Communities are Built for Government Why would location be important in choosing where to build a capital city? Unit 2 Lesson 6
Potomac River • The early leaders of the U.S. wanted to create a city where laws would be made. • The people of Virginia and Maryland gave the U.S. some land along the Potomac River so that this new city could be built.
Capital City • The capital city was the place where the leaders of the country wanted to meet and work. • George Washington rode along the riverbank of the Potomac River to try and find a good place to build the capital city.
Washington, D.C. • George Washington chose an area with low wetlands and woods for the new capital. • It was halfway between Vermont and Georgia, which was right in the middle of the United States in 1791. • Pros: Lawmakers from all over the country could easily get to the capital. • Cons: The place was a swamp. It was hot and there were mosquitoes.
Andrew Ellicott and Benjamin Banneker • Andrew Ellicott and Benjamin Banneker were clock makers who measured the land. • Thomas Jefferson told George Washington that Banneker would be a good person to help mark where the streets of Washington, D.C. would go.
Pierre L’Enfant • Pierre L’Enfant used the measurements of Andrew Ellicott and Benjamin Banneker to plan the city’s streets and buildings.
Capitol • The capitol was the building where the lawmakers met. • It was the first thing built in Washington, D.C. • Today, the capital city of every state has a capitol building.
State Capital • A state capital is a city where lawmakers meet to make laws for a state. • The U.S. has one capital city for the whole country. There are 50 state capitals, one for each of the 50 states in the U.S. • The symbol of a star represents a state capital. • The symbol of a star in a circle represents the nation’s capital (Washington, D.C>)
Sacramento, California • A city does not have to be the biggest in the state to be the state capital. • Sacramento is the capital of California.
County • A part of a state is called a county.
County Seat • A county seat is a city or town where county leaders meet.
Juneau, Alaska • Juneau, Alaska is one of the hardest state capitals to reach because no roads lead to it. • Lawmakers get there by airplane or boat. • It was chosen because it is near a resource – gold.
Borders and Boundaries • Borders are the lines on a map that show where one country or state ends and another begins. • Borders are also called boundaries.