For millennia before the establishment of Alexandria in 1749, Indigenous peoples and Indians of Virginia had been living and traveling through the lands that would become the city. In 1789, a portion of Fairfax County was ceded to form part of the new 10-square-mile District of Columbia. By the end of the Civil War, Alexandria's economy had been severely damaged, but the city itself had not experienced the same level of destruction as other parts of Virginia. The Civil War and the occupation of Alexandria by Union troops during those four years had a profound impact on the city.
A few days after Virginia's secession from the Union in 1861, federal troops arrived in Alexandria to take control. Formally accepted by Congress in 1801, Alexandria remained under federal government control until it was returned to Virginia in 1847. Since then, Alexandria has gone through an incredible transformation. The city has become a major hub for business and culture, with a thriving economy and a vibrant arts scene. The population has grown significantly over the past decade, with an influx of young professionals and families moving to the area.
The city has also seen an increase in diversity, with a growing number of immigrants from around the world. Politically, Alexandria has become increasingly progressive. In recent years, there have been numerous initiatives to promote social justice and environmental sustainability. The city has also become more involved in national politics, with many residents actively participating in campaigns and elections. Overall, Alexandria has undergone a remarkable transformation over the past decade. From its humble beginnings as a small town to its current status as a major metropolitan area, Alexandria has become an integral part of Virginia's political landscape.