05/01/2020 -- Washington KC Officially Nation's New Capital

Kansas City Tribune
May 1st, 2020

WASHINGTON, KC — Effective today, in an unprecedented move in American history, the capital of the United States of America has officially transitioned from Washington DC to the newly redistricted Washington KC, formerly Kansas City, Missouri.

Early on in the Second American Civil War, Washington DC suffered catastrophic damage including the destruction of both the White House and Pentagon in fierce fighting. For the duration of the war, the US Government's surviving bodies operated out of the Raven Rock Mountain Complex in Pennsylvania.

Following the war's conclusion the interim-capital of the United States settled in Kansas City, MO, the largest US city least impacted by the civil war and capable of maintaining a continuity of government. Kansas City had been the unofficial hub of operations for the resistance effect against the Mitchell Administration and its appointment as a temporary capital was a natural evolution of its wartime role.

In the years that have followed the Civil War, estimates for the reconstruction of Washington DC stood at fifteen years and trillions of dollars in cost. Yamagato Industries and Praxis Heavy Industries both investigated the possibility of building a DC Safe Zone, but the chemical weapons and biological used on the city during the Civil War polluted the region so significantly that reconstruction could not even start until 2022, putting a prospective DC Safe Zone's opening at 2037.

With DC's reconstruction an infeasibility in this generation, President Praeger and Secretary of State Chesterfield drafted a proposal to officially redistrict Kansas City, Missouri much in the way the District of Columbia was structured in 1790. The name Washington KC pays homage to both the former US capital city of Washington DC and Kansas City's Missouri heritage.

The financial impact of this redistricting is expected to be minimal on a national level, but significant to Missouri's overall GDP. Economists are speculating that the revenue loss from Kansas City could significantly impact further development in Missouri, but Congress has reassured local government that significant tax credits are being put in place to mitigate this financial redistribution.

This history of the nation's capital is a long and storied one, with Washington, KC not being the first move the national capital has experienced. The Louisiana Purchase and rapid western expansion were crucial developments during the early American republic. But attention there can misleadingly suggest that the United States rapidly assumed the shape we know today. Focusing on how the capital city of the federal government changed in the early years of the nation reminds us of the limited nature of the early central government.

Like so many other elements of the new nation, even the most basic features of the capital city were unsettled. President Washington first took office in New York City, but, when reelected in 1792, the capital had already moved to Philadelphia where it would remain for a decade. Fittingly, Jefferson was the first president to be inaugurated in the "new" capital of Washington, D.C. in March 1801.

The site of the new capital was the product of political compromise. As part of the struggle over Hamilton's financial policy, Congress supported the Bank of the United States which would be headquartered in Philadelphia. In exchange the special District of Columbia, to be under Congressional control, would be built on the Potomac River. The compromise represented a symbolic politics of the very highest order. While Hamilton's policies encouraged the consolidation of economic power in the hands of bankers, financiers, and merchants who predominated in the urban northeast, the political capital was to be in a more southerly and agricultural region apart from those economic elites.

Once the site for the new capital was selected in 1790, President Washington retained Pierre Charles L'Enfant, a French engineer and former officer in the Continental Army, to design and lay out the new capital city. Charles' plan gave pride of place to the capitol building which would stand on a hill overlooking the flatlands around the Potomac. A long open mall connected the legislative building to the river and was to be bordered by varied stately buildings. Radiating out from the capital were a number of broad avenues one of which would connect with the president's house. Much of L'Enfant's grand vision was ignored during the nineteenth century, but starting in 1901 the plan was vigorously reborn.

Unlike DC, Washington KC more closely resembles the contemporary American metropolis that was commonplace in the years prior to the Second American Civil War. Perhaps in this, echoing what was lost of the old USA, the new capital will be a beacon to guide the country back to its former glory.

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