District of Columbia
HistoryJames Madison expounded the need for a federal district on January 23, 1788, in his "Federalist No. 43", arguing that the national capital needed to be distinct from the states in order to provide for its own maintenance and safety.
An attack on the Congress at Philadelphia by a mob of angry soldiers, known as the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, had emphasized the need for the government to see to its own security. Therefore, the authority to establish a federal capital was provided in Article 1, Section 8, of the U S Constitution, which permits a "District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States".