Washington DC

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Washington DC
District de Colombie
Aerial view of the Lincoln Memorial, reflecting pool, and Washington Monument
U.S. Capitol Building dome
The Gothic Washington National Cathedral
Train arriving at the McPherson Square metro station with a domed concrete ceiling
Colorful rowhouses in Adams Morgan
Planes suspended from the ceiling of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum lobby
Manicured South Lawn of the White House
Dans le sens des aiguilles d'une montre à partir du haut à gauche : le Washington Monument et le Lincoln Memorial sur le National Mall , le Capitole des États-Unis , le métro de Washington , le Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace , la Maison Blanche , les vitrines d' Adams Morgan , la cathédrale nationale
Surnom(s) : 
DC, le quartier
Devise(s) : 
Justitia Omnibus
(Anglais : Justice pour tous )
Hymne : "Washington"
"Notre capitale nationale" (mars) [1]
Carte interactive de Washington DC
Coordonnées : 38.9101°N 77.0147°W38°54′36″N 77°00′53″W /  / 38.9101; -77.0147 (District of Columbia)
Pays États Unis
Loi sur la résidence1790
Organisé1801
Consolidés1871
Loi sur l'autonomie1973
Nommé pourGeorge Washington , Christophe Colomb
Gouvernement
 •  MaireMuriel Bowser  ( D )
 •  Conseil de DC
Lister
 •  Maison des États-UnisEleanor Holmes Norton  (D),
Déléguée (At-large)
Zone
 •  Capitale fédérale et district fédéral68,34 milles carrés (177,0 km 2 )
 • Terre61,05 milles carrés (158,1 km 2 )
 • L'eau7,29 milles carrés (18,9 km 2 )
Altitude la plus élevée
409 pi (125 m)
Altitude la plus basse
0 pi (0 m)
Population
 ( 2020 ) [2]
 •  Capitale fédérale et district fédéral689 545
 • Rang20e aux États-Unis
 • Densité11 294,76/mi carré (4 361,45/km 2 )
 •  Métro6 385 162 ( 6e )
Démonyme(s)Washingtonien [4] [5]
Fuseau horaireUTC-5 ( HNE )
 • Été ( heure d'été )UTC-4 ( HAE )
Codes ZIP
20001–20098, 20201–20599
Indicatif(s) régional(s)202 , 771 (superposition) [6] [7]
Principaux aéroports
Train de banlieueMARC train.svg Virginia Railway Express.svg
Transport rapideWMATA Red.svg WMATA Blue.svg WMATA Orange.svg WMATA Yellow.svg WMATA Green.svg WMATA Silver.svg
Site Internetdc.gov
Washington, DC, symboles de l'État
Insigne vivant
OiseauGrive des bois
FleurRose de beauté américaine
ArbreChêne Écarlate
Insigne inanimé
BoissonRickey [8]
DinosaureCapitalsaurus
Nourriturecerise
RochePierre bleue du Potomac
SloganVille fédérale
Marqueur de route d'état
District of Columbia Route 295 marker
Quartier de l'État
Washington, D.C., quarter dollar coin
Sorti en 2009
Listes des symboles des États des États-Unis

Washington, DC , officiellement le District de Columbia et aussi connu sous le nom DC ou juste Washington , est la capitale des États-Unis . [9] Il est situé sur la rive est de la rivière Potomac qui forme sa frontière sud-ouest et sud avec la Virginie et partage une frontière terrestre avec le Maryland sur ses côtés restants. La ville a été nommée d'après George Washington , le premier président des États-Unis et un père fondateur , [10] et le district fédéral porte le nomColumbia , une personnification féminine de la nation. En tant que siège du gouvernement fédéral américain et de plusieurs organisations internationales, la ville est une importante capitale politique mondiale . [11] C'est l'une des villes les plus visitées des États-Unis, avec plus de 20 millions de visiteurs en 2016. [12] [13]

La Constitution américaine prévoit un district fédéral sous la juridiction exclusive du Congrès ; le district ne fait donc partie d'aucun État américain (ni lui-même). La signature de la loi sur la résidence le 16 juillet 1790 a approuvé la création d'un district de la capitale situé le long de la rivière Potomac près de la côte est du pays . La ville de Washington a été fondée en 1791 pour servir de capitale nationale, et le Congrès y a tenu sa première session en 1800. En 1801, le territoire, qui faisait autrefois partie du Maryland et de la Virginie (y compris les colonies de Georgetown et d' Alexandrie), est officiellement devenu le district fédéral. En 1846, le Congrès rendit les terres initialement cédées par la Virginie , y compris la ville d'Alexandrie ; en 1871, il créa un gouvernement municipal unique pour le reste du district. Des efforts ont été déployés pour faire de la ville un État depuis les années 1880, un mouvement qui a pris de l'ampleur ces dernières années, et un projet de loi sur l'État a été adopté par la Chambre des représentants en 2021. [14]

La ville est divisée en quadrants centrés sur le Capitole et compte jusqu'à 131 quartiers . Selon le recensement de 2020 , elle a une population de 689 545 habitants, [2] ce qui en fait la 20e ville la plus peuplée des États-Unis et lui confère une population plus importante que celle de deux États américains : le Wyoming et le Vermont. [15] Les banlieusards des banlieues environnantes du Maryland et de Virginie élèvent la population diurne de la ville à plus d'un million pendant la semaine de travail. [16] La zone métropolitaine de Washington , la sixième du pays (y compris des parties du Maryland, de la Virginie et de laVirginie-Occidentale ), avait une population estimée en 2019 à 6,3 millions d'habitants. [17]

Les trois branches du gouvernement fédéral américain sont centrées dans le district : le Congrès (législatif), le président (exécutif) et la Cour suprême (judiciaire). Washington abrite de nombreux monuments et musées nationaux , principalement situés sur ou autour du National Mall . La ville abrite 177 ambassades étrangères ainsi que le siège de nombreuses organisations internationales, syndicats, organisations à but non lucratif, groupes de pression et associations professionnelles, dont le Groupe de la Banque mondiale , le Fonds monétaire international , l' Organisation des États américains , l' AARP , la National Geographic Society , laHuman Rights Campaign , la Société financière internationale et la Croix-Rouge américaine .

Un maire élu localement et un conseil de 13 membres gouvernent le district depuis 1973. Le Congrès conserve l'autorité suprême sur la ville et peut annuler les lois locales. Les résidents de DC élisent un délégué général du Congrès sans droit de vote à la Chambre des représentants, mais le district n'a aucune représentation au Sénat . Les électeurs de district choisissent trois électeurs présidentiels conformément au vingt-troisième amendement à la Constitution des États-Unis , ratifié en 1961.

Histoire

Diverses tribus du peuple Piscataway parlant l' algonquin (également connu sous le nom de Conoy) habitaient les terres autour de la rivière Potomac lorsque les Européens ont visité la région pour la première fois au début du XVIIe siècle. Un groupe connu sous le nom de Nacotchtank (également appelé les Nacostines par les missionnaires catholiques ) a maintenu des colonies autour de la rivière Anacostia dans le district actuel de Columbia. Les conflits avec les colons européens et les tribus voisines ont forcé la relocalisation du peuple Piscataway, dont certains ont établi une nouvelle colonie en 1699 près de Point of Rocks, Maryland . [18]

Dans son Federalist No. 43 , publié le 23 janvier 1788, James Madison affirmait que le nouveau gouvernement fédéral aurait besoin d'une autorité sur une capitale nationale pour assurer son propre entretien et sa propre sécurité. [19] Cinq ans plus tôt, une bande de soldats impayés avait assiégé le Congrès pendant que ses membres se réunissaient à Philadelphie . Connu sous le nom de mutinerie de Pennsylvanie de 1783 , l'événement a souligné la nécessité pour le gouvernement national de ne compter sur aucun État pour sa propre sécurité. [20]

L'article premier, section huit , de la Constitution permet l'établissement d'un « district (ne dépassant pas dix milles carrés) pouvant, par la cession d'États particuliers et l'acceptation du Congrès, devenir le siège du gouvernement des États-Unis ». [21] Cependant, la Constitution ne précise pas l'emplacement de la capitale. Dans ce qui est maintenant connu sous le nom de compromis de 1790 , Madison, Alexander Hamilton et Thomas Jefferson ont convenu que le gouvernement fédéral paierait les dettes restantes de la guerre d' indépendance de chaque État en échange de l'établissement de la nouvelle capitale nationale dans le sud des États-Unis . [22] [un]

Fondation

Le 9 juillet 1790, le Congrès adopta le Residence Act , qui approuvait la création d'une capitale nationale sur le fleuve Potomac . L'emplacement exact devait être choisi par le président George Washington , qui a signé le projet de loi le 16 juillet. Formé à partir de terres données par les États du Maryland et de Virginie, la forme initiale du district fédéral était un carré mesurant 10 miles (16 km ) de chaque côté, totalisant 100 milles carrés (259 km 2 ). [23] [b]

Deux établissements préexistants ont été inclus dans le territoire : le port de Georgetown, Maryland , fondé en 1751, [24] et la ville d' Alexandrie, Virginie , fondée en 1749. [25] Au cours de 1791–92, une équipe sous Andrew Ellicott , y compris les frères d'Ellicott, Joseph et Benjamin et l' astronome afro-américain Benjamin Banneker , ont arpenté les frontières du district fédéral et placé des bornes à chaque kilomètre. [26] Beaucoup de pierres sont encore debout. [27]

Une nouvelle ville fédérale est alors construite sur la rive nord du Potomac, à l'est de Georgetown. Le 9 septembre 1791, les trois commissaires supervisant la construction de la capitale nommèrent la ville en l'honneur du président Washington. Le même jour, le district fédéral a été nommé Columbia (une forme féminine de « Columbus »), qui était un nom poétique pour les États-Unis couramment utilisé à cette époque. [28] [29] Le Congrès y tint sa première session le 17 novembre 1800. [30] [31]

Le Congrès a adopté la Loi organique du district de Columbia de 1801 qui a officiellement organisé le district et placé l'ensemble du territoire sous le contrôle exclusif du gouvernement fédéral. De plus, la zone non constituée en société dans le district a été organisée en deux comtés : le comté de Washington à l'est du Potomac et le comté d'Alexandrie à l'ouest. [32] Après l'adoption de cette loi, les citoyens vivant dans le district n'étaient plus considérés comme des résidents du Maryland ou de la Virginie, ce qui a donc mis fin à leur représentation au Congrès. [33]

Brûler pendant la guerre de 1812

Après leur victoire à la bataille de Bladensburg , les Britanniques entrèrent à Washington, DC, incendiant des bâtiments , dont la Maison Blanche .

Les 24 et 25 août 1814, lors d'un raid connu sous le nom de Burning of Washington , les forces britanniques envahissent la capitale pendant la guerre de 1812 . Le Capitole , le Trésor et la Maison Blanche ont été incendiés et éviscérés lors de l'attaque. [34] La plupart des bâtiments gouvernementaux ont été réparés rapidement; cependant, le Capitole était en grande partie en construction à l'époque et n'a été achevé sous sa forme actuelle qu'en 1868. [35]

Rétrocession et guerre civile

Le président Abraham Lincoln a insisté pour que la construction du dôme du Capitole des États-Unis se poursuive pendant la guerre de Sécession (1861).

Dans les années 1830, le territoire sud du district d'Alexandrie est entré en déclin économique en partie à cause de la négligence du Congrès. [36] La ville d'Alexandrie était un marché important dans le commerce des esclaves américain et les résidents pro-esclavagistes craignaient que les abolitionnistes au Congrès ne mettent fin à l'esclavage dans le district, déprimant davantage l'économie. Les citoyens d'Alexandrie ont demandé à Virginia de reprendre les terres qu'elle avait données pour former le district, par le biais d'un processus connu sous le nom de rétrocession . [37]

L' Assemblée générale de Virginie vota en février 1846 pour accepter le retour d'Alexandrie. Le 9 juillet 1846, le Congrès accepta de restituer tout le territoire que la Virginie avait cédé. Par conséquent, la superficie du district se compose uniquement de la partie initialement offerte par le Maryland. [36] Confirmant les craintes des Alexandrins pro-esclavagistes, le Compromis de 1850 interdit le commerce des esclaves dans le district, mais pas l'esclavage lui-même. [38]

Le déclenchement de la guerre civile américaine en 1861 a conduit à l'expansion du gouvernement fédéral et à une croissance notable de la population du district, y compris un afflux important d'esclaves affranchis. [39] Le président Abraham Lincoln a signé le Compensated Emancipation Act en 1862, qui a mis fin à l'esclavage dans le district de Columbia et libéré environ 3 100 personnes réduites en esclavage, neuf mois avant la Proclamation d'émancipation . [40] En 1868, le Congrès a accordé aux résidents masculins afro-américains du district le droit de voter aux élections municipales. [39]

Croissance et redéveloppement

En 1870, la population du district avait augmenté de 75 % par rapport au recensement précédent pour atteindre près de 132 000 habitants. [41] Malgré la croissance de la ville, Washington avait encore des chemins de terre et manquait d'assainissement de base. Certains membres du Congrès ont suggéré de déplacer la capitale plus à l'ouest, mais le président Ulysses S. Grant a refusé d'examiner une telle proposition. [42]

Le Congrès a adopté la loi organique de 1871 , qui a abrogé les chartes individuelles des villes de Washington et de Georgetown, et a créé un nouveau gouvernement territorial pour l'ensemble du district de Columbia. [43] Le président Grant a nommé Alexander Robey Shepherd au poste de gouverneur en 1873. Shepherd a autorisé des projets à grande échelle qui ont grandement modernisé la ville de Washington, mais ont finalement mis en faillite le gouvernement du district. En 1874, le Congrès a remplacé le gouvernement territorial par un conseil des commissaires nommé de trois membres. [44]

Les premiers tramways motorisés de la ville sont entrés en service en 1888. Ils ont généré une croissance dans les zones du district au-delà des limites d'origine de la ville de Washington. Le plan urbain de Washington a été étendu à tout le district au cours des décennies suivantes. [45] La grille des rues de Georgetown et d'autres détails administratifs ont été formellement fusionnés avec ceux de la Ville légale de Washington en 1895. [46] Cependant, la ville avait de mauvaises conditions de logement et des travaux publics tendus. Le quartier a été la première ville du pays à subir des projets de rénovation urbaine dans le cadre du « mouvement City Beautiful » au début des années 1900. [47]

L'augmentation des dépenses fédérales à la suite du New Deal dans les années 1930 a conduit à la construction de nouveaux bâtiments gouvernementaux, de monuments commémoratifs et de musées dans le district, [48] bien que le président du sous-comité de la Chambre sur les crédits de district, Ross A. Collins du Mississippi, ait justifié des coupes dans les fonds pour le bien-être et l'éducation des résidents locaux, affirmant que "mes électeurs ne supporteraient pas de dépenser de l'argent pour les nègres". [49]

La Seconde Guerre mondiale a encore accru l'activité gouvernementale, augmentant le nombre d'employés fédéraux dans la capitale; [50] en 1950, la population du district a atteint son apogée de 802 178 habitants. [41]

L'ère des droits civiques et de l'autonomie

La foule autour du Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool pendant la marche sur Washington , 1963
Vidéo externe
video icon Washington DC des années 1960, 4K à partir de la Kinolibrary 35 mm

Le vingt-troisième amendement à la Constitution des États-Unis a été ratifié en 1961, accordant au district trois voix au Collège électoral pour l'élection du président et du vice-président, mais toujours pas de représentation au Congrès. [51]

Après l' assassinat du leader des droits civiques, le Dr Martin Luther King Jr. , le 4 avril 1968, des émeutes ont éclaté dans le quartier , principalement dans les couloirs U Street, 14th Street, 7th Street et H Street, centres de noir résidentiel et zones commerciales. Les émeutes ont fait rage pendant trois jours jusqu'à ce que plus de 13 600 soldats fédéraux et gardes nationaux de l'armée de Washington arrêtent la violence. De nombreux magasins et autres bâtiments ont été incendiés ; la reconstruction n'a été achevée qu'à la fin des années 1990. [52]

En 1973, le Congrès a promulgué le District of Columbia Home Rule Act , prévoyant un maire élu et un conseil de treize membres pour le district. [53] En 1975, Walter Washington est devenu le premier maire élu et le premier noir du district. [54]

Géographie

Photo satellite de Washington, DC par l' ESA

Washington, DC, est situé dans la région médio-atlantique de la côte est des États-Unis . En raison de la rétrocession du district de Columbia , la ville a une superficie totale de 68,34 milles carrés (177 km 2 ), dont 61,05 milles carrés (158,1 km 2 ) sont des terres et 7,29 milles carrés (18,9 km 2 ) (10,67 %) est l'eau. [55] Le district est bordé par le comté de Montgomery, Maryland au nord-ouest; Comté de Prince George, Maryland à l'est ; Comté d'Arlington, Virginie à l'ouest ; et Alexandrie, Virginie au sud. Washington, DC, est à 38 miles (61 km) de Baltimore, 124 miles (200 km) de Philadelphie et 227 miles (365 km) de New York City .

La rive sud de la rivière Potomac forme la frontière du district avec la Virginie et a deux principaux affluents : la rivière Anacostia et Rock Creek . [56] Tiber Creek , un cours d'eau naturel qui traversait autrefois le National Mall , était entièrement enfermé sous terre dans les années 1870. [57] Le ruisseau a également formé une partie du Washington City Canal , maintenant rempli , qui a permis le passage à travers la ville jusqu'à la rivière Anacostia de 1815 jusqu'aux années 1850. [58] Le canal de Chesapeake et de l'Ohio commence à Georgetown et a été utilisé au XIXe siècle pour contourner les Little Fallsde la rivière Potomac, située à l'extrémité nord-ouest de Washington à la ligne de chute de la côte atlantique . [59]

L'altitude naturelle la plus élevée du district est de 125 m (409 pieds) au-dessus du niveau de la mer à Fort Reno Park, dans le nord-ouest de l'État de Washington. [60] Le point le plus bas est le niveau de la mer à la rivière Potomac. [61] Le centre géographique de Washington est près de l'intersection de 4ème et L Streets NW. [62] [63] [64]

Le district compte 7 464 acres (30,21 km 2 ) de parc, environ 19 % de la superficie totale de la ville et le deuxième pourcentage le plus élevé parmi les villes américaines à haute densité. [65] Ce facteur a contribué à ce que Washington, DC, soit classé troisième au pays pour l'accès et la qualité des parcs dans le classement 2018 ParkScore des systèmes de parcs des 100 villes les plus peuplées des États-Unis, selon l'organisme à but non lucratif Trust for Public. Terre . [66]

Le National Park Service gère la plupart des 9 122 acres (36,92 km 2 ) de terrains municipaux appartenant au gouvernement américain. [67] Rock Creek Park est une forêt urbaine de 1754 acres (7,10 km 2 ) dans le nord-ouest de Washington, qui s'étend sur 9,3 miles (15,0 km) à travers une vallée de ruisseau qui traverse la ville. Fondé en 1890, il s'agit du quatrième parc national le plus ancien du pays et abrite une variété d'espèces végétales et animales, notamment des ratons laveurs, des cerfs, des hiboux et des coyotes. [68] Les autres propriétés du National Park Service incluent le parc historique national du canal C&O , le National Mall et les parcs commémoratifs , l'île Theodore Roosevelt ,Columbia Island , Fort Dupont Park , Meridian Hill Park , Kenilworth Park et Aquatic Gardens , et Anacostia Park . [69] Le Département des Parcs et des Loisirs de DC maintient les 900 acres (3,6 km 2 ) de terrains de sport et de terrains de jeux de la ville, 40 piscines et 68 centres de loisirs. [70] Le département américain de l'Agriculture exploite l' Arboretum national américain de 446 acres (1,80 km 2 ) dans le nord-est de Washington. [71]

Climat

Washington se trouve dans la zone climatique subtropicale humide ( Köppen : Cfa ). [72] La classification de Trewartha est définie comme un climat océanique ( Do ). [73] Les hivers sont généralement frais avec de la neige légère et les étés sont chauds et humides. Le quartier est dans la zone de rusticité 8a près du centre-ville et la zone 7b ailleurs dans la ville, indiquant un climat subtropical humide. [74]

Le printemps et l'automne sont doux à chauds, tandis que l'hiver est frais avec des chutes de neige annuelles d'une moyenne de 15,5 pouces (39 cm). Les températures hivernales sont en moyenne d'environ 38 °F (3 °C) de la mi-décembre à la mi-février. [75] Cependant, les températures hivernales supérieures à 60 °F (16 °C) ne sont pas rares. [76]

Les étés sont chauds et humides avec une moyenne quotidienne de juillet de 79,8 °F (26,6 °C) et une humidité relative quotidienne moyenne d'environ 66 %, ce qui peut causer un inconfort personnel modéré. Les indices de chaleur approchent régulièrement les 100 °F (38 °C) au plus fort de l'été. [77] La combinaison de chaleur et d'humidité en été apporte des orages très fréquents, dont certains produisent occasionnellement des tornades dans la région. [78]

Les blizzards affectent Washington, en moyenne, une fois tous les quatre à six ans. Les tempêtes les plus violentes sont appelées " nor'easters ", qui affectent souvent de larges portions de la côte Est. [79] Du 27 au 28 janvier 1922 , la ville a officiellement reçu 28 pouces (71 cm) de chutes de neige, la plus grande tempête de neige depuis le début des mesures officielles en 1885. [80] Selon les notes conservées à l'époque, la ville a reçu entre 30 et 36 pouces (76 et 91 cm) d'une tempête de neige en janvier 1772. [81]

Des ouragans (ou leurs restes) traversent parfois la région à la fin de l'été et au début de l'automne. Cependant, ils sont souvent faibles au moment où ils atteignent Washington, en partie à cause de l'emplacement de la ville à l'intérieur des terres. [82] L' inondation de la rivière Potomac, cependant, causée par une combinaison de marée haute, d'onde de tempête et de ruissellement, est connue pour causer des dommages matériels considérables dans le quartier de Georgetown . [83]

Les précipitations se produisent tout au long de l'année. [84]

Le climat de Washington se réchauffera et les précipitations augmenteront en raison du changement climatique . [85]

La température la plus élevée enregistrée était de 106 °F (41 °C) le 6 août 1918 et le 20 juillet 1930. [86] tandis que la température la plus basse enregistrée était de −15 °F (−26 °C) le 11 février 1899 , juste avant le Grand Blizzard de 1899 . [79] Au cours d'une année typique, la ville fait en moyenne environ 37 jours à ou au-dessus de 90 °F (32 °C) et 64 nuits à ou au-dessous de la marque de congélation (32 °F ou 0 °C). [75] En moyenne, le premier jour avec un minimum égal ou inférieur au point de congélation est le 18 novembre et le dernier jour est le 27 mars. [87] [88]

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 79
(26)
84
(29)
93
(34)
95
(35)
99
(37)
104
(40)
106
(41)
106
(41)
104
(40)
98
(37)
86
(30)
79
(26)
106
(41)
Mean maximum °F (°C) 66.7
(19.3)
68.1
(20.1)
77.3
(25.2)
86.4
(30.2)
91.0
(32.8)
95.7
(35.4)
98.1
(36.7)
96.5
(35.8)
91.9
(33.3)
84.5
(29.2)
74.8
(23.8)
67.1
(19.5)
99.1
(37.3)
Average high °F (°C) 44.8
(7.1)
48.3
(9.1)
56.5
(13.6)
68.0
(20.0)
76.5
(24.7)
85.1
(29.5)
89.6
(32.0)
87.8
(31.0)
80.7
(27.1)
69.4
(20.8)
58.2
(14.6)
48.8
(9.3)
67.8
(19.9)
Daily mean °F (°C) 37.5
(3.1)
40.0
(4.4)
47.6
(8.7)
58.2
(14.6)
67.2
(19.6)
76.3
(24.6)
81.0
(27.2)
79.4
(26.3)
72.4
(22.4)
60.8
(16.0)
49.9
(9.9)
41.7
(5.4)
59.3
(15.2)
Average low °F (°C) 30.1
(−1.1)
31.8
(−0.1)
38.6
(3.7)
48.4
(9.1)
58.0
(14.4)
67.5
(19.7)
72.4
(22.4)
71.0
(21.7)
64.1
(17.8)
52.2
(11.2)
41.6
(5.3)
34.5
(1.4)
50.9
(10.5)
Mean minimum °F (°C) 14.3
(−9.8)
16.9
(−8.4)
23.4
(−4.8)
34.9
(1.6)
45.5
(7.5)
55.7
(13.2)
63.8
(17.7)
62.1
(16.7)
51.3
(10.7)
38.7
(3.7)
28.8
(−1.8)
21.3
(−5.9)
12.3
(−10.9)
Record low °F (°C) −14
(−26)
−15
(−26)
4
(−16)
15
(−9)
33
(1)
43
(6)
52
(11)
49
(9)
36
(2)
26
(−3)
11
(−12)
−13
(−25)
−15
(−26)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.86
(73)
2.62
(67)
3.50
(89)
3.21
(82)
3.94
(100)
4.20
(107)
4.33
(110)
3.25
(83)
3.93
(100)
3.66
(93)
2.91
(74)
3.41
(87)
41.82
(1,062)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 4.9
(12)
5.0
(13)
2.0
(5.1)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.1
(0.25)
1.7
(4.3)
13.7
(35)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 9.7 9.3 11.0 10.8 11.6 10.6 10.5 8.7 8.7 8.3 8.4 10.1 117.7
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 2.8 2.7 1.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 1.3 8.0
Average relative humidity (%) 62.1 60.5 58.6 58.0 64.5 65.8 66.9 69.3 69.7 67.4 64.7 64.1 64.3
Average dew point °F (°C) 21.7
(−5.7)
23.5
(−4.7)
31.3
(−0.4)
39.7
(4.3)
52.3
(11.3)
61.5
(16.4)
66.0
(18.9)
65.8
(18.8)
59.5
(15.3)
47.5
(8.6)
37.0
(2.8)
27.1
(−2.7)
44.4
(6.9)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 144.6 151.8 204.0 228.2 260.5 283.2 280.5 263.1 225.0 203.6 150.2 133.0 2,527.7
Mean daily daylight hours 9.8 10.8 12.0 13.3 14.3 14.9 14.6 13.6 12.4 11.2 10.1 9.5 12.2
Percent possible sunshine 48 50 55 57 59 64 62 62 60 59 50 45 57
Average ultraviolet index 2 3 5 7 8 9 9 8 7 4 3 2 6
Source 1: NOAA (relative humidity, dew point and sun 1961−1990)[75][90][84][91]
Source 2: Weather Atlas (UV and daylight hours)[92]

Paysage urbain

Le plan L'Enfant pour Washington, DC, tel que révisé par Andrew Ellicott en 1792

Washington, DC, est une ville planifiée . En 1791, le président Washington chargea Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant , architecte et urbaniste d'origine française, de concevoir la nouvelle capitale. Il a fait appel à l'arpenteur écossais Alexander Ralston pour l'aider à élaborer le plan de la ville. [93] Le plan L'Enfant comportait de larges rues et avenues rayonnant à partir de rectangles, offrant de la place pour l'espace ouvert et l'aménagement paysager. [94] Il a basé sa conception sur des plans de villes comme Paris , Amsterdam , Karlsruhe et Milan que Thomas Jefferson lui avait envoyés. [95]La conception de L'Enfant envisageait également une "grande avenue" bordée de jardins d'environ 1,6 km de long et 120 m de large dans la zone qui est maintenant le National Mall. [96] Le président Washington limoge L'Enfant en mars 1792 en raison de conflits avec les trois commissaires nommés pour superviser la construction de la capitale. Andrew Ellicott , qui avait travaillé avec L'Enfant pour arpenter la ville, a ensuite été chargé de terminer la conception. Bien qu'Ellicott ait apporté des révisions aux plans originaux, y compris des modifications à certains modèles de rues, L'Enfant est toujours crédité de la conception globale de la ville. [97]

A tall red brick building in the center of a city skyline punctuated by steeples and other shorter buildings
La construction de l' immeuble d'appartements du Caire de 12 étages (1894) a entraîné des restrictions de hauteur de construction .

Au début du 20e siècle, la vision de L'Enfant d'une grande capitale nationale était entachée de bidonvilles et de bâtiments placés au hasard, y compris une gare ferroviaire sur le National Mall. Le Congrès a formé un comité spécial chargé d'embellir le noyau cérémoniel de Washington. [47] Ce qui est devenu connu sous le nom de Plan McMillan a été finalisé en 1901 et comprenait le réaménagement des terrains du Capitole et du National Mall, le nettoyage des bidonvilles et l'établissement d'un nouveau système de parcs à l'échelle de la ville. On pense que le plan a largement préservé la conception prévue de L'Enfant. [94]

Selon la loi, la ligne d'horizon de Washington est basse et tentaculaire. La loi fédérale sur la hauteur des bâtiments de 1910 autorise les bâtiments dont la hauteur ne dépasse pas la largeur de la rue adjacente, plus 20 pieds (6,1 m). [98] En dépit de la croyance populaire, aucune loi n'a jamais limité les bâtiments à la hauteur du Capitole des États-Unis ou du Washington Monument de 555 pieds (169 m) , [64] qui reste la structure la plus haute du district. Les dirigeants de la ville ont critiqué la restriction de hauteur comme la principale raison pour laquelle le quartier a limité les problèmes de logement abordable et de circulation causés par l'étalement urbain. [98]

Le district est divisé en quatre quadrants de superficie inégale : nord - ouest (NO) , nord - est (NE) , sud - est (SE) et sud - ouest (SO) . Les axes délimitant les quadrants rayonnent depuis le Capitole des États-Unis. [99] Tous les noms de route incluent l'abréviation de quadrant pour indiquer leur emplacement et les numéros de maison correspondent généralement au nombre de pâtés de maisons du Capitole. La plupart des rues sont disposées en quadrillage avec des rues est-ouest nommées avec des lettres (par exemple, C Street SW), des rues nord-sud avec des chiffres (par exemple, 4th Street NW) et des avenues diagonales, dont beaucoup portent le nom d'États . [99]

Le quartier de Georgetown est connu pour ses maisons en rangée historiques de style fédéral .

La ville de Washington était bordée au nord par Boundary Street (rebaptisée Florida Avenue en 1890), Rock Creek à l'ouest et la rivière Anacostia à l'est. [45] [94] La grille des rues de Washington a été étendue, dans la mesure du possible, dans tout le district à partir de 1888. [100] Les rues de Georgetown ont été renommées en 1895. [46] Certaines rues sont particulièrement remarquables, comme Pennsylvania Avenue - qui relie le White House to the Capitol et K Street, qui abrite les bureaux de nombreux groupes de pression. [101] Avenue de la Constitution et Avenue de l'Indépendance, situés respectivement sur les côtés nord et sud du National Mall, abritent de nombreux musées emblématiques de Washington, notamment les bâtiments de la Smithsonian Institution , le National Archives Building . Washington abrite 177 ambassades étrangères , constituant environ 297 bâtiments au-delà des plus de 1 600 propriétés résidentielles appartenant à des pays étrangers, dont beaucoup se trouvent sur une section de Massachusetts Avenue officieusement connue sous le nom de Embassy Row . [102]

Architecture

L'architecture de Washington varie considérablement. Six des 10 meilleurs bâtiments du classement 2007 de l' American Institute of Architects « America's Favorite Architecture » se trouvent dans le district de Columbia : [103] la Maison Blanche , la cathédrale nationale de Washington , le Thomas Jefferson Memorial , le Capitole des États-Unis , le Lincoln Memorial et le Vietnam Veterans Memorial . Les styles architecturaux néoclassique, géorgien, gothique et moderne se reflètent tous parmi ces six structures et de nombreux autres édifices importants de Washington. Les exceptions notables incluent les bâtiments construits en françaisStyle Second Empire comme le Eisenhower Executive Office Building . [104]

En dehors du centre-ville de Washington, les styles architecturaux sont encore plus variés. Les bâtiments historiques sont conçus principalement dans les styles Queen Anne , Châteauesque , Richardsonian Romanesque , Georgian Revival, Beaux-Arts et une variété de styles victoriens . Les maisons en rangée sont particulièrement importantes dans les zones développées après la guerre civile et suivent généralement les conceptions fédéralistes et victoriennes tardives. [105] La vieille maison en pierre de Georgetown a été construite en 1765, ce qui en fait le bâtiment d'origine le plus ancien de la ville. [106] Fondée en 1789, l'université de Georgetown présente un mélange d'art roman etArchitecture néogothique . [104] Le Ronald Reagan Building est le plus grand bâtiment du district avec une superficie totale d'environ 3,1 millions de pieds carrés (288 000 m 2 ). [107]

Démographie

Population historique
Recensement Pop.
18008 144-
181015 47190,0%
182023 33650,8%
183030 26129,7%
184033 74511,5%
185051 68753,2%
186075 08045,3%
1870131 70075,4%
1880177 62434,9%
1890230 39229,7%
1900278 71821,0%
1910331 06918,8%
1920437 57132,2%
1930486 86911,3%
1940663 09136,2%
1950802 17821,0%
1960763 956-4,8%
1970756,510-1,0%
1980638 333−15,6%
1990606.900-4,9%
2000572 059-5,7%
2010601 7235,2%
2020689 54514,6%
Source : [108] [e] [41] [109] Remarque : [f]
2010-2020 [2]
Profil démographique 2010 [111] 1990 [112] 1970 [112] 1940 [112]
blanche 38,5% 29,6% 27,7% 71,5%
 — Blancs non hispaniques 34,8% 27,4% 26,5 % [113] 71,4%
Noir ou afro-américain 50,7% 65,8% 71,1% 28,2%
Hispanique ou Latino (de toute race) 9,1% 5,4% 2,1% [113] 0,1%
asiatique 3,5% 1,8 % 0,6% 0,2%

Le US Census Bureau estime que la population du district était de 705 749 habitants en juillet 2019, soit une augmentation de plus de 100 000 personnes par rapport au recensement des États-Unis de 2010 . Mesuré sur une base d'une décennie à l'autre, cela poursuit une tendance à la croissance depuis 2000, après un demi-siècle de déclin de la population. [114] Mais d'une année sur l'autre, le dénombrement du recensement de juillet 2019 montre une baisse de la population de 16 000 personnes au cours de la période de 12 mois précédente. [115] Washington était le 24e endroit le plus peuplé des États-Unis en 2010 . [116] Selon les données de 2010, les navetteurs des banlieues augmentent la population diurne du district à plus d'un million.[117] Si le district était un État, il se classerait au 49e rang en termes de population , devant le Vermont et le Wyoming . [118]

La zone métropolitaine de Washington , qui comprend le district et les banlieues environnantes, est la sixième plus grande zone métropolitaine des États-Unis avec environ six millions d'habitants en 2014. [119] Lorsque la région de Washington est incluse avec Baltimore et ses banlieues, la région de Baltimore – La région métropolitaine de Washington avait une population de plus de 9,8 millions d'habitants en 2020, la troisième plus grande zone statistique combinée du pays. [120]

Selon les données du Bureau du recensement de 2017, la population de Washington, DC, était de 47,1 % de Noirs ou d'Afro-américains, de 45,1 % de Blancs (36,8 % de Blancs non hispaniques), 4,3 % d' Asiatiques , 0,6 % d'Indiens d'Amérique ou d'Alaska et 0,1 % d'Autochtones. Hawaïen ou autre insulaire du Pacifique. Les individus de deux races ou plus représentaient 2,7 % de la population. Les Hispaniques de toute race représentaient 11,0 % de la population du district. [118]

Carte de la distribution raciale à Washington, DC, selon le recensement américain de 2010. Chaque point correspond à 25 personnes : Blanc , Noir , Asiatique , Hispanique ou Autre (jaune)

Washington a eu une importante population afro-américaine depuis la fondation de la ville. [121] Les résidents afro-américains représentaient environ 30% de la population totale du district entre 1800 et 1940. [41] La population noire a atteint un pic de 70% en 1970, mais a depuis régulièrement diminué en raison du déménagement de nombreux Afro-Américains dans les banlieues environnantes. . En partie à cause de la gentrification , il y a eu une augmentation de 31,4% de la population blanche non hispanique et une diminution de 11,5% de la population noire entre 2000 et 2010. [122] Selon une étude de la National Community Reinvestment Coalition, DC a connu une gentrification plus « intense » que toute autre ville américaine, avec 40 % des quartiers embourgeoisés.[123]

Environ 17% des résidents de DC étaient âgés de 18 ans ou moins en 2010, inférieur à la moyenne américaine de 24%. Cependant, à 34 ans, le district avait l'âge médian le plus bas par rapport aux 50 États. [124] En 2010 , il y avait environ 81 734 immigrants vivant à Washington, DC [125] Les principales sources d'immigration comprennent le Salvador , le Vietnam et l' Éthiopie , avec une concentration de Salvadoriens dans le quartier de Mount Pleasant . [126]

Les chercheurs ont découvert qu'il y avait 4 822 couples de même sexe dans le district de Columbia en 2010, soit environ 2 % du total des ménages. [127] La législation autorisant le mariage homosexuel a été adoptée en 2009, et le district a commencé à délivrer des licences de mariage aux couples de même sexe en mars 2010. [128]

Un rapport de 2007 a révélé qu'environ un tiers des résidents du district étaient fonctionnellement analphabètes , contre un taux national d'environ un sur cinq. Ceci est attribué en partie aux immigrants qui ne maîtrisent pas l'anglais. [129] En 2011 , 85 % des résidents de DC âgés de  5 ans et plus parlaient l'anglais à la maison comme langue principale. [130] La moitié des résidents avaient au moins un diplôme universitaire de quatre ans en 2006. [125] En 2017, le revenu médian des ménages à DC était de 77 649 $; [131] également en 2017, les résidents de DC avaient un revenu personnel par habitant de 50 832 $ (plus élevé que n'importe lequel des 50 États). [131] [132]Cependant, 19% des résidents étaient en dessous du seuil de pauvreté en 2005, plus élevé que n'importe quel état à l'exception du Mississippi . En 2019, le taux de pauvreté s'élevait à 14,7%. [133] [g] [135]

De la population du district, 17% est baptiste , 13% est catholique , 6% est protestant évangélique , 4% est méthodiste , 3% est épiscopalien / anglican , 3% est juif , 2% est orthodoxe oriental , 1% est pentecôtiste , 1 % est bouddhiste , 1% est adventiste , 1% est luthérien , 1% est musulman , 1% est presbytérien , 1% est mormon et 1% est hindou . [136] [h]

En 2010 , plus de 90 % des résidents de DC avaient une couverture d'assurance maladie, le deuxième taux le plus élevé du pays. Cela est dû en partie aux programmes municipaux qui aident à fournir une assurance aux personnes à faible revenu qui ne sont pas admissibles à d'autres types de couverture. [137] Un rapport de 2009 a révélé qu'au moins trois pour cent des résidents du district ont le VIH ou le SIDA, que les Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) caractérisent comme une épidémie « généralisée et grave ». [138]

la criminalité

La police de DC sur des motos Harley-Davidson escorte une manifestation en 2018.

La criminalité à Washington, DC, est concentrée dans des domaines associés à la pauvreté, à la toxicomanie et aux gangs. Une étude de 2010 a révélé que 5% des pâtés de maisons représentaient plus de 25% des crimes totaux du district. [139]

Les quartiers les plus riches du nord-ouest de Washington sont généralement sûrs, en particulier dans les zones où se concentrent les opérations gouvernementales, telles que Downtown Washington, DC , Foggy Bottom , Embassy Row et Penn Quarter, mais les rapports faisant état d'une augmentation des crimes violents dans les quartiers les plus pauvres sont généralement concentrés dans le partie orientale de la ville. [139] Environ 60 000 résidents sont des ex-détenus. [140]

En 2012, le nombre annuel de meurtres à Washington était tombé à 88, le total le plus bas depuis 1961. [141] Le taux de meurtres a depuis augmenté par rapport à ce creux historique, bien qu'il reste proche de la moitié du taux du début des années 2000. [142] Washington était autrefois décrite comme la « capitale du meurtre » des États-Unis au début des années 1990. [143] Le nombre de meurtres a culminé en 1991 à 479, mais le niveau de violence a ensuite commencé à diminuer de manière significative. [144]

En 2016, le département de police métropolitaine du district a recensé 135 homicides, une augmentation de 53 % par rapport à 2012 mais une diminution de 17 % par rapport à 2015. [145] De nombreux quartiers tels que Columbia Heights et Logan Circle deviennent plus sûrs et dynamiques. Cependant, les incidents de vols et de vols sont restés plus élevés dans ces zones en raison de l'augmentation de l'activité nocturne et du plus grand nombre de résidents aisés. [146] Même encore, les signalements à l'échelle de la ville de crimes contre les biens et de crimes violents ont diminué de près de la moitié depuis leurs sommets les plus récents au milieu des années 1990. [147]

On June 26, 2008, the Supreme Court of the United States held in District of Columbia v. Heller that the city's 1976 handgun ban violated the right to keep and bear arms as protected under the Second Amendment.[148] However, the ruling does not prohibit all forms of gun control; laws requiring firearm registration remain in place, as does the city's assault weapon ban.[149]

In addition to the district's own Metropolitan Police Department, many federal law enforcement agencies have jurisdiction in the city as well—most visibly the U.S. Park Police, founded in 1791.[150]

Economy

Federal Triangle, between Constitution Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue. The U.S. federal government accounts for about 29% of D.C. jobs.

Washington has a growing, diversified economy with an increasing percentage of professional and business service jobs.[151] The district's gross state product in 2018-Q2 was $141 billion.[152] The Washington Metropolitan Area's gross product was $435 billion in 2014, making it the sixth-largest metropolitan economy in the United States.[153] Between 2009 and 2016, GDP per capita in Washington has consistently ranked on the very top among U.S. states.[154] In 2016, at $160,472, its GDP per capita is almost three times as high as that of Massachusetts, which was ranked second in the nation.[154] As of 2011, the Washington Metropolitan Area had an unemployment rate of 6.2%; the second-lowest rate among the 49 largest metro areas in the nation.[155] The District of Columbia itself had an unemployment rate of 9.8% during the same time period.[156]

In December 2017, 25% of the employees in Washington, D.C., were employed by a federal governmental agency.[157][158] This is thought to immunize Washington, D.C., to national economic downturns because the federal government continues operations even during recessions.[159] Many organizations such as law firms, defense contractors, civilian contractors, nonprofit organizations, lobbying firms, trade unions, industry trade groups, and professional associations have their headquarters in or near Washington, D.C., in order to be close to the federal government.[101] The city of Rosslyn, Virginia, located across the Potomac River from D.C., serves as a base of operations for several Fortune 500 companies, due to the building height restrictions in place within the District of Columbia. In 2018, Amazon announced they would build "HQ 2" in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia.[160]

Tourism is Washington's second-largest industry. Approximately 18.9 million visitors contributed an estimated $4.8 billion to the local economy in 2012.[161] The district also hosts nearly 200 foreign embassies and international organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Pan American Health Organization. In 2008, the foreign diplomatic corps in Washington employed about 10,000 people and contributed an estimated $400 million annually to the local economy.[102]

The district has growing industries not directly related to government, especially in the areas of education, finance, public policy, and scientific research. Georgetown University, George Washington University, Washington Hospital Center, Children's National Medical Center and Howard University are the top five non-government-related employers in the city as of 2009.[162] According to statistics compiled in 2011, four of the largest 500 companies in the country were headquartered in the district.[163] In the 2021 Global Financial Centres Index, Washington was ranked as having the 14th most competitive financial center in the world, and fourth most competitive in the United States (after New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles).[164]

Culture

Landmarks

The Lincoln Memorial receives about six million visits annually.

The National Mall is a large, open park in downtown Washington between the Lincoln Memorial and the United States Capitol. Given its prominence, the mall is often the location of political protests, concerts, festivals, and presidential inaugurations. The Washington Monument and the Jefferson Pier are near the center of the mall, south of the White House. Also on the mall are the National World War II Memorial at the east end of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.[165]

Directly south of the mall, the Tidal Basin features rows of Japanese cherry trees.[166] The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, George Mason Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and the District of Columbia War Memorial are around the Tidal Basin.[165]

The National Archives houses thousands of documents important to American history, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.[167] Located in three buildings on Capitol Hill, the Library of Congress is the largest library complex in the world with a collection of more than 147 million books, manuscripts, and other materials.[168] The United States Supreme Court Building was completed in 1935; before then, the court held sessions in the Old Senate Chamber of the Capitol.[169]

Museums

The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest research and museum complex.[170]

The Smithsonian Institution is an educational foundation chartered by Congress in 1846 that maintains most of the nation's official museums and galleries in Washington, D.C. The U.S. government partially funds the Smithsonian, and its collections are open to the public free of charge.[171] The Smithsonian's locations had a combined total of 30 million visits in 2013. The most visited museum is the National Museum of Natural History on the National Mall.[172] Other Smithsonian Institution museums and galleries on the mall are: the National Air and Space Museum; the National Museum of African Art; the National Museum of American History; the National Museum of the American Indian; the Sackler and Freer galleries, which both focus on Asian art and culture; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; the Arts and Industries Building; the S. Dillon Ripley Center; and the Smithsonian Institution Building (also known as "The Castle"), which serves as the institution's headquarters.[173] The Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery are housed in the Old Patent Office Building, near Washington's Chinatown.[174] The Renwick Gallery is officially part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum but is in a separate building near the White House. Other Smithsonian museums and galleries include: the Anacostia Community Museum in Southeast Washington; the National Postal Museum near Union Station; and the National Zoo in Woodley Park.[173]

The National Gallery of Art is on the National Mall near the Capitol and features American and European artworks. The U.S. government owns the gallery and its collections. However, they are not a part of the Smithsonian Institution.[175] The National Building Museum, which occupies the former Pension Building near Judiciary Square, was chartered by Congress and hosts exhibits on architecture, urban planning, and design.[176]

There are many private art museums in the District of Columbia, which house major collections and exhibits open to the public, such as the National Museum of Women in the Arts and The Phillips Collection in Dupont Circle, the first museum of modern art in the United States.[177] Other private museums in Washington include the Newseum, the O Street Museum, the International Spy Museum, the National Geographic Society Museum, and the Museum of the Bible. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum near the National Mall maintains exhibits, documentation, and artifacts related to the Holocaust.[178]

Arts

Washington, D.C., is a national center for the arts. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is home to the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington National Opera, and the Washington Ballet. The Kennedy Center Honors are awarded each year to those in the performing arts who have contributed greatly to the cultural life of the United States.[179] The historic Ford's Theatre, site of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, continues to operate as a functioning performance space as well as a museum.[180]

The Marine Barracks near Capitol Hill houses the United States Marine Band; founded in 1798, it is the country's oldest professional musical organization.[181] American march composer and Washington-native John Philip Sousa led the Marine Band from 1880 until 1892.[182] Founded in 1925, the United States Navy Band has its headquarters at the Washington Navy Yard and performs at official events and public concerts around the city.[183] Washington has a strong local theater tradition. Founded in 1950, Arena Stage achieved national attention and spurred growth in the city's independent theater movement that now includes organizations such as the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and the Studio Theatre.[184] Arena Stage opened its newly renovated home in the city's emerging Southwest waterfront area in 2010.[185] The GALA Hispanic Theatre, now housed in the historic Tivoli Theatre in Columbia Heights, was founded in 1976 and is a National Center for the Latino Performing Arts.[186]

The U Street Corridor in Northwest D.C., known as "Washington's Black Broadway", is home to institutions like the Howard Theatre, Bohemian Caverns, and the Lincoln Theatre, which hosted music legends such as Washington-native Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis.[187] Washington has its own native music genre called go-go; a post-funk, percussion-driven flavor of rhythm and blues that was popularized in the late 1970s by D.C. band leader Chuck Brown.[188]

The district is an important center for indie culture and music in the United States. The label Dischord Records, formed by Ian MacKaye, frontman of Fugazi, was one of the most crucial independent labels in the genesis of 1980s punk and eventually indie rock in the 1990s.[189] Modern alternative and indie music venues like The Black Cat and the 9:30 Club bring popular acts to the U Street area.[190]

Sports

Washington is one of 13 cities in the United States with teams from all four major professional men's sports and is home to one major professional women's team. The Washington Wizards (National Basketball Association) and the Washington Capitals (National Hockey League) play at the Capital One Arena in Chinatown. The Washington Mystics (Women's National Basketball Association) play in the St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena. Nationals Park, which opened in Southeast D.C. in 2008, is home to the Washington Nationals (Major League Baseball). D.C. United (Major League Soccer) plays at Audi Field. The Washington Football Team (National Football League) plays at FedExField in nearby Landover, Maryland.

D.C. teams have won a combined thirteen professional league championships: the Washington Football Team (then named the Washington Redskins) have won five (including three Super Bowls during the 1980s);[191] D.C. United has won four;[192] and the Washington Wizards (then the Washington Bullets), Washington Capitals, Washington Mystics and Washington Nationals have each won a single championship.[193][194]

Other professional and semi-professional teams in Washington include: DC Defenders (XFL), Old Glory DC (Major League Rugby), the Washington Kastles (World TeamTennis); the Washington D.C. Slayers (USA Rugby League); the Baltimore Washington Eagles (U.S. Australian Football League); the D.C. Divas (Independent Women's Football League); and the Potomac Athletic Club RFC (Rugby Super League). The William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park hosts the Citi Open. Washington is also home to two major annual marathon races: the Marine Corps Marathon, which is held every autumn, and the Rock 'n' Roll USA Marathon held in the spring. The Marine Corps Marathon began in 1976 and is sometimes called "The People's Marathon" because it is the largest marathon that does not offer prize money to participants.[195]

The district's four NCAA Division I teams, American Eagles, George Washington Colonials, Georgetown Hoyas and Howard Bison and Lady Bison, have a broad following. The Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team is the most notable and also plays at the Capital One Arena. From 2008 to 2012, the district hosted an annual college football bowl game at RFK Stadium, called the Military Bowl.[196] The D.C. area is home to one regional sports television network, Comcast SportsNet (CSN), based in Bethesda, Maryland.

Media

Washington, D.C., is a prominent center for national and international media. The Washington Post, founded in 1877, is the oldest and most-read local daily newspaper in Washington.[197] "The Post", as it is popularly called, is well known as the newspaper that exposed the Watergate scandal.[198] It had the sixth-highest readership of all news dailies in the country in 2011.[199] From 2003 to 2019, The Washington Post Company published a daily free commuter newspaper called the Express, which summarized events, sports and entertainment;[200] it still publishes the Spanish-language paper El Tiempo Latino.

Another popular local daily is The Washington Times, the city's second general interest broadsheet and also an influential paper in conservative political circles.[201] The alternative weekly Washington City Paper also has a substantial readership in the Washington area.[202][203]

The Watergate complex was the site of the Watergate Scandal, which led to President Nixon's resignation.

Some community and specialty papers focus on neighborhood and cultural issues, including the weekly Washington Blade and Metro Weekly, which focus on LGBT issues; the Washington Informer and The Washington Afro American, which highlight topics of interest to the black community; and neighborhood newspapers published by The Current Newspapers. Congressional Quarterly, The Hill, Politico and Roll Call newspapers focus exclusively on issues related to Congress and the federal government. Other publications based in Washington include the National Geographic magazine and political publications such as The Washington Examiner, The New Republic and Washington Monthly.[204]

The Washington Metropolitan Area is the ninth-largest television media market in the nation, with two million homes, approximately 2% of the country's population.[205] Several media companies and cable television channels have their headquarters in the area, including C-SPAN; Black Entertainment Television (BET); Radio One; the National Geographic Channel; Smithsonian Networks; National Public Radio (NPR); Travel Channel (in Chevy Chase, Maryland); Discovery Communications (in Silver Spring, Maryland); and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) (in Arlington, Virginia). The headquarters of Voice of America, the U.S. government's international news service, is near the Capitol in Southwest Washington.[206]

Washington has two local NPR affiliates, WAMU and WETA.

Government and politics

Politics

Article One, Section Eight of the United States Constitution grants the United States Congress "exclusive jurisdiction" over the city. The district did not have an elected local government until the passage of the 1973 Home Rule Act. The Act devolved certain Congressional powers to an elected mayor and the thirteen-member Council of the District of Columbia. However, Congress retains the right to review and overturn laws created by the council and intervene in local affairs.[207]

Each of the city's eight wards elects a single member of the council and residents elect four at-large members to represent the district as a whole. The council chair is also elected at-large.[208] There are 37 Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) elected by small neighborhood districts. ANCs can issue recommendations on all issues that affect residents; government agencies take their advice under careful consideration.[209] The attorney general of the District of Columbia is elected to a four-year term.[210]

Washington, D.C., observes all federal holidays and also celebrates Emancipation Day on April 16, which commemorates the end of slavery in the district.[40] The flag of Washington, D.C., was adopted in 1938 and is a variation on George Washington's family coat of arms.[211]

Washington, D.C., is overwhelmingly Democratic, having voted for the Democratic candidate solidly since it was granted electoral votes in 1964. Each Republican candidate was voted down in favor of the Democratic candidate by a margin of at least 56 percentage points each time; the closest, albeit very large, margin between the two parties in a presidential election was in 1972, when Richard Nixon secured 21.56% of the vote to George McGovern's 78.10%. Since then, the Republican candidate has never received more than 20 percent of the vote. Every Democrat since 2008 has received over 90% of the vote.

Additionally, since 2016, the city's residential voting population has become almost unanimously Democratic, more so than it has ever been. Since 2016, no Democrat has received less than 93% of the major-party vote in the federal district, a level of support that has not been crossed districtwide before that election.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in the district since 2010, and conversion therapy has been prohibited since 2015. Assisted suicide is also permitted in the district, with a bill legalizing the practice being introduced in 2015, signed by mayor Muriel Bowser in 2016, and going into effect in 2017, making Washington, D.C., the seventh jurisdiction in the United States to have legalized assisted suicide, along with Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Montana and Vermont.

Washington, D.C., has been a member state of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) since 2015.

The idiom Inside the Beltway is an occasional reference used by media to describe political issues inside of Washington, D.C., by way of geographical demarcation regarding the region inner to the Capital's Beltway, Interstate 495, the city's highway loop (beltway) constructed in 1964.

Budgetary issues

The mayor and council set local taxes and a budget, which Congress must approve. The Government Accountability Office and other analysts have estimated that the city's high percentage of tax-exempt property and the Congressional prohibition of commuter taxes create a structural deficit in the district's local budget of anywhere between $470 million and over $1 billion per year. Congress typically provides additional grants for federal programs such as Medicaid and the operation of the local justice system; however, analysts claim that the payments do not fully resolve the imbalance.[212][213]

The city's local government, particularly during the mayoralty of Marion Barry, was criticized for mismanagement and waste.[214] During his administration in 1989, The Washington Monthly magazine claimed that the district had "the worst city government in America".[215] In 1995, at the start of Barry's fourth term, Congress created the District of Columbia Financial Control Board to oversee all municipal spending.[216] Mayor Anthony Williams won election in 1998 and oversaw a period of urban renewal and budget surpluses.

The district regained control over its finances in 2001 and the oversight board's operations were suspended.[217]

The district has a federally funded "Emergency Planning and Security Fund" to cover security related to visits by foreign leaders and diplomats, presidential inaugurations, protests, and terrorism concerns. During the Trump administration, the fund has run with a deficit. Trump's January 2017 inauguration cost the city $27 million; of that, $7 million was never repaid to the fund. Trump's 2019 Independence Day event, "A Salute to America", cost six times more than Independence Day events in past years.[218]

Voting rights debate

The Eisenhower Executive Office Building, once the world's largest office building, houses the Executive Office of the President of the United States.

The district is not a state and therefore has no voting representation in Congress. D.C. residents elect a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives (D.C. At-Large), who may sit on committees, participate in debate, and introduce legislation, but cannot vote on the House floor. The district has no official representation in the United States Senate. Neither chamber seats the district's elected "shadow" representative or senators. Unlike residents of U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico or Guam, which also have non-voting delegates, D.C. residents are subject to all federal taxes.[219] In the financial year 2012, D.C. residents and businesses paid $20.7 billion in federal taxes; more than the taxes collected from 19 states and the highest federal taxes per capita.[220]

A 2005 poll found that 78% of Americans did not know residents of the District of Columbia have less representation in Congress than residents of the fifty states.[221] Efforts to raise awareness about the issue have included campaigns by grassroots organizations and featuring the city's unofficial motto, "Taxation Without Representation", on D.C. vehicle license plates.[222] There is evidence of nationwide approval for D.C. voting rights; various polls indicate that 61 to 82% of Americans believe D.C. should have voting representation in Congress.[221][223]

Several approaches to resolving these concerns been suggested over the years:

  • District of Columbia Statehood: Almost all the District of Columbia would become the 51st State as Washington, Douglass Commonwealth. The much-reduced District of Columbia would run from Capitol Hill west to the Potomac, including the White House and many federal buildings; no one resides permanently in this federal enclave.
  • District of Columbia Retrocession to Maryland: As Arlington County in 1846 was retroceded to Virginia, proponents believe the rest of the District of Columbia except for a small strip of land around the Capitol and the White House (the federal enclave) would be given back to Maryland, allowing for DC residents to become Maryland residents as they were before the Residence Act of 1790.
  • District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendment: this option would allow DC residents to vote in Maryland or Virginia for their congressional representatives, with the District of Columbia remaining an independent entity. This was in effect from 1790 to 1801, before the Organic Act of 1801.

Opponents of D.C. voting rights propose that the Founding Fathers never intended for district residents to have a vote in Congress since the Constitution makes clear that representation must come from the states. Those opposed to making D.C. a state claim such a move would destroy the notion of a separate national capital and that statehood would unfairly grant Senate representation to a single city.[224]

Sister cities

Washington, D.C., has fifteen official sister city agreements. Each of the listed cities is a national capital except for Sunderland, which includes the town of Washington, the ancestral home of George Washington's family.[225] Paris and Rome are each formally recognized as a partner city due to their special one sister city policy.[226] Listed in the order each agreement was first established, they are:

Education

The Library of Congress is one of the world's largest libraries, with more than 167 million cataloged items.[229]

District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) operates the city's 123 public schools.[230] The number of students in DCPS steadily decreased for 39 years until 2009. In the 2010–11 school year, 46,191 students were enrolled in the public school system.[231] DCPS has one of the highest-cost, yet lowest-performing school systems in the country, in terms of both infrastructure and student achievement.[232] Mayor Adrian Fenty's administration made sweeping changes to the system by closing schools, replacing teachers, firing principals, and using private education firms to aid curriculum development.[233]

The District of Columbia Public Charter School Board monitors the 52 public charter schools in the city.[234] Due to the perceived problems with the traditional public school system, enrollment in public charter schools had by 2007 steadily increased.[235] As of 2010, D.C., charter schools had a total enrollment of about 32,000, a 9% increase from the prior year.[231] The district is also home to 92 private schools, which enrolled approximately 18,000 students in 2008.[236] The District of Columbia Public Library operates 25 neighborhood locations including the landmark Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.[237]

Higher education

Georgetown Day at Georgetown University

Private universities include American University (AU), the Catholic University of America (CUA), Gallaudet University, George Washington University (GW), Georgetown University (GU), Howard University (HU), the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and Trinity Washington University. The Corcoran College of Art and Design, the oldest art school in the capital, was absorbed into the George Washington University in 2014, now serving as its college of arts.

The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is a public land-grant university providing undergraduate and graduate education. D.C. residents may also be eligible for a grant of up to $10,000 per year to offset the cost of tuition at any public university in the country.[238]

The district is known for its medical research institutions such as Washington Hospital Center and the Children's National Medical Center, as well as the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. In addition, the city is home to three medical schools and associated teaching hospitals at George Washington, Georgetown, and Howard universities.[239]

Infrastructure

Transportation

A Blue Line train at Farragut West, an underground station on the Washington Metro

There are 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of streets, parkways, and avenues in the district.[240] Due to the freeway revolts of the 1960s, much of the proposed interstate highway system through the middle of Washington was never built. Interstate 95 (I-95), the nation's major east coast highway, therefore bends around the district to form the eastern portion of the Capital Beltway. A portion of the proposed highway funding was directed to the region's public transportation infrastructure instead.[241] The interstate highways that continue into Washington, including I-66 and I-395, both terminate shortly after entering the city.[242]

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) operates the Washington Metro, the city's rapid transit system, as well as Metrobus. Both systems serve the district and its suburbs. Metro opened on March 27, 1976, and, as of 2014, consists of 91 stations and 117 miles (188 km) of track.[243] With an average of about one million trips each weekday, Metro is the second-busiest rapid transit system in the country. Metrobus serves more than 400,000 riders each weekday and is the nation's fifth-largest bus system.[244] The city also operates its own DC Circulator bus system, which connects commercial areas within central Washington.[245]

Washington Union Station is one of the busiest rail stations in the United States.

Union Station is the city's main train station and services approximately 70,000 people each day. It is Amtrak's second-busiest station with 4.6 million passengers annually and is the southern terminus for the Northeast Corridor and Acela Express routes. Maryland's MARC and Virginia's VRE commuter trains and the Metrorail Red Line also provide service into Union Station.[246] Following renovations in 2011, Union Station became Washington's primary intercity bus transit center.[247]

Three major airports serve the district. The closest is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, which is about 5 miles from the city and is primarily reserved for domestic flights, but is the least busy in the region. The busiest by international flights is Washington Dulles International Airport located about 24 miles away from the city center,[248] and the busiest by total passenger boardings is Baltimore/Washington International Airport, about 30 miles from the city. Each of these three airports also serves as a hub for a major American airline: Reagan is a small hub for American Airlines, Dulles is a major hub for United Airlines and Star Alliance partners, and BWI is a major focus city for Southwest Airlines.

I-66 in Washington, D.C.

According to a 2010 study, Washington-area commuters spent 70 hours a year in traffic delays, which tied with Chicago for having the nation's worst road congestion.[249] However, 37% of Washington-area commuters take public transportation to work, the second-highest rate in the country.[250] An additional 12% of D.C. commuters walked to work, 6% carpooled, and 3% traveled by bicycle in 2010.[251] A 2011 study by Walk Score found that Washington was the seventh-most walkable city in the country with 80% of residents living in neighborhoods that are not car dependent.[252] In 2013, the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metropolitan statistical area (MSA) had the eighth lowest percentage of workers who commuted by private automobile (75.7 percent), with 8 percent of area workers traveling via rail transit.[253]

An expected 32% increase in transit usage within the district by 2030 has spurred the construction of a new DC Streetcar system to interconnect the city's neighborhoods.[254] An additional Metro line that will connect Washington to Dulles airport is expected to open by July 2021 at the earliest.[needs update][255][256] The district is part of the regional Capital Bikeshare program. Started in 2010, it is one of the largest bicycle sharing systems in the country with more than 4,351 bicycles and more than 395 stations,[257] all provided by PBSC Urban Solutions. By 2012, the city's network of marked bicycle lanes covered 56 miles (90 km) of streets.[258]

Utilities

The Capitol Power Plant, built to supply energy for the U.S. Capitol Complex, is under the jurisdiction of the Architect of the Capitol.

The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (i.e., WASA or D.C. Water) is an independent authority of the D.C. government that provides drinking water and wastewater collection in Washington. WASA purchases water from the historic Washington Aqueduct, which is operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. The water, sourced from the Potomac River, is treated and stored in the city's Dalecarlia, Georgetown, and McMillan reservoirs. The aqueduct provides drinking water for a total of 1.1 million people in the district and Virginia, including Arlington, Falls Church, and a portion of Fairfax County.[259] The authority also provides sewage treatment services for an additional 1.6 million people in four surrounding Maryland and Virginia counties.[260]

Pepco is the city's electric utility and services 793,000 customers in the district and suburban Maryland.[261] An 1889 law prohibits overhead wires within much of the historic City of Washington. As a result, all power lines and telecommunication cables are located underground in downtown Washington, and traffic signals are placed at the edge of the street.[262] A plan announced in 2013 would bury an additional 60 miles (97 km) of primary power lines throughout the district.[263]

Washington Gas is the city's natural gas utility and serves more than a million customers in the district and its suburbs. Incorporated by Congress in 1848, the company installed the city's first gas lights in the Capitol, the White House, and along Pennsylvania Avenue.[264]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ By 1790, the Southern states had largely repaid their overseas debts from the Revolutionary War. The Northern states had not, and wanted the federal government to take over their outstanding liabilities. Southern Congressmen agreed to the plan in return for establishing the new national capital at their preferred site on the Potomac River.[22]
  2. ^ The Residence Act allowed the President to select a location within Maryland as far east as the Anacostia River. However, Washington shifted the federal territory's borders to the southeast to include the city of Alexandria at the District's southern tip. In 1791, Congress amended the Residence Act to approve the new site, including territory ceded by Virginia.[23]
  3. ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the expected highest and lowest temperature readings at any point during the year or given month) calculated based on data at said location from 1991 to 2020.
  4. ^ Official records for Washington, D.C. were kept at 24th and M Streets NW from January 1871 to June 1945, and at Reagan National Airport since July 1945.[89]
  5. ^ Apportionment totals are collected by combining Resident and Overseas population. (For D.C., this is 689545 residents and 1988 overseas population.
  6. ^ Until 1890, the Census Bureau counted the City of Washington, Georgetown, and unincorporated portions of Washington County as three separate areas. The data provided in this article from before 1890 are calculated as if the District of Columbia were a single municipality as it is today. Population data for each city prior to 1890 are available.[110]
  7. ^ The territories of the United States have the highest poverty rates in the United States.[134]
  8. ^ These figures count adherents, meaning all full members, their children, and others who regularly attend services. In all of the District, 55% of the population is adherent to any particular religion.

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External links

Preceded by
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Capital of the United States
of America

1800–present
Incumbent

Coordinates: 38°54′36″N 77°00′53″W / 38.9101°N 77.0147°W / 38.9101; -77.0147 (District of Columbia)