Washington: A European Capital City in the Early American Repbulic
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With the Peace of Paris in 1783, the United States achieved de jure independence from Great Britain and began the monumental task of nation building. One of the most pressing priorities was the establishment of a permanent seat of government. Philadelphia and New York City, as the two largest cities in the new country and major centers of commerce and culture, were obvious contenders. However, these places were all-too-recently hubs of British imperial authority, and their northerly locations were deemed by many Southern citizens as unsuitable for the new American republic. Therefore, for the first time since antiquity, a new capital city would be planned and built from the ground up.