The House of Representatives has voted to make Washington DC the 51st American State, although the bill will almost certainly be rejected by the Republican-controlled Senate and President Donald Trump. 

Representatives also voted to change DC's name from District of Columbia to Douglass Commonwealth on Friday in honor of 19th Century abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass.

The Democrat-Controlled House passed a DC Statehood bill for the first time on Friday despite decades of demands from Democrat politicians and advocates. 

Washington DC residents have long campaigned for statehood, complaining of "taxation without representation" since the city's delegates in the House of Representatives do not hold voting rights. 

More than 700,000 people live in the US capital, a larger population than Wyoming and Vermont.

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The Trump Administration's use of law-enforcement personnel during the anti-racism protests in the city - a decision that went against the wishes of the city's mayor - has also cast new light on the debate surrounding Washington's status. 

The anti-racism protests appear to have also inspired the vote to change the city's name, swapping out the controversial figure of Christopher Columbus for Frederick Douglass. 

Maryland Representative Steny Hoyer said that the new name was perfect for the city and for America. 

"What an appropriate name: George Washington and Frederick Douglass, joined together in support of citizenship, what an appropriate name it seems to me for the capital of America," he said. "To honor two of its citizens: one white, one black, both committed to the union and committed to citizenship." 

However, the bill is extremely unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled Senate since it will add two Senate seats and more House seats in an area that would almost certainly vote Democrat. 

Around 90% of DC voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election and, even if the bill passes the Senate, President Donald Trump has indicated that he will veto it. 

Trump said last month that "DC would never become a state" because it would call for two more Democratic Senators. 

"No thank you. That will never happen," he said. 

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