Draining the Swamp: How Washington, D.C. Grew from Backwater to Major City

Washington, D.C. in 1801.

Cities are super-organisms; and like any living thing, they grow under the right circumstances, at the right time —or they don’t grow at all.

Many cities spring up at the nexus of trade routes, or spots that offer the locals some defensive or economic advantage. For example, Chicago’s rapid growth in the 19th century was due to its…