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In 1790, Congress passed the “Residence Act,” putting in place a plan to create a capital city for the new United States. The following year, President George Washington chose the location for it on land ceded from Maryland. Construction on the capital began in 1793, only to be delayed by lack of funding and being burned during the War of 1812. The U.S. Capitol Building, the focus of this Civil War-era lithograph, was finally completed in 1826. This was how Washington, D.C., appeared when the Revenue Bill of 1862 became law in July 1862. 

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