|Long title||An Act to provide a Government for the District of Columbia.|
|Nicknames||District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871|
|Enacted by||the 41st United States Congress|
|Statutes at Large||16 Stat. 419|
The District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 is an Act of Congress that repealed the individual charters of the cities of Washington and Georgetown and established a new territorial government for the whole District of Columbia. Though Congress repealed the territorial government in 1874, the legislation was the first to create a single municipal government for the federal district.
The passage of the Residence Act in 1790 created a new federal district that would become the capital of the United States. Formed from land donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia, the capital territory already included two large settlements at its creation: the port of Georgetown, Maryland and the town of Alexandria, Virginia. A new capital city named in honor of President George Washington was founded to the east of Georgetown in 1791.
Shortly after establishing operations in the new capital, Congress passed the Organic Act of 1801, which organized the federal territory. The territory within the federal district east of the Potomac formed the new County of Washington, which was governed by a levy court consisting of seven to eleven Justices of the Peace appointed by the President, and was governed by Maryland law as of 1801. The area west of the river became Alexandria County which was governed by Virginia law. In addition, Congress allowed the cities of Washington, Alexandria and Georgetown to each maintain their own municipal governments. In 1846 Alexandria County was returned by Congress to the state of Virginia.
The outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861 led to notable growth in the capital's population due to the expansion of the federal government and a large influx of emancipated slaves.By 1870, the District's population had grown 75% to nearly 132,000 residents. Growth was even more dramatic within the County of Washington, where the population more than doubled as people escaped the crowded city.
The individual local governments within the District were insufficient to handle the population growth. Living conditions were poor throughout the capital, which still had dirt roads and lacked basic sanitation. The situation was so bad that some lawmakers in Congress even suggested moving the capital out further west, but President Ulysses S. Grant refused to consider the proposals.
Instead, Congress passed the Organic Act of 1871, which revoked the individual charters of the cities of Washington and Georgetown and combined them with Washington County to create a unified territorial government for the entire District of Columbia.The new government consisted of an appointed governor and 11-member council, a locally elected 22-member assembly, and a board of public works charged with modernizing the city. The Seal of the District of Columbia features the date 1871, recognizing the year the District's government was incorporated.
The Act did not establish a new city or city government within the District. Regarding a city of Washington, it stated that "that portion of said District included within the present limits of the city of Washington shall continue to be known as the city of Washington".In the present day, the name "Washington" is commonly used to refer to the entire District, but DC law continues to use the definition of the city of Washington as given in the 1871 Organic Act.
In 1873, President Grant appointed an influential member of the board of public works, Alexander Robey Shepherd, to the post of governor. Shepherd authorized large-scale municipal projects, which greatly modernized Washington. In doing so however, the governor spent three times the money that had been budgeted for capital improvements, bankrupting the city.In 1874, Congress replaced the District's quasi-elected territorial government with an appointed three-member Board of Commissioners. Direct rule by Congress continued until the 1973 passage of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, a century later.
The Act is appealed to as the basis of conspiracy theories relating to the sovereign citizen movement. According to these, the Act made the District, and consequently the whole United States, into a business corporation.There is no evidence for these claims, which stem from a misinterpretation of the meaning of the term municipal corporation used in the Act. There are many kinds of corporations; a corporation is any group authorized to legally act as a single entity; in this case, an incorporated, organized district of the United States. Most U.S. cities and counties are municipal corporations.
This was later used by QAnon supporters to falsely claim that former president Donald Trump would be sworn in as the 19th president of the original United States on March 4, 2021.This date corresponds to the original presidential inauguration date because they claim the Twentieth Amendment is invalid as it was not passed by the original United States. Joseph R. Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on January 20, 2021, and Kamala Harris as Vice President, without incident regarding who or when.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and also known as D.C. or just Washington, is the capital city of the United States. It is located on the Potomac River bordering Maryland and Virginia, with Congress holding its first session there in 1800. The city was named for George Washington, the first president of the United States and a Founding Father, and the federal district is named after Columbia, a female personification of the nation. As the seat of the U.S. federal government and several international organizations, the city is an important world political capital. It is one of the most visited cities in the U.S., with over 20 million visitors in 2016.
The District of Columbia statehood movement is a political movement that advocates making the District of Columbia a U.S. state, to provide the residents of the District of Columbia with voting representation in the Congress and full control over local affairs.
In United States law, an organic act is an act of the United States Congress that establishes a territory of the United States and specifies how it is to be governed, or an agency to manage certain federal lands. In the absence of an organic law a territory is classified as unorganized.
The Council of the District of Columbia is the legislative branch of the local government of the District of Columbia, in the United States. As permitted in the United States Constitution, the district is not part of any U.S. state and is overseen directly by the federal government.
The Residence Act of 1790, officially titled An Act for establishing the temporary and permanent seat of the Government of the United States, is a United States federal statute adopted during the second session of the First United States Congress and signed into law by President George Washington on July 16, 1790. The Act provides for a national capital and permanent seat of government to be established at a site along the Potomac River and empowered President Washington to appoint commissioners to oversee the project. It also set a deadline of December 1800 for the capital to be ready, and designated Philadelphia as the nation's temporary capital while the new seat of government was being built. At the time, the federal government was operating out of New York City.
District of Columbia home rule is District of Columbia residents' ability to govern their local affairs. As the federal capital, the Constitution grants the United States Congress exclusive jurisdiction over the District in "all cases whatsoever".
The County of Washington was one of five original political entities within the District of Columbia, the capital of the United States. Formed by the Organic Act of 1801 from parts of Montgomery and Prince George's County, Maryland, Washington County referred to all of the District of Columbia "on the east side of the Potomac, together with the islands therein." The bed of the Potomac River was considered to be part of Washington County as well.
A capital district, capital region or capital territory is normally a specially designated administrative division where a country's seat of government is located. As such, in a federal model of government, no state or territory has any political or economic advantage relative to the others because of the national capital lying within its borders. A capital territory can be a specific form of federal district.
The history of Washington, D.C., is tied to its role as the capital of the United States. Originally inhabited by an Algonquian-speaking people known as the Nacotchtank, the site of the District of Columbia along the Potomac River was first selected by President George Washington. The city came under attack during the War of 1812 in an episode known as the Burning of Washington. Upon the government's return to the capital, it had to manage reconstruction of numerous public buildings, including the White House and the United States Capitol. The McMillan Plan of 1901 helped restore and beautify the downtown core area, including establishing the National Mall, along with numerous monuments and museums.
The retrocession of the District of Columbia refers to both past and proposed acts of returning some or all of the land that had been ceded to the federal government of the United States for the purpose of creating its federal district for the new national capital of the United States, the City of Washington. The land was originally ceded to the federal government by Virginia and Maryland in 1790. After moving through various stages of federal and state approval, the Virginia portion was eventually returned in March 1847. The Maryland portion still constitutes the District of Columbia today, but some have proposed "retro-ceding" it, in part or in whole, to address issues related to the voting rights of residents of the District of Columbia.
Washington, D.C., in the United States, is located at. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a geographical area of 68.3 square miles (176.9 km2), 61.4 square miles (159.0 km2) of which is land, and the remaining 6.9 square miles (17.9 km2) (10.16%) of which is water.
The Government of the District of Columbia operates under Article One of the United States Constitution and the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, which devolves certain powers of the United States Congress to the Mayor and thirteen-member Council. However, Congress retains the right to review and overturn laws created by the council and intervene in local affairs.
The following table indicates the party of elected officials in the United States federal district of Columbia:
The District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801, officially An Act Concerning the District of Columbia, is an organic act enacted by the United States Congress in accordance with Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution. It formally placed the District of Columbia under the control of the United States Congress and organized the territory within the district into two counties: Washington County to the north and east of the Potomac River and Alexandria County to the west and south. The charters of the existing cities of Georgetown and Alexandria were left in place and no change was made to their status. The common law of both Maryland and Virginia remained in force within the district. A court was established in each of the new counties.
The mayor of the District of Columbia is the head of the executive branch of the government of the District of Columbia, in the United States. The mayor has the duty to enforce district laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Council of the District of Columbia, in the United States. In addition, the mayor oversees all district services, public property, police and fire protection, most public agencies, and the public school system within the District of Columbia. The mayor's office oversees an annual district budget of $8.8 billion. The mayor's executive office is located in the John A. Wilson Building in downtown Washington, D.C. The mayor appoints several officers, including the deputy mayors for Education and Planning & Economic Development, the district administrator, the chancellor of the district's public schools, the Office of Latino Affairs, and the department heads of the district agencies.
The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Washington, D.C., USA.
A referendum on statehood for the District of Columbia was held on November 8, 2016. It was the second referendum on statehood to be held in the district. The District of Columbia was created following the passage of the Residence Act on July 9, 1790, which approved the creation of a national capital, the City of Washington on the Potomac River.
The District of Columbia was created in 1801 as the federal district of the United States, with territory previously held by the states of Maryland and Virginia ceded to the federal government of the United States for the purpose of creating its federal district, which would encompass the new national capital of the United States, the City of Washington. The district came into existence, with its own judges and marshals, through the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801; previously it was the Territory of Columbia. According to specific language in the U.S. Constitution, it was ten square miles (161 km2).
The Washington, D.C. Admission Act, often referred to simply as the D.C. Admission Act, is a bill introduced during the 116th United States Congress. The intention of the bill is to grant Washington, D.C., admission into the Union as a state and hence make it the country's first and only city-state. The bill was originally introduced in the 116th Congress on January 3, 2019, and was reintroduced on January 4, 2021, in the 117th Congress where it passed on April 22, in the US House of Representatives, but remains uncertain in the US Senate where 60 votes are required to overcome the filibuster. It is likely all Democrats will support the measure, while Republicans argue that the federal district should return to the state of Maryland.