As we send in your checks today to keep the wise planners in D.C. funded, let’s consider why D.C. is where it is.
In our government-funded K-12 system, I learned that the location between Maryland and Virginia was a political compromise and that the interests competing were those of multiple states.
From America’s Founding Fathers, a lecture series by Allen Guelzo, a professor at Gettysburg College, I have learned that actually the interests competing were those of individuals.
The original idea was a capital near Philadelphia on the Susquehanna River. Why relocate to a swamp along the Potomac River? Professor Guelzo says that this was a much better location for shareholders of the Potomac Company, which was building canals to facilitate shipping up and down the river.
Who were the shareholders and principals of the company? George Washington was one of the biggest! And his Mt. Vernon estate happened to be quite close to the eventual site of the national capital. Many additional “founding cronies” helped themselves to what they expected to be massive personal profits by moving the site of the capital to the river whose navigation they were improving.
Maybe the next Mueller investigation can look at whether Donald Trump has been scheming to move the capital to Palm Beach?