American Capitals: A Historical Geography - download pdf or read online

By Christian Montès

ISBN-10: 022608048X

ISBN-13: 9780226080482

State capitals are an indelible a part of the yankee psyche, spatial representations of nation strength and nationwide identification. 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 kingdom 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 gentle alongside the best way at the historic situations that ended in their appointment, their good fortune or failure, and their evolution over time.

While all nation capitals have a few features in common—as symbols of the nation, as embodiments of political energy and determination making, as public areas with inner most interests—Montès doesn't interpret them via a unmarried lens, largely due to the ameliorations of their spatial and old evolutionary styles. a few have remained small, whereas others have advanced into bustling metropolises, and Montès explores the dynamics of swap and progress. All yet 11 country capitals have been confirmed within the 19th century, thirty-five earlier than 1861, yet, fairly astonishingly, in simple terms 8 of the fifty states have maintained their unique capitals. regardless of their respected prestige because the so much huge and ancient towns in the USA, capitals come from unusually humble beginnings, frequently stricken by instability, clash, hostility, and corruption. Montès reminds us of the interval within which they happened, “an period of pioneer and idealized territorial vision,” coupled with a still-evolving American citizenry and democracy.

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The State of New York is rich, and can afford to have a decent Capitol. One that shall fairly meet her wants, and correspond with her rank and power. , Annapolis, Montgomery, Jackson, Augusta, Springfield (on a slope), Austin, Albany, Denver, Olympia, Nashville, Salt Lake City, Harrisburg, and Hartford; see fig.  They are also often situated in the center of the city, as in Raleigh, Columbus, Carson City, Concord, Lansing, Pierre, and Madison, and more rarely outside the city (Bismarck). 4 A capitol upon the Hill, Hartford, Connecticut.

Pierre, South Dakota, though it is one of the smallest capitals, is very spread out and lacks a clear plat. This is the result of rivalry between speculators: one group was located north of the railroad, on the highest point, and the other preferred the south, so that the town expanded between the two areas (WWP South Dakota 1952, 129). Likewise, the plat of Denver, Colorado, lacks a central focus, parks, and civic spaces, being the result of five initial competing townsite companies (Reps 1981, 61).

New buildings flank the capitols in Phoenix (1960s) and Tallahassee (1978), for state offices as well as for associations and lobbyists. Nevada built a new capitol near the old one (in the 1970s, enlarged in the 1990s), the architecture of which supposedly retained the old characteristics. Although the simplicity of the old democratic functioning of the state tends to be reduced by those new capitol “complexes,” the social and symbolic meanings of the capitol still stand out. However, citizens mostly prefer inconspicuous—even if quite costly—modernization and addition processes, as in the case of Austin or Lansing.

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American Capitals: A Historical Geography by Christian Montès

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