Washington, D. C. , city and district, capital of the United States of America. The city of Washington has the same boundaries as the District of Columbia (D. C. ), a federal territory established in 1790 as the site of the new nation’s permanent capital. Named after the first U. S. president, George Washington, the city has served since 1800 as the seat of federal government. It is also the heart of a dynamic metropolitan region. During the 20th century, the Washington, D. C. , metropolitan area grew rapidly as the responsibilities of national government increased, both at home and throughout the world.
The city is located at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers and is flanked on the north, east, and southeast by Maryland and on the southwest by Virginia. Although the city has retained some aspects of its Southern origin, it has assumed a much more cosmopolitan character. At the same time, the city struggles with social and economic disparity, and a number of its residential neighborhoods suffer from poverty and crime. Washington’s climate is hot and humid in the summer and cold and damp in the winter. The average daily temperature range is -3 to 8C (27 to 46F) in January and 22 to 31C (72 to 88F) in July.
The city averages 98 cm (39 in) of precipitation per year. The Outline of the City Designated to serve as the permanent seat of the federal government beginning in 1800, the District of Columbia was named for Christopher Columbus. It was created from land ceded by the states of Virginia and Maryland, and it incorporated the existing seaport towns of Alexandria, Virginia, and Georgetown, Maryland. The district was originally 259 sq km (100 sq mi), or 10 miles square, as established under the Residence Act of 1790. The central town site was laid out by French architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant in 791.
The remaining land was an open area stretching north to the border with Maryland. It was designated as Washington County. In 1846 Congress returned that portion of the federal district that had originally been ceded by Virginia. In 1871 the cities of Washington and Georgetown were consolidated with Washington County to become Washington, D. C. , making the city, the county, and the federal district one and the same. Washington, D. C. , has a total area of 176 sq km (68 sq mi), and the Washington metropolitan regionwhich in addition to Washington, D.
C. , contains 24 counties in the urrounding states of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginiahas a total area of 17,920 sq km (6,920 sq mi). Patterns of Settlement and Development Initially Washington was slow to develop the dense pattern of settlement characteristic of cities. By the 20th century, however, Washington had filled its open spaces and dominated the surrounding area, which remained largely rural. This pattern changed after World War II (1939-1945), as the city lost population to the suburbs of Virginia and Maryland.
While the federal presence remained concentrated in Washington, it also expanded considerably to the suburbs. At the same time, new private businessthe fastest-growing source of regional employmentconcentrated almost exclusively in the areas outside the city. While the metropolitan area expanded outward, it did not do so randomly. Growth tended to follow the location of federal facilities outside the city and the development of major transportation routes. During World War II, the construction of the Pentagon spurred development nearby on the Virginia side of the Potomac River.
Growth was also stimulated by other key facilities, notably the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley, Virginia; and the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Science and Technology), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) , all in Maryland. Population Washington, D. C. , grew slowly from the time of its origins until the Civil War. Its founders expected it to emerge as a great city because of its favored trading site along the Potomac River.
However, the city proved incapable of fully exploiting its opportunitiesdue to, among other things, a lack of federal funding for developmentand it lagged behind other major port cities along the eastern seaboard. Washington’s population boomed during the Civil War, rising from a modest population of 61,122 in 1860 to 109,199 only a decade later. During the first half of the 20th century, the federal presence in the city expanded, and population grew with it, reaching a peak of more than 800,000 in 1950. Until recently the great majority of the black population was located inside the city.
But like an earlier generation of whites, the black middle class began to leave the city and move to the suburbs. In 1990, when the city’s population was 606,900, blacks constituted about 66 percent, ompared with about 30 percent white. Hispanics, who may be of any race, constituted about 5 percent of the population. The city had about 400,000 black residents; however, just the two surrounding counties of Prince George’s, Maryland, and Fairfax, Virginia, contained a combined population of about 430,000 black residents. A small Chinese community formed in Washington in the late 19th century.
Originally concentrated downtown along Pennsylvania Avenue, Chinatown moved several blocks north to make way for completion of the Federal Triangle office complex in the 1930s. Chinatown still exists along H Street NW, ut only about a third of Washington’s 3,000 Chinese listed in the 1990 census live in that area. An additional 37,000 Chinese live in surrounding suburbs. In the suburbs, they are joined by more recent immigrant groups from Asia, most notably Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Lao. Both suburban Maryland and northern Virginia support Asian populations of about 100,000 each.
Hispanics form the other major immigrant group in the area. Although the District of Columbia’s population is about 5 percent Hispanic, the largest number of these immigrants are located in the suburbs: an estimated 90,000 in Maryland and 100,000 in Virginia. In 1991 the Washington metropolitan area ranked tenth in the nation as a destination for new immigrants. Major Economic Activities From the time of its origin, Washington was expected to emerge as a great trading city because of its site along the Potomac River. However, the city lagged behind other major port cities, such as Baltimore, along the eastern seaboard.
Instead of trade, the driving force of the city’s economy has proved to be the federal government. At first employing no more than several hundred workers, the federal bureaucracy grew steadily in the 19th century and exploded in the 20th century. By 1940, 44 percent of civilian workers in the city of Washington were federal employees. Although the private economy grew faster than the public sector after World War II, it still remained closely tied to the federal presence through the proliferation of national associations, lobbyists, subcontractors, lawyers, and accountants associated with government work.
America’s increasingly global role created scores of jobs in such organizations as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Organization of American States, in addition to the U. S. government’s own departments of state and defense. These federal jobs stimulated the economy and boosted the value of real estate in Washington, especially in the 1980s, and the federal government continued as a major presence in the city throughout the 1990s. Tourism is the second most important aspect of the city’s economy.
The national monuments and museums attract more than 18 million visitors each year; hotels are numerous. The city hosts many conventions, and a major convention center opened in 1983. The functions of federal and local government and the tourism industry have created a large service economy, which employs more than one-third of all the city’s workers. Manufacturing is of only minor importance and is dominated by the printing, publishing, and food industries. Economic Problems A result of the growth of Washington’s white-collar employment in the 1980s was an increasing gap in income among the city’s residents.
Disadvantaged areas, predominantly black neighborhoods, became subject to a plague of drugs and associated violence. These areas were concentrated in the older sections of the northeast and the southeast quadrants of the city. Even as downtown real estate values rose, so did Washington’s murder rate. During the 1990s it became one of the most deadly cities in the ation. While the region prospered through most of the last half of the century, much of the inner city lagged behind. The city’s tax base declined as more and more middle- and upper-middle-class families moved to the suburbs.
This lower tax base contributed to a fiscal crisis for the city. Government and Contemporary Issues Unlike any other part of the United States, Washington lacks full political representation. While its political structure has changed over time, the city has remained subordinate to the federal government. This situation is sustained under Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, which tates, The Congress shall have power … to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever over such district … as may by the cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of government.
The idea of exclusive jurisdiction solidified in 1783 when Congress, then meeting in Philadelphia, faced angry veterans of the American Revolution who demanded back pay. When Pennsylvania authorities failed to intervene to protect the Congress, many members insisted that any permanent seat of government should be under congressional control. From that virtually forgotten experience, Washington remains without direct representation in the national government that oversees much of its operation. The Constitution, however, did not prohibit the establishment of a lower government body to deal with local affairs.
In 1802 Congress authorized an appointed mayor and an elected city council for Washington. In 1820 it broadened the franchise and made the office of mayor subject to popular election. In 1871 Congress substituted a largely appointed territorial governmentalthough city residents still voted for a house of delegatesas an instrument to consolidate the cities of Washington and Georgetown with Washington County. When the experiment generated costs that Congress found too expensive, it eliminated popular election in Washington in 1874 by placing local government under a three-person commission appointed by the president.
Initially this system was favorably received for replacing partisan politics with professional management. However, flaws of the commission became apparent over time. In 30 investigations conducted between 1934 and 1941, Congress found that power and responsibility were poorly divided between commissioners and different federal agencies, and that political whim controlled most actions. Starting in 1949 and lasting for more than a decade, the Senate voted repeatedly to grant Washington local elections. However, the House District Committee refused for more than 20 years to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.
Finally in 1973, Congress authorized the popular election of a mayor and city council for Washington. In 1974 the Home Rule Act, which established the mayor and city council, became law. The act, though restoring popular elections, retained considerable power for Congress to review legislation and authorize Washington’s budget. It also prohibited the city from taxing federal properties r income earned in the city by people who commuted to work from outside the district. These restrictions remain a cause of tension between city officials and Congress.
In the mid-1970s local activists started an effort to secure Washington’s independence. They argued that the Constitution dictates only a maximum size for the federal district, not a minimum size. Therefore, they suggested that the federal district shrink to the area between the White House and the Capitol and that the residential portion of the District of Columbia become a new state, New Columbia. Congress, however, failed even to ote on the proposition until 1993, when the House of Representatives rejected the measure, 277-153.
Further efforts by city residents to secure representation in Congress were rebuffed when a three-judge panel ruled in March 2000 that it had no means to remedy their exclusion. Marion Barry dominated local Washington politics during the last quarter of the 20th century. He served as mayor all but four years from 1978 to early 1999. During his early years in office, Barry established a reputation as an able administrator and a defender of home rule who was committed to solving the city’s social problems.
In later years, scandal touched his administration, and in 1990 he lost a bid for a council seat after he was arrested and convicted of smoking crack cocaine. After serving six months in prison, he made a spectacular comeback, securing election first to city council in 1992 and then as mayor in 1994. Barry’s return to power sparked immediate controversy. However, it soon became clear that the city faced an even greater crisis in a projected budget deficit of more than $700 million in 1995.
With the city unable to secure loans from the private sector to pay its debts, Congress intervened by passing the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act of 1995. This measure established a control board with significant powers, a move Congress justified on grounds that poor management and overstaffing had jeopardized the city’s credit. Under terms of the act, the president appointed five people to the board to bring the city’s finances under control. Congress directed the control board to cut jobs.
Barry, however, refused to cooperate with the control board, and instead chose to stress the city’s needs. He claimed that Washington’s problems derived more from inadequate revenues than high costs, and he urged he federal government to pay more toward Washington’s obligations. He recommended that the federal government assume many of the costs of state functions borne by the city since 1974, but his proposal received no sympathy in Congress. However, two years later, without input from the mayor, President Bill Clinton incorporated Barry’s approach in his proposed federal budget.
In August 1997 the national government raised its share of Medicare and highway costs in the city, assumed responsibility for funding Washington’s pension plan, and took over operation of the District’s prison system. In accepting these measures, Congress insisted on xercising greater influence in Washington. It empowered the control board to choose its own city manager and to extend its operational control over all but a small portion of daily operations. Under the terms Congress set in establishing the control board, these powers will revert to the city only after it achieves four balanced budgets in a row.
After the election of Anthony Williams, who replaced Barry as mayor in early 1999, Congress returned many of the powers of government to the city. The control board retained significant authority, however, which left Washington with limited control of its own local ffairs at the beginning of the 21st century. Introduction to Pittsburgh Pittsburgh was the nation’s foremost industrial city of the 19th century and was famous for its steel production. Beginning in the 1970s it underwent severe reindustrialization as its massive steel complexes began to close.
Today Pittsburgh is a postindustrial city, with an economy based on services, especially medical, financial, corporate, and educational, rather than steel. Pittsburgh sits astride the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers where they unite to form the Ohio River. Much of the city lies on hills urrounding this historic river junction, although Pittsburgh’s downtown core is clustered on a wedge of level ground framed by the rivers and dubbed the Golden Triangle. Winters in Pittsburgh can be cold and snowy and summers hot and humid, but seasons are usually moderate.
The average high temperature in January is 1 C (34 F) and the average low is -8 C (19 F); the average high in July is 28 C (83 F) and the average low is 16 C (62 F). The city annually receives 936 mm (36. 9 in) of precipitation, with accumulations evenly distributed throughout the year. The city developed around a frontier fort used by both the British and the French in the 18th century. In 1794 Pittsburgh was incorporated as a borough and in 1816 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania granted it city status. It is named after William Pitt, prime minister of Britain in the late 18th century.
Pittsburgh and its Metropolitan Area Pittsburgh occupies a land area of 143. 7 sq km (55. 5 sq mi). Over the years it has grown primarily by annexation. Between 1868 and 1900, for example, the city increased its land area nearly 16 fold to 73 sq km (28 sq mi). In 1907 it annexed the neighboring industrial city of Allegheny, increasing its land area by 21 sq km (8 sq mi) and its population by 150,000. Average elevation of the city is 226 m (743 ft). Pittsburgh is the center of a metropolitan area covering Allegheny, Westmoreland, Washington, Beaver, Butler, and Fayette counties, a region of 11,976 sq km (4624 sq mi).
The metropolitan area has several small cities and substantial towns, including Butler, Greensburg, McKeesport, Uniontown, and Washington. Among Pittsburgh’s suburbs are Bethel Park, Fox Chapel, McCandless, Monroeville, Mount Lebanon, Penn Hills, and Sewickly. Pittsburgh has many distinct neighborhoods; 90 are officially recognized. The city is remarkable for its grand entrances, especially f approached from the west through the Fort Pitt tunnel and bridge or from the north on Interstate 279 and the Fort Duquesne or Veterans bridges.
The city’s core remains hidden by hills until travelers come upon its central business district, the Golden Triangle, centered where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers join to form the Ohio River. Greeting visitors is Point State Park, with its tall lighted fountain at the triangle’s tip, and a number of uniquely designed skyscrapers. Notable among Pittsburgh’s buildings are the Gateway Center Complex (1950-1953), the Gothic towers of the PPG World Headquarters (1984),
One Mellon Bank Center (1983), One Oxford Centre (1983), the Columbia Natural Gas Building (1987), Fifth Avenue Place (1987), and the USX Tower (1971), at 64 stories the tallest building between New York and Chicago. Other architectural landmarks within the Golden Triangle include the Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail (1888), designed by the noted American architect Henry Hobson Richardson; the Trinity Cathedral (1872); the First Presbyterian Church (1905); and the Union Trust Building (today Two Mellon Bank Center, 1916).
Population The population of Pittsburgh has steadily declined since 1950, when it peaked at 676,806 residents. While some people left the city proper for suburban communities within the region, many moved out of the area in search of jobs. According to the 1990 census, the city had 369,879 persons, a decrease of 12. 8 percent from its population of 423,938 in 1980. Pittsburgh was the nation’s 30th largest city in 1980 and the 40th largest city in 1990. In 1994 it ranked 45th. The population of Pittsburgh in 1998 was 340,520.
The population of Allegheny County dropped from 1,450,085 in 1980 to 1,336,449 in 1990. The number of residents in the six-county metropolitan area fell from 2,571,000 in 1980 to 2,395,000 in 1990. However, he decline in population in the metropolitan area halted in the 1990s, with estimates of the 1995 population virtually unchanged from the count five years earlier. Pittsburgh and Allegheny County have a relatively elderly population compared to many other citiesin 1990 some 17. 9 percent of city residents were age 65 years or older, compared to 12. percent for the country as a whole.
Pittsburgh had large immigration from Great Britain, Ireland, and Germany through the first century or so of its existence. Later the nationalities of those arriving shifted to Poles, Hungarians, Serbs, Croatians, Italians, and Russian Jews. Most emigration to the city halted at the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Since then relatively few people have come to Pittsburgh from other countries, even though the nation as a whole has seen a large increase in Hispanic and Asian immigration.
While foreign-born persons made up only 4. 6 percent of the city’s population in 1990, Pittsburgh retains a strong ethnic character. Many neighborhoods have a clear ethnic identification, such as Bloomfield (Italian), the South Side and Polish Hill (Polish), and Squirrel Hill (Jewish). The eastern neighborhoods of Point Breeze, Shadyside, and Squirrel Hill are ttractive city living areas, while other sections of the city afford views of the rivers and the Golden Triangle from houses constructed on steep slopes.
Pittsburgh’s black population began to arrive far back in the city’s history, but its biggest growth came in the first half of the 20th century largely through migration from the South. Blacks predominate in several areas throughout the city, the largest being Beltzhoover, the Hill, Homewood-Brushton, and Manchester. The black community possesses a rich cultural heritage in jazz and art, as well as having been the sponsor of the wo of greatest baseball teams in the former Negro League, the Crawfords and the Homestead Grays.
According to the 1990 census, whites are 72. percent of the population, blacks 25. 9 percent, Asians and Pacific Islanders 1. 6 percent, and Native Americans 0. 2 percent. The remainder are of mixed heritage or did not report ethnicity. Hispanics, who may be of any race, are 0. 9 percent of the people. Economy Because of its location west of the Allegheny Mountains, excellent river transportation, and high quality bituminous coal deposits, Pittsburgh in the 19th century became one of the nation’s most industrialized ities. It was best known for its steel production, but it also produced many other products.
Manufactures included aluminum (from the Aluminum Company of America, now ALCOA); electrical generators and appliances (Westinghouse Electric); glass (Pittsburgh Plate Glass, now PPG Industries); coke-making machinery (Koppers); railroad cars and locomotives (Pressed Steel Car Company and Pittsburgh Locomotive); coke and coal chemicals (H. C. Frick & Company and Pittsburgh Coal Company); and food products (H. J. Heinz). Extensive coal mining was also carried on in the Pittsburgh area as well as the processing of oke, essential to the steel making process, from soft coal.
By the mid-1980s, however, many of the region’s manufacturing plants had gone out of business or left the area. The greatest losses were in steel, with the elimination of over 100,000 steel and steel-related jobs between 1978 and 1983. By the mid-1990s what once was the world’s greatest steel making complex had been reduced to only one major integrated mill (the Edgar Thompson Works); a specialty steel plant (Allegheny Ludlum); a strip mill (the Irwin Works); and two plants where coke was produced as a by-product.
A dramatic sight is the empty land lining the river banks in he Monongahela Valley where steel mills formerly stood. Numerous projects, however, are planned for these sites. For example, the Pittsburgh Technology Park was built on a former industrial site on the north side of the Monongahela River. The economy of Pittsburgh is now based on services rather than manufacturing. The region’s largest employer is the University of Pittsburgh, especially the University Health Center.
Other universities and colleges, such as Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University, are major employers. In addition, the region’s corporate headquarters, as well as branch ffices of other firms, provide considerable employment. Pittsburgh also serves as the U. S. center for a number of foreign corporations. The region’s high-technology sector has grown, as has the number of firms involved either in environmental cleanup or the manufacture of pollution control equipment.
Today the number of workers in service jobs far exceeds those in manufacturing. Pittsburgh’s transportation network includes a new airport, opened in 1992, that serves as a major airline hub. Principal highways are the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 76 running east and west), Interstate 376 the Parkway East), Interstate 279, Interstate 79 (connecting with Interstate 279), and State Route 28 (from the north) as well as on other state roads.
Amtrak provides rail passenger service east to New York and west to Chicago. Freight lines still carry large amounts of coal and other heavy goods in and out of Pittsburgh. The Port of Pittsburgh is a leading inland port. City and county residents are served by Port Authority Transit of Allegheny County, which operates an extensive network that includes two major busways and a light-rail system with a downtown subway loop.