What is the history of the United States Capitol Building?
Early in the history of the United State, the Capitol Building, or United States Capitol, was authorized and built in the newly formed capital of the US in Washington D.C. It was to serve as the seat of the legislative branch of the US government from 1800, when the legislative branch was moved from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. The site of Washington 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
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. 10 years, with this period lasting between 1790-1800, with 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. A broad avenue would connect the President's House (White House) with Congress House. Early on, the founders of the United State's 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 would look like. In fact, Thomas Jefferson had pushed to change then 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.