that could act as an internal check on each other. One was intended to be a "People's House" directly elected by the people, with short terms obliging the representatives to remain close to their constituents; the other was intended to represent the states to such extent as they retained their sovereignty except for the powers expressly delegated to the national government. The Senate was thus not designed to serve the people of the United States equally; the Constitution provides that the approval of both chambers is necessary for the passage of legislation. First convened in 1789, the Senate of the United States was formed on the example of the ancient Roman Senate; the name is derived from Latin for council of elders. James Madison made the following comment about the Senate: In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure.
An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, to balance and check the other, they ought to be so constituted. The Senate, ought to be this body. Article Five of the Constitution stipulates that no constitutional amendment may be created to deprive a state of its equal suffrage in the Senate without that state's consent; the District of Columbia and all other territories are not entitled to representation allowed to vote in either House of the Congress. The District of Columbia elects two "shadow U. S. Senators", but they are officials of the D. C. City Government and not members of the U. S. Senate; the United States has had 50 states since 1959, thus the Senate has had 100 senators since 1959. The disparity between the most and least populous states has grown since the Connecticut Compromise, which granted each state two members of the Senate and at least one member of the House of Representatives, for a total minimum of three presidential electors, regardless of population.
In 1787, Virginia had ten times the population of Rhode Island, whereas today California has 70 times the population of Wyoming, based on the 1790 and 2000 censuses. This means some citizens are two orders of magnitude better represented in the Senate than those in other states. Seats in the House of Representatives are proportionate to the population of each state, reducing the disparity of representation. Before the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, senators were elected by the individual state legislatures. Problems with repeated vacant seats due to the inability of a legislature to elect senators, intrastate political struggles, bribery and intimidation had led to a growing movement to amend the Constitution to allow for the direct election of senators; the party composition of the Senate during the 116th Congress: Art
Constitutional law is a body of law which defines the role and structure of different entities within a state, the executive, the parliament or legislature, the judiciary. Not all nation states have codified constitutions, though all such states have a jus commune, or law of the land, that may consist of a variety of imperative and consensual rules; these may include customary law, statutory law, judge-made law, or international rules and norms. Constitutional law deals with the fundamental principles by which the government exercises its authority. In some instances, these principles grant specific powers to the government, such as the power to tax and spend for the welfare of the population. Other times, constitutional principles act to place limits on what the government can do, such as prohibiting the arrest of an individual without sufficient cause. In most nations, such as the United States and Singapore, constitutional law is based on the text of a document ratified at the time the nation came into being.
Other constitutions, notably that of the United Kingdom, rely on unwritten rules known as constitutional conventions. Constitutional laws may be considered second order rule making or rules about making rules to exercise power, it governs the relationships between the judiciary, the legislature and the executive with the bodies under its authority. One of the key tasks of constitutions within this context is to indicate hierarchies and relationships of power. For example, in a unitary state, the constitution will vest ultimate authority in one central administration and legislature, judiciary, though there is a delegation of power or authority to local or municipal authorities; when a constitution establishes a federal state, it will identify the several levels of government coexisting with exclusive or shared areas of jurisdiction over lawmaking and enforcement. Some federal states, most notably the United States, have separate and parallel federal and state judiciaries, with each having its own hierarchy of courts with a supreme court for each state.
India, on the other hand, has one judiciary divided into district courts, high courts, the Supreme Court of India. Human rights or civil liberties form a crucial part of a country's constitution and uphold the rights of the individual against the state. Most jurisdictions, like the United States and France, have a codified constitution, with a bill of rights. A recent example is the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, intended to be included in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, that failed to be ratified; the most important example is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights under the UN Charter. These are intended to ensure basic political and economic standards that a nation state, or intergovernmental body is obliged to provide to its citizens but many do include its governments; some countries like the United Kingdom have no entrenched document setting out fundamental rights. A case named Carrington is a constitutional principle deriving from the common law.
John Entick's house was ransacked by Sherriff Carrington. Carrington argued that a warrant from a Government minister, the Earl of Halifax was valid authority though there was no statutory provision or court order for it; the court, led by Lord Camden stated that, "The great end, for which men entered into society, was to secure their property. That right is preserved sacred and incommunicable in all instances, where it has not been taken away or abridged by some public law for the good of the whole. By the laws of England, every invasion of private property, be it so minute, is a trespass... If no excuse can be found or produced, the silence of the books is an authority against the defendant, the plaintiff must have judgment." The common law and the civil law jurisdictions do not share the same constitutional law underpinnings. Common law nations, such as those in the Commonwealth as well as the United States, derive their legal systems from that of the United Kingdom, as such place emphasis on judicial precedent, whereby consequential court rulings are a source of law.
Civil law jurisdictions, on the other hand, place less emphasis on judicial review and only the parliament or legislature has the power to effect law. As a result, the structure of the judiciary differs between the two, with common law judiciaries being adversarial and civil law judiciaries being inquisitorial. Common law judicatures separate the judiciary from the prosecution, thereby establishing the courts as independent from both the legislature and law enforcement. Human rights law in these countries is as a result built on legal precedent in the courts' interpretation of constitutional law, whereas that of civil law countries is exclusively composed of codified law, constitutional or otherwise. Another main function of constitutions may be to describe the procedure by which parliaments may legislate. For instance, special majorities may be required to alter the constitution. In bicameral legislatures, there may be a process laid out for second or third readings of bills before a new law can enter into force.
Alternatively, there may further be requirements for maximum terms that a government can keep power before holding an election
Administrative law is the body of law that governs the activities of administrative agencies of government. Government agency action can include rule making, adjudication, or the enforcement of a specific regulatory agenda. Administrative law is considered a branch of public law; as a body of law, administrative law deals with the decision-making of the administrative units of government that are part of a national regulatory scheme in such areas as police law, international trade, the environment, broadcasting and transport. Administrative law expanded during the twentieth century, as legislative bodies worldwide created more government agencies to regulate the social and political spheres of human interaction. Civil law countries have specialized courts, administrative courts, that review these decisions. Unlike most common-law jurisdictions, the majority of civil law jurisdictions have specialized courts or sections to deal with administrative cases which, as a rule, will apply procedural rules designed for such cases and different from that applied in private-law proceedings, such as contract or tort claims.
In Brazil, unlike most Civil-law jurisdictions, there is no specialized court or section to deal with administrative cases. In 1998, a constitutional reform, led by the government of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, introduced regulatory agencies as a part of the executive branch. Since 1988, Brazilian administrative law has been influenced by the judicial interpretations of the constitutional principles of public administration: legality, publicity of administrative acts and efficiency; the President of the Republic exercises the administrative function, in collaboration with several Ministries or other authorities with ministerial rank. Each Ministry has one or more under-secretary that performs through public services the actual satisfaction of public needs. There is not a single specialized court to deal with actions against the Administrative entities, but instead there are several specialized courts and procedures of review. In France, most claims against the national or local governments as well as claims against private bodies providing public services are handled by administrative courts, which use the Conseil d'État as a court of last resort for both ordinary and special courts.
The main administrative courts are the tribunaux administratifs and appeal courts are the cours administratives d'appel. Special administrative courts include the National Court of Asylum Right as well as military and judicial disciplinary bodies; the French body of administrative law is called "droit administratif". Over the course of their history, France's administrative courts have developed an extensive and coherent case law and legal doctrine before similar concepts were enshrined in constitutional and legal texts; these principes include: Right to fair trial, including for internal disciplinary bodies Right to challenge any administrative decision before an administrative court Equal treatment of public service users Equal access to government employment without regard for political opinions Freedom of association Right to Entrepreneurship Right to Legal certainty French administrative law, the founder of Continental administrative law, has a strong influence on administrative laws in several other countries such as Belgium, Greece and Tunisia.
Administrative law in Germany, called "Verwaltungsrecht" de:Verwaltungsrecht rules the relationship between authorities and the citizens and therefore, it establishes citizens' rights and obligations against the authorities. It is a part of the public law, which deals with the organization, the tasks and the acting of the public administration, it contains rules, regulations and decisions created by and related to administrative agencies, such as federal agencies, federal state authorities, urban administrations, but admission offices and fiscal authorities etc. Administrative law in Germany follows three basic principles. Principle of the legality of the authority, which means that there is no acting against the law and no acting without a law. Principle of legal security, which includes a principle of legal certainty and the principle of nonretroactivity Principle of proportionality, which says that an act of an authority has to be suitable and appropriateAdministrative law in Germany can be divided into general administrative law and special administrative law.
The general administration law is ruled in the administrative procedures law. Other legal sources are the Rules of the Administrative Courts, the social security code and the general fiscal law; the Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz, enacted in 1977, regulates the main administrative procedures of the federal government. It serves the purpose to ensure a treatment in accordance with the rule of law by the public authority. Furthermore, it contains the regulations for mass processes and expands the legal protection against the authorities; the VwVfG applies for the entire public administrative activities of federal agencies as well as federal state authorities, in case of m
World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It
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