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[[File:war-of-1812-01-us-capitol-1814.jpeg|thumb|left|Figure 1.The Capitol as it appeared during the War of 1812. ]]__NOTOC__
the history of the United States, the Capitol Building, or United States Capitol, was authorized and built in the US's newly formed capital in Washington D.C. It was to serve as the seat of the US government's legislative branch from 1800 when the legislative branch was moved from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. Washington's site was seen as a compromise between Northern and Southern states, which had disputed where the seat of government for the United States should be.
==Construction and Early History==
history of the Capitol building begins with the passage of the Residence Act of 1790, which mandated a formal seat for the US federal government. Northern states would have preferred a site such as New York or Philadelphia as the likeliest place for the seat of the US government; however, after the federal government agreed to take on Revolutionary War debt from northern states, the northern states agreed to Washington D.C. becoming the newly built seat of government. The US government gave the transition period for the legislative branch to be transferred to D.C. within 10 years, lasting between 1790-1800, and Philadelphia serving as the branch's temporary home. The French-American engineer Pierre Charles L'Enfant designed the new capital city of Washington D.C., where he planned for 'Congress House,' as the Capitol was envisioned to be called, to be located on its present site on Jenkin's Hill (now called Capitol Hill).
A broad avenue would connect the President's House (White House) with Congress House. Early on, the founders of the United States used ancient Rome as their example. Thomas Jefferson, in particular, saw the Temple of Jupiter in Rome as an example of what the future Capitol would look like, with the building envisioned as the shining temple on a hill that would guide the republic, mainly ruled by an elite. In fact, it was Thomas Jefferson who eventually pushed to change the name from Congress House to the Capitol after the hill in which the Temple of Jupiter stood, which was one of seven hills of ancient Rome.<ref>For more on the early history of the Capitol, see: Brown, G., Bushong, W., 2007. <i>Glenn Brown’s History of the United States Capitol</i>, Annotated ed. in commemoration of the United States Capitol's Bicentennial. ed. For sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. G.P.O, Washington, D.C.</ref>
After a competition held on what the Capitol would look like, where the winner would get $500, the architect, William Thornton, inspired by the Louvre and the Paris Pantheon, was chosen as the main design. A rival to Thornton, Stephen Hallet, a French architect, wanted a grander building and was critical of Thornton's suggestion. Eventually, the two architect's designs were integrated to form much of the Capitol and the initial building's current core. Later, Thomas Ustick Walter and August Schoenborn would also greatly influence the current building by designing the north wing and later dome
On September 18, 1793, President George Washington laid the Capitol's foundation, with a ceremony taking place
in which he and eight other Freemasons dressed in their masonic clothing. By 1800, the Capitol building was ready to be used for its designed purpose. Interestingly, early in its history, the Capitol was also used as a church for Sunday services, with the speaker's podium serving as the pulpit.
Although the Senate wing was not finished, on November 17, 1800, both the House and Senate were in the Capitol session for the first time. By 1812, both wings of the Capitol were mostly completed (Figure 1).<ref>For more on the Capitol's design, see: Allen, W.C., USA, Architect of the Capitol, 2011. <i>History of the United States Capitol: a chronicle of design, construction, and politics</i>. University Press of the Pacific, Honolulu.</ref>
Few buildings have symbolized United States government and democratic ideals as the Capitol building. The building has seen a fair number of events over the last two hundred years
that include controversy or dealt with difficult events, such as using slaves to build a large part of the present building. Given the important symbolic and actual value the building has for many in the United States, and by an extension to many democratic countries, the building and site continue to attract protestors and marches, including the events that turned violent in 2021.