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Serving as the capital city of the United States of America, Washington, D.C. is located along the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia. It is the seat of the nation’s federal government and houses several international organizations. The current president of the United States resides in Washington, D.C. at the famous White House.
See the fact file below for more information on the Washington, D.C. or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Washington, D.C. worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
ETYMOLOGY AND HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
- Washington, D.C. was named after former US president George Washington, who was also a Founding Father. It is recognized formally as the District of Columbia and is also known as Washington or simply D.C.
- Prior to the establishment of the District of Columbia as the seat of the U.S. government, a group of Native Americans called the Piscataway people occupied the area. The arrival of European colonists created territorial conflicts, forcing the Piscataway to relocate.
- The U.S. Congress established an act that called for the creation of the nation’s capital along the Potomac River. This act was approved on July 9, 1790, and the exact location was selected by then president George Washington.
- The new territory to be occupied by the new national capital included settlements from the port of Georgetown, Maryland, and the city of Alexandria, Virginia.
- Congress then passed the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801, which officially organized the district and placed the territory within exclusive control of the federal government. Thus, residents of both Georgetown and Alexandria were no longer considered residents of their previous states, whether Maryland or Virginia.
GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
- Washington, D.C. is part of the U.S. East Coast and is bordered by Maryland to the north and east and by Virginia to the west and south. It has a total land area of 68.34 square miles, and its natural highest elevation reaches 409 feet at Fort Reno Park.
- The state experiences light snow during the winter and hot and humid temperatures during the summer. The heat and humidity during winter usually brings about thunderstorms and occasional tornadoes in the area.
- The cityscape of Washington, D.C. was designed by French architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant, who was commissioned by President Washington. His design plan for the city was based on those used in Paris, Amsterdam, and Milan.
- The population of the area is around 705,000 as of July 2019. There has been a significant African-American population since the city’s founding. According to a study, Washington has experienced more intense gentrification compared to other American cities.
- The state of Washington, D.C.’s economy has consistently been growing and diversifying to encompass an increasing percentage of professional and business service jobs. The GDP per capita in Washington, D.C. has ranked at the top of all U.S. states between 2009 and 2016.
- By 2017, around 25% of workers in the state were employed by federal government agencies, immunizing the state to economic downturns because federal agencies continue their operations.
- Tourism also contributes significantly to the state’s economy. Washington, D.C. sees an approximate 19 million visitors annually, which contributes around 5 billion dollars to their local economy. There are also non-government industries flourishing within the district, such as education, finance, and scientific research.
HIGHLIGHTS AND ATTRACTIONS
- There are numerous landmarks and buildings in Washington, D.C. due to its history and position as the nation’s capital. These landmarks include the Lincoln Memorial, the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and many others.
- The National Mall is a large open park in the city’s downtown area. Because of its prominence, the National Mall has been the site of numerous protests, festivals, concerts, and historic events. Also located in the National Mall are the National World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
- The Tidal Basin is located to the south of the National Mall. This reservoir is surrounded by other significant landmarks, such as the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, George Mason Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and the District of Columbia War Memorial.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
- The exact location of Washington, D.C. was a compromise between Alexander Hamilton, who wanted a federal government to assume Revolutionary War debts, and Thomas Jefferson, who wanted the capital to be in a place welcoming to slave-holding interests.
- Visitors who want to see the White House can submit a public tour request through their member of Congress, but requests must be made at least 21 days in advance.
- The Library of Congress receives 15,000 items each working day that are kept on approximately 838 miles of bookshelves, making it the largest library in the world.
Washington, D.C. Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Washington, D.C. across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Washington, D.C. worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the capital city of the United States of America, Washington, D.C. which is located along the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia. It is the seat of the nation’s federal government and houses several international organizations. The current president of the United States resides in Washington, D.C. at the famous White House.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Washington, D.C. Facts
- Nation’s Capital History
- Facts About D.C. Only
- It’s A Washington Thing
- Signature Dishes
- Presidents in U.S. History
- Bucket List
- Washington, D.C. Wiki
- Building By Me
- Tour Me To D.C.
- If I Were The President
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.