American Capitals: A Historical Geography (University of by Christian Montès

By Christian Montès

State capitals are an indelible a part of the yankee psyche, spatial representations of nation strength and nationwide id. studying them via center is a ceremony of passage in grade tuition, a pedagogical workout that emphasizes the significance of committing place-names to reminiscence. yet geographers have not begun to investigate nation capitals in any intensity. In American Capitals, Christian Montès takes us on a well-researched trip throughout America—from Augusta to Sacramento, Albany to Baton Rouge—shedding mild alongside the best way at the historic situations that ended in their appointment, their luck or failure, and their evolution over time.


While all country capitals have a few features in common—as symbols of the kingdom, as embodiments of political strength and selection making, as public areas with deepest interests—Montès doesn't interpret them via a unmarried lens, largely as a result of the transformations of their spatial and old evolutionary styles. a few have remained small, whereas others have developed into bustling metropolises, and Montès explores the dynamics of switch and development. All yet 11 country capitals have been confirmed within the 19th century, thirty-five prior to 1861, yet, relatively astonishingly, simply 8 of the fifty states have maintained their unique capitals. regardless of their respected prestige because the such a lot enormous and old towns in the United States, capitals come from strangely humble beginnings, frequently laid low with instability, clash, hostility, and corruption. Montès reminds us of the interval during which they happened, “an period of pioneer and idealized territorial vision,” coupled with a still-evolving American citizenry and democracy.

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