The indispensable necessity of complete authority at the seat of government, carries its own evidence with it… Without it, not only the public authority might be insulted and its proceedings interrupted with impunity; but a dependence of the members of the general government on the State comprehending the seat of the government, for protection in the exercise of their duty, might bring on the national councils an imputation of awe or influence, equally dishonorable to the government and dissatisfactory to the other members of the Confederacy.
— James Madison 1788 Federalist no.43
Madison envisioned that voting members of a D.C. state would be able to ‘insult’ or ‘interrupt’ the proceedings of government to get their way, simply by virtue of physical proximity to the halls of power.
During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress had no permanent home. While penning the U.S. Constitution, the founders quibbled about the location of a permanent capital. They did agree on one point: they didn’t want to repeat the events of June 1783, when a group of drunken soldiers angry about back pay converged on the Philadelphia state house. Local authorities failed to act, and the mob chased Congress out of town.