Washington DC is considered a state

Before the presidential electionA very brief history of the District of Columbia

Before Washington D.C. was founded, the US Congress met in different places between 1776 and 1800, according to the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. Too great is the controversy about where the seat of government should be.

From 1790 to 1800 it was Philadelphia. In 1790, Congress commissioned President George Washington to find a suitable location for the federal seat of government on the Potomac River. Washington chose a 10 by 10 mile region in Maryland and Virginia, the future District of Columbia - named after Columbus, the city itself after the president. In June 1801 the government move from Philadelphia to Washington was completed.

The citizens of Washington were not allowed to vote for the US president for a long time

As a non-state, but the seat of government controlled by the US Congress, the citizens were not allowed to vote for the president for a long time, writes the "Historical Society of Washington, D.C.". This has only been the case since 1964 - the number of votes is the same as that of the smallest state, regardless of the size of the population. City residents have no voting rights in the House of Representatives and Senate.

However, citizens are "allowed" to pay federal taxes. How federal funds are spent on the District of Columbia, however, is up to Congress. The displeasure about this is American-public: "Taxation without representation" it says on the license plates, something like: "Taxation without being represented or having a say". At the moment there is a debate about whether this blatant criticism still makes sense in this form. A new text could contain a verb like: "END Taxation without Representation".

There has only been a mayor and city council since 1974 - and their decisions are also examined by the congress. He is also clearly a leader in completely different areas of life:

Even some garbage cans bear the "stamp" of the US Congress (Deutschlandradio / Boris Bittner)

While the Democrats want to change this situation, the Republicans are blocking themselves. A status that is politically and socially highly controversial to this day, in the city of all places, which next week, like the federal states, will be committing what is probably the most important democratic act of civil rights in the country: the election of the next US president - including any possible, not quite serious alternatives to the seeded candidates Clinton and Trump ...

A surprise candidate, seen in Washington (Deutschlandradio / Boris Bittner)

Boris Bittner, Editor (Deutschlandradio / Bettina Fürst-Fastré) Boris Bittner is editor in the online / multimedia department of Deutschlandfunk. High school and studies in the USA, traineeship and radio and TV editor, among others at Deutsche Welle, RTL. With Deutschlandradio since 2008. In the Deutschlandradio lab team. Write in this blog about the work of the DLF correspondent team in the Washington office and tweet about it: @bittnerboris.