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What is the history of the United States Capitol Building?

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Construction and Early History
==Construction and Early History==
The 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. Norther 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, with this period lasting between 1790-1800, with and Philadelphia serving as the temporary home of the branch. The French-American engineer Pierre Charles L'Enfant designed the new capital city of Washington D.C., where he planned for the '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 State's 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 Congress House Capitol would look like, with the building envisioned as the shinning temple on a hill that would guide the republic, mainly ruled by an elite. In fact, it was Thomas Jefferson had who eventually pushed to change then 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 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 Bicentennial of the United States Capitol. 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 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 very critical of Thornton's suggestion. Eventually, the two architect's designs were integrated to form much of the current core of the Capitoland initial building. Later, Thomas Ustick Walter and August Schoenborn would also have great influence on the current building by designing the north wing and later dome respectively. On September 18, 1793, President George Washington laid the foundation of the Captiol, 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 session in the Capitol for the first time. By 1812, both wings of the Capitol were complete mostly completed (Figure 1).<ref>Fore For more on the design of the Capitol, 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>
[[File:war-of-1812-01-us-capitol-1814.jpeg|thumb|left|Figure 1.The Capitol as it appear during the War of 1812. ]]

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