/wosh"ing teuhn, waw"shing-/, n.
1. Booker T(aliaferro) /book"euhr tol"euh veuhr/, 1856-1915, U.S. reformer, educator, author, and lecturer.
2. George, 1732-99, U.S. general and political leader: 1st president of the U.S. 1789-97.
3. Martha (Martha Dandridge), 1732-1802, wife of George.
4. Also called Washington, D.C. the capital of the United States, on the Potomac between Maryland and Virginia: coextensive with the District of Columbia. 637,651. Abbr.: Wash. See map under District of Columbia.
5. Also called Washington State. a state in the NW United States, on the Pacific coast. 3,553,231; 68,192 sq. mi. (176,615 sq. km). Cap.: Olympia. Abbr.: WA (for use with zip code), Wash.
6. a city in SW Pennsylvania. 18,363.
7. a city in SW Indiana. 11,325.
8. a town in central Illinois. 10,364.
9. Mount, a mountain in N New Hampshire, in the White Mountains: highest peak in the NE United States. 6293 ft. (1918 m).
10. Lake, a lake in W Washington, near Seattle. 20 mi. (32 km) long.
11. a male given name.

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State (pop., 2000: 5,894,121), northwestern U.S. Washington is bounded by the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north, Idaho to the east, Oregon to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

It covers an area of 68,139 sq mi (176,479 sq km); its capital is Olympia. The state contains the Cascade Range, which includes Mount Rainier and Mount Saint Helens, and the Olympic Mountains. The Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound extend inland into the state from the Pacific Ocean. Cape Alva, the most westerly point of the coterminous U.S., is in Washington, as is the Columbia River. The area was inhabited by Pacific Coast Indians, including the Chinook and Nez Percé, when the region was visited by Spanish, Russian, British, and French explorers (1543–1792). Claimed by the Spanish and British, it was crossed by the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805. Spain surrendered to the U.S. its territories north of California in 1819. Until the 1840s, international agreement permitted citizens of both the U.S. and Britain to settle in what was known as Oregon Country. An 1846 treaty with Great Britain set the present Washington-Canada boundary; the Oregon Country was added to the U.S. and renamed the Territory of Oregon in 1848. Washington received territorial status in 1853 and was reduced to its present size in 1863. It was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. In the late 1890s it was the main staging point for gold miners going to the Alaskan and Yukon strikes. The greatest stimulus to its 20th-century progress came with the development of hydroelectric power and the work on the Bonneville and Grand Coulee dams. Its important manufactures include aircraft building and shipbuilding. Expanding trade with Pacific Rim countries, high technology, and tourism add to the economy.
(as used in expressions)
Allston Washington
Carver George Washington
Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey
Goethals George Washington
Irving Washington
Julian George Washington
Odum Howard Washington
Washington Booker Taliaferro
Washington D.C.
Washington Denzel
Washington Dinah
Washington George
Washington Harold
Washington Mount
Washington Post The

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in full  Washington, D.C. (“District of Columbia”),  
Washington, D.C., flag of city and capital of the United States of America. The city is coextensive with the District of Columbia and is located at the head of navigation of the Potomac River, which separates it from Virginia to the southwest. In 1790 Congress designated 100 square miles (260 square km) of territory for the seat of government for the new nation on land ceded by Maryland and Virginia. However, in the mid-19th century the land south of the Potomac was returned to Virginia, and since then the District's boundaries have made it essentially a 68-square-mile (177-square-km) enclave carved from Maryland. The greater Washington metropolitan area includes several surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia and such Virginia cities as Fairfax, Falls Church, and Alexandria. Pop. (1990) city, 606,900; Washington PMSA, 4,223,485; Washington–Baltimore CMSA, 6,727,050; (2000) city, 572,059; Washington PMSA, 4,923,153; Washington–Baltimore CMSA, 7,608,070.

Physical and human geography

Character of the city
      Washington is one of the few capital cities of the world founded expressly as a seat of government and as a centre for international representation. The expansive designs for the city were to symbolize the ideals of the freedom so recently achieved yet still so tenuously held by the citizenry of the nation. It was to be a vital city, the proper seat for the federal government.

      The modern city also holds the nation's most sacred monuments and the most meaningful artifacts of its history, the embassies of foreign nations, and an impressive collection of the national art treasures. Nearly every significant national organization has its headquarters or a major branch in the District, often for the purpose of lobbying in Congress or within federal agencies. The city was meant to be, and has remained, the focal point of the nation for sightseers and for seekers after the spirit of the American past and present.

      While Washington has continued to portray itself as the foremost symbol of American heritage and governance, it has also been the chief focus of the country's growing security concerns. The city's more relaxed and easygoing attitude of earlier years has been increasingly overshadowed by threats from terrorists and others. At one time, a Harry S. Truman could slip outside to take his morning stroll, but presidents now typically travel in public in armoured limousines surrounded by small armies of Secret Service agents. Individuals who once had easy access to government buildings and public spaces now find themselves subject to growing restrictions and security screenings. Tragedies occur despite the precautions. In 1981 a gunman shot and severely wounded President Ronald Reagan outside a downtown hotel; in 1998 another gunman killed two security guards at the Capitol; and in 2001 the Pentagon was heavily damaged and scores of people were killed when hijackers deliberately crashed a commercial airliner into it.

Impediments to municipal development
      For many reasons, Washington has had a development that is unique among the world's major cities. An inherent tendency to distinguish between the District of Columbia as the capital, with its paraphernalia of federal facilities, and Washington as the city, with its complexity of social, economic, and political problems, has produced a metropolis as notorious for its ugliness and crime as it is famous for its diverse and truly awesome beauties. The city is located near the end of the sprawling urbanized agglomeration that spreads southward from Boston along the Eastern Seaboard, and it has most of the same problems that face other great core metropolises of the region—Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore—and of the nation as a whole.

      Another set of disparities exists between the city of Washington and the Washington metropolitan area. More than one-fourth of the people over 26 years of age in the metropolitan area hold college degrees, the highest percentage among the 10 largest such areas in the country, and the area's population has one of the highest annual per capita incomes. On the other hand, a high proportion of the population within the city is made up of families with low incomes or of handicapped or aged persons, many requiring governmental assistance.

      These factors provide insight into why Washington—the city as distinct from the capital and the metropolitan area—has developed neither the social stability nor the continuity that provides the lifeblood of most other large cities. Both the living and the working populations of Washington are among the most transient in the nation. Only a small percentage of residents have longtime roots in Washington, while a high proportion of government and service workers commute into the city from suburban homes. These more affluent Washington workers typically spend most of their income and pay most of their taxes in adjacent counties and states, leaving the needs and destiny of the city to the dictates of an essentially alien body of lawmakers and administrators.

The incomplete city
      With its history and character so profoundly affected by the varying and nonlocal interests and values of Congress, however, concern for Washington's social and environmental quality has been limited. Approximately half of the land in Washington is owned by the U.S. government, which pays no taxes. An additional tenth of the land is untaxed because it is owned by foreign governments and nonprofit institutions. The prominence of the park and highway systems in the city's landscape reflects the interests of Congress and various federal agencies, but the historic lack of concern for the city as a whole has left the grandeur of its vistas, monuments, and governmental facilities in startling contrast to the large areas of the city that have struck many observers as being in advanced stages of physical and spiritual distress.

      This may be epitomized in the contrasts of weekday and weekend Washington. Perhaps no other American city except Los Angeles depends so heavily upon private automobiles for transportation. During rush hours, cars and buses choke the streets and avenues, a twice-daily scene interspersed with weekends of deserted streets and empty lots. Yet an expanding subway system, in operation since the late 1970s, has helped reduce traffic congestion and renew interest in different parts of the city.

The landscape
The city layout (urban planning)
   Washington's city plan is remarkable and unique. The city's visionary was Pierre-Charles L'Enfant (L'Enfant, Pierre-Charles), a French army engineer who served honourably in the American Revolution. L'Enfant perfectly adapted the city's formal plan to the area's natural topography, carefully selecting important sites for principal buildings on the basis of the order of their importance, beginning with the Capitol. He connected these sites with long and broad avenues, thereby forming “lines of direct communication” yet symbolically separating the governmental powers.

      Two elements of the original plan for Washington, completed in 1791, are of special significance. First, L'Enfant's ideas for a capital city were based not on 13 colonies with 3,000,000 inhabitants but on a republic ultimately having 50 states and 500,000,000 citizens. He envisioned a city of 800,000 inhabitants at a time when the entire United States had less than four times that number. Second, L'Enfant had reached artistic maturity in Paris and Versailles, where he was influenced strongly by Baroque landscape architecture, which was at its zenith in the late decades of the 18th century. His original designs for Washington reflected the grandeur both of his projections and of the Baroque.

L'Enfant's basic plan
 Perhaps the dominant element in L'Enfant's designs is the complex revolving about the Capitol (Capitol, United States), the Mall (Mall, the), and the executive mansion, which came to be known as the White House. Both buildings, incorporating elements of Baroque design, were placed to form the background, or terminating vista, of long straight pathways, or malls. Radiating from the buildings were two series of broad avenues converging into circular intersections, the effect of which was to create, in L'Enfant's phrase, “a reciprocity of view,” a means of terminating long vistas that would give direction and character to the city and would create throughout it a series of subcentres within view of one another. Most of these subcentres—now circles and squares with small green parks—were carefully located on natural rises in the terrain, as were the Capitol and the White House.

 The Mall, which extends from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial, was intended to be one broad, tree-lined avenue, in the manner of the Champs-Élysées in Paris, rather than the green lawn, with occasional buildings and a crisscross of roads, that it has become. At the point where the north–south axis of the White House meets the east–west axis of the Capitol, an equestrian statue of George Washington was planned. This spot, slightly relocated because of soft subsoil and subterranean streams, is now the site of the Washington Monument.

      The pattern of radiating avenues was to be joined and filled by a gridiron matrix of streets. With the Capitol as the axis, the streets were lettered to the north and south, numbered to the east and west, and the avenues were named for the states. The entire city was divided into northwest (NW), northeast (NE), southeast (SE), and southwest (SW) quadrants, also centred on the Capitol. L'Enfant's plan ended to the north at what became Florida Avenue, where a steep bluff was to provide the approaching traveler with the impressive expanse of the city spread out at his feet.

Subsequent development
      Even before the Capitol's cornerstone was laid, L'Enfant had been dismissed reluctantly after disagreements with the commissioners in charge of raising the public buildings. During the 19th century and later, the original harmony of his design was eroded with the emergence of new municipal and governmental functions. Awkward relations developed between the grid pattern of cross streets and the diagonal avenues, especially at intersections, while the circular intersections, though providing pleasant oases for pedestrians, were fed by too many streets in the unforeseen age of the automobile and consequently became impediments along the city's thoroughfares. The original plan was effectively lost until 1887, when its recovery revealed that a number of 19th-century buildings along Pennsylvania Avenue, around the White House, and on Capitol Hill had altered the symmetries of the original conception.

      The addition of trees along most major avenues and streets, though now a feature of the city, destroyed in great part the concept of a city of magnificent distances. The location of other notable monuments, especially the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials (Jefferson Memorial) and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, modified the original plan further, as did the placement of various museums and temporary buildings on the Mall. Whatever the impact of later alterations, however, only a few efforts have been made since L'Enfant to redesign the capital totally.

Continuing affective elements of the capital
      To the visitor, nothing is more expressive of Washington's character than the dozens of buildings and hundreds of monuments that relate to its functions as the nation's capital. The style of federal architecture has changed several times over the years, and L'Enfant's plans for the location of the Capitol and the White House remain as focal points for a complexity of monuments and buildings that retain a kind of basic coherence to the image of Washington as a capital city.

      Dominating the scene, the Capitol offers an impressive silhouette terminating the Mall. Criticized by many as a “potpourri of many chefs,” the Capitol may lack the authenticity of the massive Renaissance domes that inspired it, but to many others it offers a feeling of emotional assurance that representative government rests on a broad and solid foundation. The other original building that underscores the purposes of L'Enfant is the charming, essentially modest White House, which has been judged by many as among the finest and most appropriate residences of state in the world.

      The largest complex of public buildings that joins the Capitol to the White House is the Federal Triangle, an imposing facade of buildings that fronts on Constitution Avenue along the Mall and houses various federal departments and other activities of national importance. Other structures located along the Mall include the National Gallery of Art, the National Archives, the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of American History, and the National Air and Space Museum. Around the Capitol on Capitol Hill are the buildings of the Supreme Court, Library of Congress, and the various House and Senate office buildings.

      The increasing number of governmental departments and agencies has resulted in an explosion of construction, particularly along Independence Avenue and extending into southwestern Washington's Foggy Bottom area. These buildings have been designed without particular regard for their individuality: a series of shafts or cubes faced with granite or marble. To many people they seem to represent, in contrast to the earlier forms of governmental architecture, an honest but ugly reminder of the anonymous bureaucratic routines upon which so much of modern organizational life depends.

      Ever since L'Enfant urged that Washington be lavishly equipped with “statues, columns or other ornaments” to honour the nation's great, a continuous effort has been made to assure that no open space in the city lacks its representative monument. Within the District of Columbia alone, more than 300 memorials and statues of varying size, purpose, and aesthetic merit have been raised—from the elegant and inspiring Lincoln and Jefferson memorials and the pure grandeur of the Washington Monument, to the statues of major and minor Civil War heroes, to memorial benches, Doric temples, and Japanese pagodas.

      A growing concern that Washington would soon become a veritable quarry of stone and metal monuments dedicated to minor individuals and causes led to a movement toward “living” or “functional” memorials that attempt to translate the personality of the person being honoured. Within this context, the monument dedicated to President John F. Kennedy was designed as a cultural centre for the performing arts. In addition, landscaping changes in the Mall area have removed most of the temporary buildings and returned the area to a purer interpretation of the L'Enfant design.

      Attempts to bring Washington's waterways into an overall national capital plan have been relative failures. Important as were the Potomac and Anacostia rivers in the decision about the capital's location, neither has lived up to its anticipated potentiality in the commercial or cultural life of the city. Technology rendered them obsolete for transportation, while pollution limited their usefulness for recreation. Some modest progress, however, has been made to enhance their aesthetic and recreational possibilities.

Modern features
      Washington as a city has expanded its influence and functions well beyond the 1790 boundaries established for the District of Columbia. Like the other large cities and metropolitan areas of the East Coast, it is beset with extreme social and economic problems. Unlike others, however, its surrounding suburban sprawl is part of other sovereign states, and the District can exercise little political control beyond its borders.

      The strain of this growing area, which in large part reflects the increasing size and influence of the federal government, is playing an enormous part in the changing physical character of the central city. Plans to further develop Washington include greater dispersal of federal activities and installations to suburban locations to alleviate transportation problems. Such a movement has been in progress for some time, along with the decentralization of many business and commercial functions. The result of these movements has been to concentrate within the physical boundaries of the city only those monumental, cultural, and governmental structures that logically and historically can be located nowhere else.

      The trends in planning that are changing the physical character of contemporary Washington are of two basic types. First, there has been an increasing effort to coordinate and enhance those monumental aspects of the city that are the outstanding physical features and most meaningful to the nation itself—notably in the Mall and Capitol areas. With this trend is the design of new public buildings to operate efficiently and yet blend harmoniously with the older federal architecture. Examples of such newer structures include the East Building of the National Gallery of Art, which employs the so-called L'Enfant Angle in its architectural design, and the congressional office buildings on Capitol Hill.

      Second, there have been efforts to make downtown commercial activities more attractive, as well as more accessible. Several pedestrian malls have been constructed in the major downtown shopping area, and a new business and commercial complex, L'Enfant Plaza, has been established within walking distance of a number of the newest public buildings. A large convention centre was built, and a subway system, called the Metro, was inaugurated.

      Other new features since the city began more rapid changes during the 1970s include the renovation of Pennsylvania Avenue, which was designated as a historic site in 1965; the renovation of Union Station as the National Visitor Center; and the redesigning of Lafayette Square facing the White House, a move that was hotly debated because it involved the razing of a number of fine old buildings. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, in West Potomac Park, was dedicated in 1982; two years later the Three Servicemen Statue was unveiled beside it; and in 1993 another statue, the Vietnam Women's Memorial, was completed nearby. The Korean War Veterans Memorial was dedicated in 1995, followed by the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in 1997. A project to clean and restore the Washington Monument had been largely completed by mid-2001.

The people
      The ethnic composition of Washington's population is about three-fifths African American and less than one-third white, with the remaining tenth a mixture of Asians, Africans, Latin Americans, and other ethnic minorities, including embassy personnel. In contrast, the suburban population is predominantly white, with a sizable African American minority.

      If any section of the country is overrepresented among Washingtonians, it is the Southeast and the nearby border states. John F. Kennedy once dryly remarked that “Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm”; indeed, life in the city often has been described as more Southern and leisurely than Northern and fast-paced—a comparison that sometimes leads to conjectures about how the choice of Washington's site may have affected the functions of the national government throughout its history.

      Changes in national administration bring about few real changes in the city's makeup. The personnel of foreign embassies and missions living temporarily or semipermanently in Washington are large in number but relatively small in the total population, and their participation in the city's life generally is fairly circumscribed. If the city has any true social aristocracy (aside from the upper echelons of the administration in power, members of Congress, and other high-ranking government officials), it is composed of a small cadre of well-to-do individuals or families who once held some office, found the capital's life congenial, and remained as permanent residents.

      Partially because of its racial and socioeconomic makeup, the District of Columbia and its surrounding metropolitan counties present a distinctive pattern of population distribution and thus a variability in the city's neighbourhood characteristics.

      Generally, within the northwestern area of the city and the suburban triangle of Maryland—including such unincorporated communities as Chevy Chase, Bethesda, and Silver Spring—that flanks this part of the city are located the majority of white middle-class and upper-middle-class residents. In the west, overlooking the Potomac, is the oldest neighbourhood, Georgetown, which remains Washington's most exclusive and picturesque residential area. Within these neighbourhoods, extending eastward in the District to Connecticut Avenue and 16th Street, are located nearly all of the foreign embassies, the great churches, private country clubs, and housing that ranges from the moderately affluent to the luxurious.

      East of 16th Street and extending north into the Maryland suburbs is the heart of the Washington African American community. The area illustrates the considerable diversity in quality of living available to Washington's black residents: from tree-shaded upper-middle-class streets in the vicinity of Howard University to rows of deteriorating houses and tenements. Along 14th Street are the principal areas of vice and crime in the city and the scene of the “April Riots” of 1968.

      The southern sections of the city form rather distinct areas, determined partly by geographic features and partly by the racial and socioeconomic character of the residents. The first area comprises the southwestern bank of the Potomac, which is crossed by six bridges joining the District and Virginia. In general this area is nonresidential, but it includes some of the city's more renowned landmarks, including the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery. The second area is an irregular triangle formed by the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, which converge at the apex of the triangle. Within this section are located a concentration of modern governmental buildings—Fort Lesley J. McNair and the National Defense University—and the large recreational complex of East Potomac Park (known popularly as Hains Point). Urban renewal projects in this section have changed the residency pattern from predominantly black slums to white upper-middle-class apartment and townhouse buildings. Many of the African American residents displaced by the southwestern renewal plans have shifted to already overcrowded northeastern parts of the District or have concentrated in a third major black population area, on the southeastern bank of the Anacostia River. This triangular-shaped low-income area makes up the southeastern edge of the District and extends into Prince Georges county, Maryland.

The economy
      Few cities in the United States are so dominated by the nature of their economic base as is Washington. Only two major economic activities provide virtually all of the income to the city and its residents. The federal civil service is by far the largest single employer in the metropolitan area. Tourism, which includes its retail trade and related services, is second in economic importance. Manufacturing and other commercial activities occupy only a minor place in the economic structure.

      The federal government's dominance in establishing the character of economic and social life in Washington can scarcely be overestimated. Although the federal government itself employs a large number of residents of the metropolitan area, the vast majority of employed people are engaged in activities that support or depend upon governmental programs or organizations of national or international scope.

      Since the mid-20th century, Washington has been transformed from a “federal town” to an information and communication centre that is competitive with the largest urban areas in the United States. In addition, it has become the coordinating centre for major foreign activities. As federal involvement has proliferated in both private and public sectors and both at home and abroad, there has been a steady trend toward relocation of the offices of national associations from cities such as New York and Chicago to the Washington metropolitan area. There are more headquarters of national trade and professional organizations and associations in Washington (about 300) than in any other area of the country. The presence of international organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund has increased Washington's importance as one of the principal centres for coordinating aid, trade, and finance on the international level.

      The District of Columbia, however, has a large population living at considerably lower socioeconomic levels. These residents, mostly black, also depend upon the opportunities offered for federal employment but generally lack the educational qualifications for jobs at higher incomes. This factor, plus the minimal local control over its revenue system, the lack of significant taxable industry, and the tax-exempt status of the great majority of its real estate, forces the city to depend heavily upon intergovernmental revenue and aids that, in effect, constitute payment by the federal government in lieu of the taxes it would pay if it were a private industry.

      Because it is the seat of the national government and the site of many of the nation's most significant monuments, Washington's second largest source of income derives from the millions of tourists who visit the city each year. The peak of the tourist influx occurs in the spring and summer months, but the capital city is basically a year-round attraction. In addition, Washington has become increasingly popular as a site for the annual conventions of national organizations and professional associations, most of which, as noted above, maintain a headquarters or branch office in the city. The business community, through such groups as the Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade and with the assistance of the federal government, has organized an increasing number of activities and facilities to make Washington more attractive to its visitors.

      Prior to the 1970s, various characteristics of the Washington area affected the nature and quality of its transportation networks. First, the L'Enfant plan covered only a small part of the present District of Columbia, excluding completely what has become the suburban area. Although many major radial avenues were extended to and beyond the District's borders, the street patterns outside the original city of 1791 were irregular at best. Second, Washington was a funnel for north–south traffic along the East Coast until the mid-20th century. In addition, the Potomac and Anacostia rivers always formed barriers to traffic flow between the city and points south. Finally, although it has long been a city of white-collar commuters whose work draws them into the city, the District had barely minimal mass-transit facilities from suburban areas, necessitating nearly total reliance on the automobile.

      Since the 1970s, modern beltways and freeways have been built to facilitate the flow of traffic around and into the city, and a number of bridges now span the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. A major stimulus to the city's development was the opening of a subway system. The subway and extended rail and bus service are part of the city's modern mass-transit system, operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro). The authority also serves the neighbouring suburbs in Maryland and Virginia.

Administration and social conditions
      The city of Washington, as the site of the nation's capital, has evolved a governmental structure that is unique among U.S. cities.

Changing municipal forms
      The first government of the city of Washington, established in 1802, comprised a mayor appointed by the president of the United States and a city council elected by the people. The city's charter was amended in 1812 to provide for an elected board of aldermen, which, along with the council, elected the mayor. In 1820 Congress (Congress of the United States) permitted the residents to elect both mayor and council. Since Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution empowers Congress to exercise exclusive legislation over the seat of government, however, the powers of the mayor and the council were limited, and their administration of the city was generally ineffectual.

      In 1871 Congress created a territorial form of government for the District. The officials, all appointed by the president, included a governor, a board of public works, and a legislative assembly comprising an 11-member Council and a 22-member House of Delegates. In addition, the District was permitted a popularly elected, nonvoting delegate to the House of Representatives. This arrangement was abandoned after only three years following a series of financial crises that aroused opposition among both politicians and taxpayers. Congress resumed direct control of the city, providing administration by three commissioners appointed by the president. No provision was made for the franchise under the commissioner form of government, and residents of the District were denied all rights to vote until 1961. The 23rd Amendment to the Constitution then allowed qualified voters to vote in presidential elections but failed to permit participation in elections for local officials, all of whom continued to be appointed.

      The issue of home rule for the residents of the District became increasingly prominent in the 1960s, and it was not unrelated to the general struggle for civil rights that characterized the nation as a whole. The most serious criticism of the commissioner form of government was that all legislation affecting it had to be passed by Congress: the House District of Columbia Committee and the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee were required to initiate all legislation pertaining to the District. Since the members of these committees were not permanent residents of Washington and represented constituencies that had little or no interest in the problems of the city, the responsiveness of Congress was felt by many to be slow or entirely lacking. Efforts on the part of various local groups over the years to achieve some degree of home rule were consistently blocked by the House committee, although the Senate committee passed five such bills between 1951 and 1963. It was often pointed out that the committees tended to be dominated by Southern congressmen who resisted efforts to give the franchise and other powers to the District because of its increasing black majority.

      In 1967 Congress reorganized the District's government, abolishing the three-commissioner system and creating in its place a single commissioner (who assumed the title of mayor), an assistant commissioner, and a nine-member city council, all appointed by the president. The city council was given authority to exercise certain legislative and regulatory powers once vested in the three commissioners, but such actions were subject to the veto of the mayor. In 1970 Congress created again the position of a nonvoting delegate to the House of Representatives, elected by residents of the District.

      Movement toward home rule has continued. In 1973, under President Nixon (Nixon, Richard M.), the limited Home Rule Act of 1964 was amended, providing for the popular election every four years of the mayor and city council members. In addition, the city council was expanded to 13 members. The mayor was given broader reorganizational and appointive authority. The city council was empowered to establish and set tax rates and fees, make changes in the budget, and organize or abolish any agency of government of the District. Congress, in turn, reserved the power to veto any actions of the District government that threaten the “federal interest.” Thus, while the District has a recognizable municipal form of government, Congress continues to treat it in some respects as a branch of the federal government. The city's “district attorney” is the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, appointed by the president. The budget, passed by the city council and approved by the mayor, is reviewed and enacted by Congress. Moreover, Congress retains the right to enact legislation on any subject for the District, whether within or outside of the scope of power delegated to the city council.

Administration of municipal services
      As under previous forms of government, municipal functions remain in control of a combination of local and federal committees. School-board members, formerly appointed by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, became popularly elected in 1968. Public utilities are under a Public Service Commission appointed by the president. The zoning of private property is handled by the Zoning Commission, consisting of the mayor, the chairman of the city council, the Architect of the Capitol, and the director of the National Park Service. The water supply is under the jurisdiction of an Army engineer, given the title of District Engineer, but its distribution is controlled by the mayor. The National Park Service supervises the public parks of the city.

      Public security and law enforcement are handled by four separate law-enforcement agencies, each with its own jurisdictional area. Under the mayor is the Metropolitan Police Force, which has the responsibility for enforcing the laws and ordinances of the municipal government. The Capitol Police are responsible for the security of the Capitol building and its grounds. The White House Security Guard protects the White House and the president, while the National Park Police are responsible for all public parks and many recreational facilities.

court system
      The unwieldiness of Washington's governmental apparatus has long been most apparent in the operation of its courts. Until the early 1970s legal jurisdiction over District matters was shared by two federal courts and three local courts, appeals from which were directed to separate appeals courts. The Court Reorganization Plan, was implemented in 1970 to reduce the confusion and inefficiency of this judiciary system.

      Under the plan a single trial court, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, was established to assume the functions of all the former federal and local courts. A single appeals court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, was established to function in a manner similar to a state supreme court. For the first time in its history, Washington had an integrated court system similar to the systems in all of the states.

Public services
      Washington's multitude of intertwined and seemingly insoluble social problems—such as race, poverty, crime, civil disorder, institutionalized inequality in education and other fields, and environmental pollution—is by no means unique. Like other cities, it finds social needs increasing as its human and financial resources decline. The District government can accomplish little in the way of service to its citizens without the support of the federal government. Some authorities have seen the suburban areas, with the high educational levels of their population and without high proportions of blue-collar workers, as being more willing than the federal government to assist the plight of the core city.

      Two-thirds of Washington's employed live outside the District of Columbia and represent a workforce that is highly specialized, professionally skilled, and well above the national averages in educational level and per capita income. Among the residents of the city of Washington, where a majority of the residents are African American, the unemployment rate, especially among youth, ranges well above the national average. Educational level and per capita income are considerably below the averages found in the surrounding suburbs. Nothing expresses the dilemma of the “two” Washingtons more clearly than the characteristics and location of its labour force.

      In spite of the fact that the Washington metropolitan area experienced a decline in its rate of population growth (with an absolute decline in the District of Columbia) in the 1970s, the demand for housing has remained high. This demand was generated by a high rate of household formation, primarily among young adults (mostly affluent one-family or single householders) from the post-World War II “baby boom” generation. Competition for existing housing resources has intensified between new householders and existing occupants. This has stimulated not only the conversion of rental apartments to condominiums but also the renovation of many single-family dwellings formerly occupied by lower-income renters. While this gentrification process has resulted in the upgrading of a number of residential areas in the District, it has aggravated the problems of household displacement, primarily among lower-income African American families, and has increased the pressure on the older, inner suburbs of the metropolitan area.

      Fair housing at the federal, state, and local levels has reduced the more blatant forms of discrimination against ethnic minorities, but new construction of low-rental housing has been negligible. The consequences for this segment of the Washington population remain grave, and housing continues to be a major public-policy and local issue.

Elementary and secondary schooling
      The public school system in Washington radically changed after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1954 that declared racial segregation of public schools to be unconstitutional. Instead of reducing prejudice, however, the ruling increased the fears of many middle-class white families and led to their flight from central Washington to the suburbs. Many of the whites who remained in the city enrolled their children in private schools, which led to a serious racial imbalance in the public educational system. Nevertheless, the newly integrated schools did improve educational opportunities for African American students.

      Despite the school system's many problems, Washington schools have had some success. The Duke Ellington School of the Arts, which opened in 1974 for talented high-school students across the city, required applicants to demonstrate their artistic abilities before they could be considered for acceptance. Several other high schools that offer magnet academic programs and require students to apply for admission have proved to be successful in motivating students to pursue higher education.

      Several institutions of higher learning offering undergraduate and graduate programs are located in the metropolitan area. Georgetown University, founded in 1789 as a seminary, is the area's oldest; with the Catholic University of America (opened in 1889), it makes Washington a centre of Roman Catholic education. The George Washington University, chartered as Columbian College in 1821, and American University, chartered in 1893, have become large, diversified universities. Howard University, chartered in 1867 and a traditionally black institution, offers a wide variety of graduate and professional programs and is supported largely by federal appropriations. The University of the District of Columbia, which had its origins in 1851, was formed by a merger of several municipal institutions in 1977. Gallaudet University (1857), for the education of the deaf, receives both private and federal support. The University of Maryland, George Mason University, and the Northern Virginia Campus of the University of Virginia are located in suburban areas.

      In addition, numerous federal and privately funded institutions and associations produce a variety of both statistical and scholarly materials. The Brookings Institution is a nationally recognized centre for research in politics and economics; and the jointly administered National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council provide public and private bodies with the research potentiality and publications of their memberships, comprising many of the most eminent scientists in the nation. The National Institutes of Health offer both a centre and funding for basic and applied research in wide areas of medicine and mental health.

Cultural life
      Until the end of World War II, Washington was literally outside the main centres of American arts and letters, and the original plan for the city to become a focus of national culture was far short of realization. Its institutions of higher education were uniformly small, poor, and struggling; it had no significant collections of art; its facilities for the performing arts were either too small, inconveniently located, or nonexistent; and the only truly national museum, the Smithsonian Institution, was laughingly characterized as “the nation's junk closet.”

      In early descriptive guides to the city, the section on cultural facilities was devoted largely to the number and variety of churches, which were distinguished mostly for the presidents of the United States who had attended them. Practically alone on the scene was the magnificent Library of Congress (Congress, Library of), with the largest collection of books, maps, newspapers, documents, and manuscripts in the world. Since World War II, however, the development of cultural and recreational facilities in Washington has been one of the city's—and the nation's—proudest achievements.

      Since its opening in 1941, the National Gallery of Art has become recognized internationally as one of the world's major art collections. Together with the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Phillips Collection, the Freer Gallery of Art, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Museum of American Art, the National Museum of African Art, and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the capital city has achieved a position of eminence in the art world.

      Washington's Arena Stage has been recognized since its founding in 1950 as one of the leading regional theatre companies in the nation, both for the excellence of its productions and for its leadership in seeking out new playwrights. The National Symphony Orchestra has begun to achieve national acclaim. Aside from these features, the performing arts in the city comprised little more than road shows from New York City or pre-Broadway tryouts until the opening in 1971 of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, with its three theatres for music, opera, and drama. The renovation of historic Ford's Theatre, the scene of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, has offered Washingtonians a unique opportunity to enjoy programs of cultural value in a setting of historical significance.

      Architectural Washington holds interest outside its monumental areas. Prominent examples include the many fine 19th-century mansions, many of which are occupied by foreign embassies, along Massachusetts Avenue and in the area around Dupont Circle. Entire blocks of slum buildings of the Capitol Hill and other areas, deteriorated from a grander past, have undergone considerable renovation. Numerous homes in the Georgetown area, similarly renewed beginning in the 1930s, offer fine examples of the American Federal style of architecture dating from the early years of the nation. A stunning example of landscape architecture including formal gardens and a bird sanctuary, as well as a museum and research library of medieval art, is on display at Dumbarton Oaks.

National collections
      Several Smithsonian Institution museums are located on the Mall. In 1855 the Smithsonian completed a red sandstone “castle” that housed offices, laboratories, a library, art and artifact displays, and living space for visiting scientists; today the castle serves as a visitors centre. The Smithsonian Arts and Industries Museum (1881) was built of red and polychrome brick to exhibit the expanding museum collection. In 1910 the neoclassical gray-granite and green-domed Natural History Museum was opened, and the famous Hope Diamond was later displayed there. In 1923 the Freer Gallery, a Beaux-Arts-style “treasure house,” began to exhibit Charles Lang Freer's outstanding collection of Asian and 19th-century American art. The pink-granite boxlike National Museum of American History has safeguarded the nation's scientific, technological, and historical treasures since 1964. Two major Smithsonian venues were added in the 1970s: the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, which displays philanthopist Joseph Hirshhorn's enormous collection of contemporary art; and, just to the east, the National Air and Space Museum, with an array of missiles, spacecraft, and airplanes, including the Wright brothers' flyer. In the 1980s two Smithsonian museums were built largely underground: the National Museum of African Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, which exhibits Asian art. The collections of the National Gallery of Art are housed in two buildings: an older, classical West Wing designed by John Russell Pope, and a newer, angular East Wing designed by I.M. Pei. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum opened in 1993 just south of the Mall. The National Museum of the American Indian opened on the Mall in 2004; its architecture and landscaping reflect the diversity and traditions of the indigenous peoples of North, Central, and South America. The nearby National Archives, with its thorough collection of documents from American history (notably the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution), supplements the riches of the Library of Congress.

      The traditional Cherry Blossom Festival, held early each spring, is the oldest of Washington's celebrations that combine the efforts of federal, civic, and commercial personnel. In spite of their attraction for tourists, the festival parade and crowning of a queen tend to be less important for Washingtonians than is the explosion of blossoms around the Tidal Basin and the Jefferson Memorial that the festival marks.

      Also popular is Washington's annual festival of American folk arts and crafts, held for a week each summer on the Mall. This open-air display of the arts and crafts of many regional and ethnic subcultures has become an increasingly significant cultural event.

      Much of Washington's elaborate system of public parks and other open spaces was designed to heighten the visual impression of the federal buildings, but they have been applied increasingly to recreational purpose. The original L'Enfant plan (L'Enfant, Pierre-Charles) set aside 17 areas for parks, including the Mall, the Washington Monument grounds, the Capitol Hill grounds, the White House grounds (including the present Lafayette Square), and the small plots of grass at the intersections of the major avenues. The preservation of these areas and the addition of others provides Washington with the several hundred parks and green spaces whose maintenance and development have been functions of the National Capital Parks, under the Department of the Interior, since 1791.

      In 1890 the city acquired Rock Creek Park, one of the largest natural parks within the boundaries of any city in the world. It comprises 1,754 acres (710 hectares) of virgin woodland forming the mile-wide valley of Rock Creek, which traverses the northwestern quarter of the city from suburban Silver Spring to the Potomac and is extensively developed for recreational uses. Within its boundaries is the National Zoological Park, occupying 176 acres of picturesque wooded hills and grassy meadows. Also within Rock Creek Park is the Carter Barron Amphitheater, where musical programs are presented in a wooded setting during the summer. Nature walks, horse trails, picnic areas, and sports facilities are spread throughout the park.

      For 15 miles, from Georgetown to the Great Falls of the Potomac River (the shores of which have been protected from uncontrolled development on both the Virginia and District sides), stretches the historic Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, the original project of George Washington, which has been restored and declared a national monument. The towpath beside the canal is now available for hiking and bicycling, and regularly scheduled trips are enjoyed by visitors in reconstructed, mule-drawn canal boats. On the Virginia shore is the scenic George Washington Memorial Parkway, from which motorists may enjoy a nearly uninterrupted view of the Potomac from above the northwestern boundary of the District to Mount Vernon, the home of Washington, below Alexandria. Between Georgetown and the Virginia shore lies Theodore Roosevelt Island, once a private plantation but now a nature sanctuary. The island is used as a wilderness strolling place for Washingtonians seeking relief from the city and offers one of the area's most tranquil and beautiful natural settings.


The early period
      The idea of a national capital city seems to have originated at a meeting of the Congress in June 1783 in the Old City Hall in Philadelphia. The American Revolution had but recently been concluded; the treasury was empty; the nation had no credit; and it was heavily in debt to its soldiers for back pay. There was no president, and, though the 13 colonies were free, they remained a gathering of semi-independent sovereignties with divergent interests. On June 20 a large body of unpaid soldiers invaded Philadelphia to present their grievances to Congress.

Conception, siting, and design
      No actual violence occurred, but a number of congressmen started a movement to establish a federal city where the lawmakers could conduct the business of government without fear of intimidation. Several locations were considered over the next six years, but Northern and Southern disagreements prevented decision until 1790.

      Although the decision to locate the capital on the Potomac (Potomac River) was largely a political compromise, selection of the exact site for the city was left to the newly elected president, George Washington (Washington, George). The chosen district, or territory as it was first called, was 10 miles (16 km) square. Georgetown to the north and Alexandria to the south were both in the original district, while a third village, Hamburg, lay by the riverfront swamps in a part of Washington known traditionally as Foggy Bottom.

      Important to Washington in his selection was the site's commercial potential. The river was navigable to Georgetown, an important tobacco market. The construction of a canal from there across the Cumberland Gap to the “western frontier” would tap the produce of the vast country beyond that was being opened to settlement. The president had established a private canal construction company before the final decision had been reached, but he immediately relinquished his interests in it.

      While in Philadelphia, Washington negotiated with Pierre-Charles L'Enfant (L'Enfant, Pierre-Charles) to lay out a plan for the new city. A volunteer in the Revolution whose democratic idealism was unquestioned, a well-trained engineer, and an artist who had designed the setting for the president's inaugural ceremonies in New York City, L'Enfant was highly respected and admired. Apparently sensing the historic significance of his appointment, he conceived his plan on a grand scale.

      The Capitol (Capitol, United States)'s cornerstone was laid by Washington in September 1793, and construction was begun on the White House, designed by an Irishman, James Hoban (Hoban, James), and on a modest cluster of nearby office buildings to house governmental departments. In October 1800 the archives, general offices, and officials of the government were moved to Washington from Philadelphia. President John Adams (Adams, John) took up residence in the White House, and the Congress met for the first time in the newly completed Senate wing of the Capitol.

The young city
      Descriptions of life in early Washington reveal many of the shortcomings resulting from establishment of a capital city by fiat amid what was essentially a wilderness. What was conceived as a “city of magnificent distances” or, in Washington's words, “the Emporium of the West” was referred to by various statesmen and congressmen as “wilderness city,” “Capital of Miserable Huts,” “A Mud-hole Equal to the Great Serbonian Bog,” and similar epithets. By the close of Thomas Jefferson's term of office in 1808, the population was scarcely 5,000. Until the introduction of the steam engine and the telegraph, a more or less continuous agitation went on in Congress and in the national press to move the capital because of its remoteness and inaccessibility.

      In 1814 the capital was temporarily abandoned as the result of the invasion by a British force under Admiral Sir George Cockburn, who ordered the burning of the Capitol, the White House, and the Navy Arsenal. Although this action was rather inconsequential to the outcome of the War of 1812 (1812, War of), it had the effect of solidifying Washington in the minds of many Americans as the national capital. Public indignation over destruction of the seat of government ended all significant movements to relocate the federal city, and Washington became the national capital in fact as well as in name. By the outbreak of the Civil War (American Civil War), the intensity of this image was firmly established. The course of that conflict was deeply affected by the actions of the federal government to defend Washington at all costs from nearby Confederate forces, who often threatened the city from several sides. If the Civil War was the final stage of the historical process that changed a loose confederation of states into a united republic, it was also effective in completing the identity of Washington as the capital of the United States.

Evolution of the modern city
      Originally, the city of Washington and the District of Columbia were not coextensive, either geographically or administratively. The 10-mile-square district was reduced by about one-third in 1847 by the return of the land south of the Potomac to the state of Virginia. Alexandria city resumed its former independent existence, while Arlington county was created from the remainder. Self-governing bodies within the district existed until 1895, when Georgetown was annexed by Washington.

      During and after the Civil War, the district's population more than doubled within a few years, suddenly including 40,000 freed slaves, who set a pattern of racial diversity that was to have a major impact on the city's life. The following century was filled also with physical and demographic growth and change within the city, with numerous political modifications attempting to harmonize the district's needs with its inherent status in relation to Congress, and with continuing activities to refine the cultural and monumental image of the city.

      By the latter third of the 19th century, the city had constructed an impressive number of monuments, but then and later many slums began to intrude on the city's image. Transformation of this and other problems was cut short by World Wars I and II but carried on after their conclusions.

Richard Walton Stephens Ed.
      During the 1930s thousands of workers moved to Washington to build the Supreme Court and office buildings such as those in the Federal Triangle. During World War II the city's population exploded, reaching about 950,000. National Airport and the Pentagon opened in 1941, the latter catering to 40,000 office and military personnel.

      An exodus of the middle class, both white and black, from the city began after the war. Many Washington neighbourhoods were swept away and replaced by huge, impersonal new federal agency buildings, and public housing complexes were erected in poor areas. However, communities across the city were partly successful in arresting highway construction through older neighbourhoods. In the 1960s an interest in historic preservation was reawakened, although race riots sowed fear and neglect in many neighbourhoods.

      A real-estate boom in the 1980s revitalized many deteriorating areas, particularly the downtown, where urban life was brought full circle. Gentrification has proceeded since then. In the early 21st century Washington continued to struggle against crime and poverty, but its troubles were commensurate with those of other major urban centres, and for many residents the city's cultural and economic benefits outweighed the negative aspects of urban life.

      Washington, the prominent symbol of the United States and its government, has remained distinct from other cities, however, and has become a special target of terrorism. The attack of September 11, 2001, on the Pentagon was the deadliest terrorist act ever against federal property on American soil, but it was overshadowed by the far more devastating attack that day on the World Trade Center in New York City. These were major blows to the psyche of the city and the country as a whole, and they ushered in an unprecedented level of security and law-enforcement activity.


Additional Reading
A general description and guide to the city is E.J. Applewhite, Washington Itself, 2nd ed. (1993). A complete and reliable history is Wilhelmus Bogart Bryan, A History of the National Capital from Its Foundation Through the Period of the Adoption of the Organic Act, 2 vol. (1914–16). More recent histories include Constance McLaughlin Green, Washington: A History of the Capitol, 1800–1950, 2 vol. (1962–63, reissued 2 vol. in 1, 1976); David L. Lewis, District of Columbia: A Bicentennial History (1976); Philip Bigler, Washington in Focus: The Photo History of the Nation's Capital (1988); and John W. Reps, Washington on View: The Nation's Capital Since 1790 (1991), an extensively illustrated architectural history. Kenneth R. Bowling, The Creation of Washington, D.C.: The Idea and Location of the American Capital (1991), documents the issues surrounding the selection of the city as the nation's capital. Among works on planning for the city are United States, National Capital Planning Commission, Worthy of the Nation: The History of Planning for the National Capital (1977); Atlee E. Shidler (ed.), Greater Washington in 1980 (1980); and Dennis E. Gale, Washington, D.C.: Inner-City Revitalization and Minority Suburbanization (1987).Richard Walton Stephens Ed.

      city, seat (1805) of Wilkes county, northeastern Georgia, U.S., roughly halfway between Athens and Augusta. First settled by the Stephen Heard family from Virginia in 1773, it was laid out in 1780 and was one of the first U.S. communities to be named in honour of George Washington. During the American Revolution the Battle of Kettle Creek (February 14, 1779), which was fought nearby, disrupted the British plans to recapture Georgia. The last Cabinet meeting of the Confederacy was held there on May 5, 1865, at the end of the American Civil War. Local residents, who call the city Washington-Wilkes (to distinguish it from Washington, D.C.), perpetuate the legend that when Union troops seized the Confederate treasury (June 1865), they missed $100,000 in gold that remains buried in the vicinity. The Washington Historical Museum has a collection of Civil War artifacts.

      The city's economy is based on textiles and lumber. Washington is also the shipping point for agriculture and dairy products, and tourism is of growing importance. J. Strom Thurmond (Clark Hill) Dam and Lake and Elijah Clark Memorial State Park are nearby. Inc. 1804. Pop. (1990) 4,279; (2000) 4,295.

      city, seat of Beaufort county, eastern North Carolina, U.S., along the Pamlico-Tar estuary just east of Greenville. Founded by Colonel James Bonner in 1771 and originally known as Forks of Tar River, it was one of the first places in the United States to be named (December 7, 1776) for George Washington (Washington, George). During the American Civil War it was occupied by Union troops (1862–64), who burned it as they left. Fighting took place at Hills Point, 7 miles (11 km) downriver, where the Union steamer Louisiana was sunk by the Confederates. The city suffered another disastrous fire in 1900, which forced it to rebuild again.

      Washington's basic market economy (tobacco, peanuts [groundnuts], vegetables, and cotton) is supplemented by light manufacturing and mining (phosphates). Beaufort County Community College (1967) is located in the city. Tourism and recreation are also important, and Lake Mattamuskeet and Swanquarter National Wildlife Refuge on Pamlico Sound, on the north-south Atlantic Flyway of migratory birds, are a short distance to the east. To the southeast are Goose Creek State Park and the historic town of Bath. Inc. 1782. Pop. (1990) 9,075; (2000) 9,583.

      city, seat (1781) of Washington county, southwestern Pennsylvania, U.S. It lies 28 miles (45 km) southwest of Pittsburgh.

      Prior to the American Revolution the area was the centre of a land dispute with Virginia. Pennsylvania's claim was finally validated by the Virginia constitution of 1776. Laid out by David Hoge in 1781, Washington was early known as Catfish's Camp for a Delaware Indian chief who lived there about 1750. It was known as Bassett-town for a short time until renamed for General George Washington (Washington, George). It was a hotbed of activity during the Whiskey Rebellion (an uprising against an excise tax on distilled liquor) of 1794 and was organized as a borough in 1810. The first crematory in the United States was built in Washington in 1876 by Francis Julius Le Moyne, who had to contend with an aroused public opinion, which forced the construction of the building at night. Washington was chartered as a city in 1924.

      The city is a service point for an agricultural, light industrial, and coal-mining area. Washington and Jefferson College was formed in 1865 by the merger of Washington Academy (1781) and Jefferson College (1802). The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum offers rides on vintage streetcars. Pop. (1990) 15,864; (2000) 15,268.

      town in Sunderland metropolitan borough, metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear, historic county of Durham, England. It lies along the north side of the River Wear below Chester-le-Street. The site was an area of early coal mining and industrial activity and was associated with the Wear coal trade to London from the 17th century. It includes the ancient village of Washington, together with its hall, which was the family seat of the forebears of the first U.S. president, George Washington. The modern town is laid out on a grid plan. New industries are being attracted to employ population from the nearby Tyneside industrial belt and from surrounding former colliery villages in the wake of the coal industry's collapse. The town has a wildfowl refuge and an arts centre. Pop. (2001) 53,388.

      county, eastern Maine, U.S., bordered to the east by New Brunswick, Can. (the Chiputneticook Lakes, the St. Croix River (Saint Croix River), and Passamaquoddy Bay constituting the boundary), and to the south by the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of a hill-and-valley region and includes several islands in the Atlantic. Other waterways are West Grand, Big, Meddybemps, and Baskahegan lakes and the Machias, Narraguagus, and Pleasant rivers. The easternmost point in the United States is West Quoddy Head (longitude 66°57′ W). The county is primarily forested with spruce and fir trees, with large stands of maple and beech. Public lands include Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge; Rocky Lake; and Cobscook Bay, Quoddy Head, and Roque Bluffs state parks. The county is home to the Pleasant Point Indian Reservation.

      St. Croix Island was the site of a temporary French settlement in 1604 that was headed by explorer Samuel de Champlain (Champlain, Samuel de). In June 1775 the first naval battle of the American Revolution occurred in Machias Bay near Fort O'Brien (built 1775). Washington county was formed in 1827 and named for George Washington (Washington, George). Machias, the county seat, is a town long associated with maritime industries. Eastport, the easternmost city in the nation, developed as a centre for canning sardines. Other communities are Calais, Woodland, Lubec, and Jonesport. The economy is based on lumber and wood products, pulp mills, and spinning mills. Area 2,569 square miles (6,653 square km). Pop. (2000) 33,941; (2007 est.) 32,751.

      county, northern Maryland, U.S., bounded by Pennsylvania to the north and the Potomac River (which constitutes the border with Virginia and West Virginia) to the south and southwest. The county lies in the Cumberland Valley between the Allegheny (Allegheny Mountains) (west) and the Blue Ridge (east) mountains; the Appalachian National Scenic Trail follows the crest line of the Blue Ridge.

      The county was created in 1776 and named for George Washington (Washington, George). Hagerstown, the county seat, is located north of the Antietam National Battlefield, site of the Battle of Antietam (Antietam, Battle of) (Sept. 17, 1862), one of the bloodiest conflicts in the American Civil War. The partially restored stone fort in Fort Frederick State Park was erected in 1756 during the French and Indian War.

      The economy is based on manufacturing and agriculture. Area 458 square miles (1,187 square km). Pop. (2000) 131,923; (2007 est.) 145,113.

      county, eastern New York state, U.S. It is bordered by Lake George (George, Lake) to the northwest, Vermont to the northeast and east (Lake Champlain (Champlain, Lake) and the Poultney River constituting the northeastern boundary), and the Hudson River to the west. The lowlands of the Hudson valley and central area rise to the Taconic Range in the east and the Adirondack Mountains in the northwest. Other waterways include Champlain Canal, Black Creek, the Hoosic and Mettawee rivers, and Batten and Owl kills. Adirondack Park occupies the county's northwestern corner. The dominant forest types are oak and hickory, with stands of pine trees in the north.

      Iroquoian-speaking Mohawk and Algonquian-speaking Mahican (Mohican) (Mohican) Indians inhabited the region before the arrival of European-American settlers. From the 19th century, paper manufacturing was an important industry. The principal communities are Hudson Falls (the county seat), Fort Edward, Granville, Greenwich, and Cambridge.

      Washington county was created in 1772. Originally named Charlotte county (for Queen Charlotte Sophia, wife of King George III), it was renamed in 1784 for George Washington (Washington, George). The main economic activities are manufacturing (paper products and medical instruments) and agriculture (corn [maize], dairy products, and cattle). Area 836 square miles (2,164 square km). Pop. (2000) 61,042; (2007 est.) 62,743.

      county, southwestern Pennsylvania, U.S., bordered by West Virginia to the west, Enlow Fork and Tenmile Creek to the south, and the Monongahela River to the east. It consists of a hilly region on the Allegheny Plateau.

      The county was created in 1781 and named for George Washington (Washington, George). It was the site of unrest during the Whiskey Rebellion (1794), a farmers' uprising against a tax on liquor. The city of Washington, the county seat, is the home of Washington and Jefferson College (founded 1781), the oldest university west of the Allegheny Mountains. Other communities include Canonsburg, Donora, Monongahela, Charleroi, and California, the latter the site of California University of Pennsylvania (1852).

      The economy is based on services (health care and engineering), retail trade, manufacturing (steel and electronic equipment), and mining (bituminous coal). Area 857 square miles (2,220 square km). Pop. (2000) 203,897; (2007 est.) 205,553.

      county, southwestern Rhode Island, U.S. It is bordered by Connecticut to the west, Narragansett Bay to the east, and Block Island Sound to the south and includes Block Island south of the mainland. The Pawcatuck River flows through the western portion of the county and defines the southwestern border with Connecticut.

      The county was formed in 1729. It was originally called the Narragansett country; its present name (honouring George Washington (Washington, George)) was adopted in 1781. There is no county seat, but the principal towns are North Kingstown, South Kingstown, Westerly, and Narragansett. Principal industries are textiles, tourism, and industrial machinery. Area 333 square miles (862 square km). Pop. (2000) 123,546; (2007 est.) 126,902.

      county, central Vermont, U.S. It comprises a piedmont region in the east that rises up into the Green Mountains in the west. The Winooski River rises near the village of Cabot. Its tributaries are the Little, Mad, and Dog rivers and the North, Stevens, and Kingsbury branches. Dominated by evergreens, county woodlands include Roxbury, Mount Mansfield, Camel's Hump, and Putnam state forests. The Mad River Glen and Sugarbush Valley ski resorts are located near Green Mountain National Forest. Little River State Park borders Waterbury Reservoir.

      The city of Montpelier was named the Vermont state capital in 1805 and the county seat in 1811. The county was formed in 1810 and named for George Washington (Washington, George). The arrival of the Central Vermont Railroad to Barre in 1875 spurred the city's growth as a centre of the granite industry, resulting in large-scale immigration. Local granite was used to construct the Vermont State House (built 1857) and Barre City Hall (built 1899). Norwich University (founded 1819), the oldest private military academy in the nation, was moved from Windsor county to Northfield in 1867. Goddard College (founded 1863) was relocated to the village of Plainfield from Barre in 1938. Other villages are Waterbury, East Montpelier, and Marshfield. The county contains 10 covered bridges.

      The economy relies on state government activities as well as tourism, insurance, trade, and granite quarrying. Area 690 square miles (1,786 square km). Pop. (2000) 58,039; (2007 est.) 58,926.

Washington, flag of  constituent state of the United States of America. Lying at the northwest corner of the 48 coterminous states, it is bounded by the Canadian province of British Columbia on the north, Idaho on the east, Oregon on the south, and the Pacific Ocean on the west. It has an area of 68,139 square miles (176,479 square kilometres). The capital is Olympia. The state's coastal location and excellent harbours give it a leading role in trade with Alaska, Canada, and countries of the Pacific Rim. Washington cities have sister cities in several countries, and their professional and trade associations commonly include Canadian members.

 The terrain and climate of Washington divide the state into a rainy western third and a drier eastern two-thirds in the rain shadow of the Cascade Range. Western Washington industries depend on agriculture, forests, and fisheries and imported raw materials, whereas eastern Washington is mainly agricultural, producing wheat, irrigated crops, and livestock. Most of the people live in the metropolitan areas of Seattle–Everett and Tacoma and other cities along Puget Sound.

Physical and human geography

The land
   Washington has seven physiographic regions. In the northwest the Olympic Peninsula borders the Pacific Ocean south of the Strait of Juan de Fuca (Juan de Fuca Strait). Dense rain forests extend along the western slopes of the rugged Olympic Mountains, which rise to 7,965 feet (2,428 metres) on Mount Olympus.

      The Willapa Hills parallel the coast from Grays Harbor to the Columbia River in the southwest. Gentle, forested slopes descend to an indented Pacific coastline and to the Chehalis and Cowlitz valleys on the north and east.

      The Puget Sound Lowland stretches southward from Canada between the Olympic Mountains and the Cascade Range to join the Chehalis and Cowlitz valleys, which form an extension to the Columbia River. Deep waters and fine harbours in Puget Sound, together with relatively flat terrain along its shores, favour the densest population and greatest commercial development in the state.

 The Cascade Range, east of the Puget Sound Lowland, has the state's highest elevations. Its chain of volcanic peaks includes 14,410-foot (4,392-metre) Mount Rainier (Rainier, Mount), the fifth highest peak in the coterminous United States. Mount St. Helens (Saint Helens, Mount), located in the Cascades near the Oregon border, erupted violently in 1980. The highest peaks have permanent glaciers.

      The Columbia Basin occupies most of central Washington, surrounded by the Cascades to the west, the Okanogan Highlands to the north, uplands to Idaho on the east, and the Blue Mountains to the southeast. A basalt plateau, lying at about 1,000 to 2,500 feet above sea level, it is drained by the Columbia River and its main tributary, the Snake. Glaciation, flooding, and wind have shaped diverse landforms, although the general appearance is that of a large interior plain.

      The Okanogan Highlands, in the northeast, are an extension of the Rocky Mountains. Their north–south ranges, with summits that rise to more than 7,000 feet (2,100 metres), are separated by glaciated trenches. Most of the state's metallic ores are found in this region.

      The Blue Mountains, which extend into Washington from Oregon, consist of uplifted plateaus and ranges in the southeast corner of the state. Gentle slopes and broad valleys descend from 6,000-foot (1,800-metre) heights to the Columbia Basin. Outliers to the west comprise the Horse Heaven Hills and Rattlesnake Hills.

      The most productive soils in Washington are those of the river floodplains and the weathered basalts and windblown silts of the Columbia Basin. In wetter areas acidic soils support forests, but the driest regions east of the Cascades have sparse plant life and require irrigation for agriculture. The fine-textured soils of the Big Bend and Palouse areas are susceptible to erosion by wind and water.

      Prevailing westerly winds and the influence of the Pacific Ocean dominate the climate of Washington, although the Cascades barrier creates significant differences between western and eastern regions. The west has milder conditions than any part of the United States at the same latitudes. Seattle has an average January temperature of 41° F (5° C) and a 66° F (19° C) July average. Annual precipitation on the Pacific slopes of the Olympic Peninsula exceeds 150 inches (3,810 millimetres), but places on the northwest of the peninsula receive less than 20 inches (508 millimetres) a year. From the Puget Sound Lowland, where 30–40 inches are typical annual totals, amounts increase again to more than 100 inches in the Cascades.

      East of the Cascade Range seasonal temperature variations are greater, but the Rocky Mountains to some extent shield the region from cold Canadian air masses in winter. Maximum summer temperatures usually exceed 100° F (38° C) a few days each year. Spokane's January average temperature is 25° F (-4° C); the July average is 70° F (21° C). Annual precipitation is 17 inches (430 millimetres) at Spokane but less than eight inches (200 millimetres) in the lower Yakima valley.

      Throughout the state precipitation is greatest in the cooler months, when a succession of cyclonic storms move inland from the North Pacific, sometimes with gale-force winds. Rain falls on a great number of days even in areas that are relatively arid, such as in the west. The occasional outbreaks of continental air from the north or northeast may reach the outer coast, bringing freezing conditions in winter or hot, dry air that increases the danger of forest fires in summer.

Plant and animal life
      Washington's 23,000,000 acres (9,308,000 hectares) of forest are among the most extensive in the United States. Major tree species are Douglas fir, hemlock, western red cedar, and ponderosa pine, found mainly in the mountain regions. On the semiarid parts of the Columbia Basin, grasses prevail, merging into sagebrush and other scattered shrubs in the driest areas.

      Deer, elk, bears, mountain goats, and pumas (cougars) are among the large mammals, and there are also several fur-bearing animals. The Pacific flyway, a major route of North American waterfowl migration, follows the Puget Sound Lowland. Freshwater game fish include trout, bass, grayling, and sturgeon. Five species of Pacific salmon ascend western Washington streams to spawn. The coastal bays and Puget Sound are habitats for shellfish.

Settlement patterns
      About three-fourths of Washington's people live in urban areas, principally in the Puget Sound Lowland. More than 50 percent live in the Seattle and Tacoma metropolitan areas. Spokane is the largest city east of the Cascades and the focus of the “inland empire,” a large economic region of agriculture, forestry, and mining that reaches to northeastern Oregon, northern Idaho, western Montana, and southern British Columbia, Can. Smaller cities of eastern Washington include agricultural trade centres such as Wenatchee, Yakima, and Walla Walla. The Tri Cities area (Richland–Kennewick–Pasco) at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers forms a transportation centre for irrigated agriculture, manufacturing, and the Hanford Site (an atomic energy installation).

      Typical towns of the eastern wheat lands are crowned by grain elevators, whereas food processing plants are common in the towns that serve irrigated farms. Lumber towns and small mining settlements are found along the upland margins of the Columbia Basin.

The people
      The early settlers (Washington), from the 1830s through the 1850s, came primarily from the Midwest along the Oregon Trail. Growth was slow until the 1880s, when railroads began to link Puget Sound and the Columbia River to the East and to California, ending the frontier era of the Pacific Northwest. The population of Washington grew fivefold from 1881 to 1890, to almost 360,000—and by 1920 it reached almost 1,360,000.

      Immigration continued, particularly from the Midwest, and, until national quotas on foreign immigration of the 1920s, large numbers of foreign-born people entered the state, especially from Canada and the Scandinavian countries. The Japanese came late and by 1930 numbered about 18,000. During World War II, citizens or not, they were moved from the coastal areas to relocation camps in inland regions. After the war only a few received back their homes and property, and many chose to live elsewhere.

      Washington has a relatively small percentage of blacks. It ranks among the top 10 states, however, in numbers of American Indians and Asians.

      For decades the western movement of the nation's population dominated Washington's growth. During the 1950s, however, for the first time and by a wide margin, natural increase overtook immigration. Immigration has regained some of its former importance, but it remains below natural increase as a growth factor.

The economy
      Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries have been major contributors to the state's economy since early settlement by Europeans. The rapid increase in manufacturing and services that began in the 1940s led to concentration of the population in urban areas. Nearly one-fifth of the nonagricultural labour force is employed in manufacturing; another one-fifth works for state or federal government agencies.

      Water is Washington's most valuable and most versatile natural resource. The leading freshwater source is the series of dams on the Columbia River drainage system that impound water for irrigation, hydroelectric power, and flood control, while also providing for navigation, fisheries, recreation, and industrial uses. The Columbia and rivers of western Washington account for one-third of all hydroelectric production in the United States. Grand Coulee Dam, with a capacity of about 6,500,000 kilowatts, ranks among the largest power plants in the world. Groundwater resources are exploited for domestic use, industry, and limited irrigation in the Puget Sound Lowland and, to a lesser extent, along the main river valleys of the Columbia Basin.

      Forests support both wood-product industries and wildlife and recreation. Multiple use and sustained yield have been primary management objectives on both private and public forestlands since early in the 20th century. Commercial fisheries are another significant sector in the state's economy. Salmon, halibut, cod, and herring are the principal species landed at ports on Grays Habor, Willapa Bay, and Puget Sound. Developments in aquaculture supplement the harvest with salmon, trout, and shellfish.

      Sand, gravel, and clay are the most valuable of the state's limited mineral products. Magnesite, lead, and zinc are produced in the Okanogan Highlands; and coal mining in the Cascades and Puget Sound Lowland has declined during the 20th century. An open-pit coal mine near Centralia provides fuel for a thermoelectric power plant.

  Winter wheat is the state's leading crop and a major export from the Columbia Basin, which also grows barley, dry peas, lentils, and hay on dryland farms. Irrigated crops include potatoes, vegetables, fruits, hops, and mint. Washington markets more apples than any other state and is a major producer of pears, cranberries, and wine grapes. Vegetable seeds, berries, vegetables for canning or freezing, and flower bulbs are specialties of the Puget Sound Lowland.

      Dairying is a leading rural industry of the northern Puget Sound Lowland, which is also noted for poultry. Beef cattle and sheep graze on the eastern grasslands and the open forestlands of mountain regions.

      Farms vary from a few acres to hundreds of acres; since the mid-20th century the tendency has been toward larger and fewer farms. Former agricultural land near large cities has been converted to urban use at an increasing rate.

      For more than a century agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and mining have furnished materials for Washington's processing plants. By the mid-20th century, aircraft and aerospace production in the Seattle area rose to first place among the state's fabricating industries. U.S. Navy facilities on Puget Sound provide for construction and repair of ships; a major installation is the Trident Nuclear Submarine Base near Bremerton.

      The state's several aluminum refineries depend on hydroelectricity and imported alumina to produce about one-fourth of the primary aluminum in the United States. Petroleum refineries on northern Puget Sound process Alaskan and foreign crude oil.

      Tourism has become a major source of income in Washington. The variety of scenic areas, including three national parks, draws increasing numbers of visitors to the state. Boating, hiking, skiing, sports events, and local festivals are other major tourist attractions.

      Harbours on Puget Sound and the outer coast afford year-round access to world ocean routes, and a state ferry system serves the San Juan Islands and Canada's Vancouver Island. Navigation locks allow boats to pass between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, at Seattle. Barges carry grain and raw materials along the Columbia–Snake route.

      Airlines link the state's cities with one another and with transcontinental and world air routes. The Seattle–Tacoma Airport ranks among the leading U.S. airports in international passenger travel.

      The state has a well-developed system of highways and interstate freeways. Pontoon bridges span Hood Canal on the Olympic Peninsula and Lake Washington at Seattle. Railways crisscross the state but rank behind trucks in freight transport. Pipelines move oil and natural gas from out-of-state and distribute refined products.

Administration and social conditions
      Washington's constitution of 1889, reflecting the distrust of government that was characteristic of the time, contained many restrictions on state power. One reflection of this was the creation of a divided executive. Unlike the federal executive branch, to which only the president and vice president are elected, the state has nine separately elected officials. The most important is the governor.

 The legislature comprises the Senate of 49 members and the House of 98 members, elected, respectively, for four- and two-year terms. Important limitations on legislative powers include the earmarking of certain funds to specific purposes—e.g., the gasoline tax to highways. Because the constitution prohibits a state income tax, Washington depends on more than one-half of its tax revenues from a general sales tax, which accounts for about 30 percent of the state's total income. Initiative and referendum on legislation and recall of elected officials give the voters a check on the legislature. The governor's power of “item veto” has been expanded to include all legislation, except referendums and initiatives, to the extent of eliminating lines in budget acts or sections of other laws.

 The courts are divided into four levels. Courts of limited jurisdiction—justice, municipal, and police—are local and hear traffic cases, minor criminal and civil cases, and small-claims actions. Superior courts are general trial courts, having original jurisdiction in felonies and in civil cases not delegated to the limited courts. The Supreme Court and the appellate courts are almost solely courts of review. All judges, except for some classes of appointed municipal and police judges, are elected on nonpartisan ballots. Grand juries, created by a superior court, are used mainly to investigate political corruption, though their legal powers are considerably broader.

      Washington's 39 counties are classified according to population by the legislature. The governing body in most counties is the board of county commissioners, whose three members act as both the chief executive officers and the legislative body for the county. The Optional Municipal Code was adopted in 1969, substantially expanding the powers of cities choosing to come under it. Cities with populations of 10,000 or more can adopt a home-rule charter if such a referendum is approved by the electorate, while municipalities of 300 to 10,000 are granted optional, noncharter home rule by statute.

      Elections and political parties are regulated by state law. The unique feature of the nomination process in Washington is the “blanket primary,” which replaced the closed primary in 1935, permitting citizens to vote for any candidate without disclosing their party membership. This law reflects a characteristic independence among the state's voters. Split voting has been reported by three-fourths of the voters in both primaries and final elections.

      The State Board of Education sets general requirements of public school curricula, which are administered by an elected superintendent of public instruction and more than 300 district school boards. Attendance is required for children age eight through 16. Higher education is predominantly a state function, the largest institution being the University of Washington in Seattle, established in 1861. Washington State University at Pullman was founded in 1890 as a land-grant college for agricultural and mechanical arts. Three state colleges—at Bellingham, Ellensburg, and Cheney—evolved from teacher-training institutions in the 1890s to university status in 1977, and Evergreen State College at Olympia was added in 1971. A system of community colleges was combined under state administration in 1967. Several private, denominational institutions augment postsecondary opportunities.

Health and welfare
      In 1936, responding to the Social Security Act of 1935, the state assumed broad responsibilities for welfare programs. The Department of Social and Health Services administers benefits for children, the aged, and families; it oversees both private and public medical services, including Medicaid. Washington ranks among the top 10 states in public aid to families with dependent children. Separate agencies provide aid to the blind and veterans. There are also commissions for Human Rights and Insurance Consumer Protection. An Employment Security Department assists those who seek jobs and disburses unemployment insurance payments.

Cultural life
      A young state, Washington has a Western and pioneering outlook. There is great interest among the people in archaeological explorations and the cultural patterns of the Indian inhabitants. Interdisciplinary field studies by scientists at Washington State University have discovered artifacts of two quite different archaeological sites. Marmes Rock Shelter, in arid eastern Washington, has yielded a 10,000-year sequence of tools left by hunters and gatherers along with some of the oldest well-documented skeletal remains in the Western Hemisphere. The Ozette site, on the Olympic Coast, has a unique collection of well-preserved clothing, basketry, and harpoons of people who fished and hunted seals and whales 500 years ago. Tools of a similar culture dating from 2,000 years ago were also found there. These and other sites in the state reflect the diverse cultural forms that evolved after prehistoric migrations from northeastern Asia.

      The arrival of European settlers in the 19th century not only transformed the cultural landscape of Washington but also introduced new social patterns. Contemporary outdoor events usually are based on local history or economic pursuits. Rodeos (mainly in eastern Washington) and “old settlers reunions” recall early struggles to occupy the land. Agricultural fairs, ethnic festivals, blossom festivals, and parades exhibit products and skills. The annual Seattle Seafair features parades, boat races, and water carnivals. Water sports are popular on many lakes and rivers and especially on Puget Sound. Skiing is a favourite winter sport in the Cascades and Okanogan Highlands. Public forestlands, three national parks, and more than 125 state parks attract campers during the summer months.

      Washington residents pursue a wide range of interests in the fine arts. The Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera Association, and the Seattle Repertory Theater draw national attention. The School of Drama at the University of Washington pioneered modern arena staging. Several smaller cities have orchestras and drama groups. Among the approximately 25 major art galleries and museums, the Seattle Art Museum has extensive collections of Oriental art. The Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum on the University of Washington's Seattle campus has an important collection relating to Pacific Northwest Indians. Also of interest are the Museum of History and Industry and the Pacific Science Center, both in Seattle. Among important historical museums is the Washington State Historical Society Museum in Tacoma.

      The first library in the state, the Washington State Library in Olympia, traces its financial aid by the Congress to part of the Territorial Act of 1853. Rapid development of the public library system occurred in the first decade of the 20th century, when the Carnegie Foundation provided building funds. More than 250 libraries serve the state. Noteworthy are the two state university libraries, the Washington State Archives, and the Seattle Public Library.


The early frontier
      When Europeans first explored the Washington area, they encountered a number of Indian tribes, the most prominent being the Chinook, the Coast Salish, the Nez Percé, and the Yakima. The early history of Washington and of the Northwest is intertwined with efforts to find the Northwest Passage, the development of the fur trade with the Orient, and the attempts of Roman Catholic and Protestant missionaries to convert the Indians. Spaniards had sailed along the coast earlier, but the wealth of sea otter skins secured from the Indians on one of the voyages of Captain James Cook in 1778 marked the start of real exploration and of the maritime fur trade. George Vancouver (Vancouver, George), sent by Britain in 1792, tried to find the Northwest Passage and to map the coast. Robert Gray (Gray, Robert) was the first trader from the United States; his explorations resulted in the discovery of the Columbia River in 1792. By 1812, the United States almost completely dominated the fur trade. The British Hudson's Bay Company, however, maintained areas of dominance into the 1840s.

      Missionaries (mission) were generally welcomed by the Indians, though often not so much for Christian salvation as for the knowledge and material advantages the whites could bring. Among the most famous missions were those of the medical missionary Marcus Whitman and the Reverend Henry Spalding, established in 1836 in southeastern Washington, and the Roman Catholic missions established by Pierre-Jean DeSmet in northeastern Washington.

      The Protestant missionaries felt that white civilization was necessary for the Indian and thus encouraged white settlement. With the opening of the Oregon Trail the first large group, about 1,000 people, reached the Northwest in 1843. These and others following first went mainly into the Willamette valley of what became the state of Oregon, and later into the area north of the Columbia River (in present-day Washington), then still dominated by the Hudson's Bay Company. The Indians were initially receptive but the settlers' inconsistent dealings with the Indians led to such conflicts as the Cayuse War (1848–50), the Yakima War (1855–58), and the Nez Percé War (1877).

      By the end of the 19th century most of the Indians had been settled on reservations, representing three principal tribal groups: Coast Salish, Interior Salish, and the Sahaptin. Anthropologists have identified numerous distinct tribes on the basis of language and other local cultural characteristics. Among the larger tribes of western Washington are the Makah, Quinault, Lummi, Snohomish, and Puyallup; tribes of eastern Washington include the Okanogan, Yakima, Klickitat, Kalispel, and Spokane.

Territory and state
      Until the 1840s citizens of both the United States and Britain by agreement could settle and trade in what was still known as the Oregon country. In 1846 the two countries agreed on the present boundary between the United States and Canada, and in 1848 Congress established the Oregon Territory including all of the present-day states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho and parts of Wyoming and Montana. This enormous area was difficult to govern from the territorial capital in the Willamette valley. As the population around Puget Sound grew, agitation arose to form a separate territory of the area north and west of the Columbia. In 1853 Congress created the Washington Territory—named for the first president of the United States—and extended it east of the Columbia River to the crest of the Rockies, including parts of present-day Idaho and Montana.

      Different rates of population growth and difficulties of communication continued to cause problems, and various movements called for the creation of a separate territory in eastern Washington and even the creation of an independent Pacific Republic. In the 1870s and '80s the extension of the telegraph and the railroads to the Northwest strengthened ties with the United States, and attention turned to seeking statehood, granted in 1889.

       gold discoveries in the interior in the 1850s made Walla Walla the centre of eastern Washington for a time, but these were merely a prelude to Washington's role in provisioning the gold seekers who set out for the Alaskan and Yukon strikes of the late 1890s. The gold stimulated the trade of cities on Puget Sound, and the new prosperity was celebrated at the Alaska–Yukon Exposition in 1909.

      Possibly the greatest stimulus to the state's progress in the 20th century was initiated by the development of the Columbia Basin and related projects, which greatly increased hydroelectric power and provided the basis for increased irrigation and flood control. A navigation improvement project was authorized as early as 1911, and work began on the Bonneville and Grand Coulee dams (Grand Coulee Dam) in 1933. Construction was completed on Bonneville in 1937 and on the main structure of Grand Coulee in 1941. The first two Grand Coulee power plants were completed in 1951, and a third power plant began operation in 1975.

      Washington's prosperity and its growing role in the commerce of the Pacific were among the features celebrated in the Seattle World's Fair of 1962, named the Century 21 Exposition. Developments in the latter half of the 20th century were increased urbanization, consolidation of agricultural landholdings, improved transportation networks, and expanded trade with the Pacific Basin countries. Increasing concern for the environment led to a series of laws to regulate the impact of a growing population.

Eugene Clark Howard J. Critchfield

Additional Reading
Federal Writers' Program, Washington: A Guide to the Evergreen State (1941, reprinted 1972), also available as New Washington: A Guide to the Evergreen State, rev. ed. (1950), provides a still useful overview. D.W. Meinig, The Great Columbia Plain: A Historical Geography, 1805–1910 (1968), covers the settlement and organization of an area that includes eastern Washington. John A. Alwin, Between the Mountains: A Portrait of Eastern Washington (1984), has exceptional photographs and revealing text. James W. Scott et al., Historical Atlas of Washington (1988); and DeLorme Mapping Company, Washington Atlas & Gazetteer, 4th ed. (1998), are useful reference works. Robert Hitchman, Place Names of Washington (1985), combines geography and local history. Daniel M. Ogden, Jr., and Hugh A. Bone, Washington Politics (1960, reprinted 1981), is an informative account. Ruth Kirk and Richard D. Daugherty, Exploring Washington Archaeology (1978), reviews the geology and culture of prehistoric settlements. An excellent general history is Mary W. Avery, Washington: A History of the Evergreen State, rev. ed. (1965). Norman H. Clark, Washington: A Bicentennial History (1976), is an introduction.Howard J. Critchfield

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Universalium. 2010.

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