Download American Capitals: A Historical Geography by Christian Montès PDF

By Christian Montès

State capitals are an indelible a part of the yankee psyche, spatial representations of nation strength and nationwide id. studying them by means of center is a ceremony of passage in grade institution, 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 way in which at the ancient conditions that resulted in their appointment, their good fortune or failure, and their evolution over time.

While all kingdom capitals have a few features in common—as symbols of the nation, as embodiments of political energy and selection making, as public areas with deepest interests—Montès doesn't interpret them via a unmarried lens, largely as a result modifications of their spatial and historic evolutionary styles. a few have remained small, whereas others have developed into bustling metropolises, and Montès explores the dynamics of swap and development. All yet 11 country capitals have been verified within the 19th century, thirty-five earlier than 1861, yet, fairly astonishingly, purely 8 of the fifty states have maintained their unique capitals. regardless of their respected prestige because the so much huge and old towns in the US, capitals come from unusually humble beginnings, usually stricken by 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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Extra info for American Capitals: A Historical Geography

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Long before the official designation of the capital, a private body—the Topeka Association, founded in 1855—had thought of a “capital” plan, amid the slave-state/free-state controversy.  A clear intention was thus at work to reflect the status of a capital in the town platting. But such an intention was not universal, especially for towns that became capitals after their foundation.  | c hap ter t wo The Persistence of Plain and Unusual Plats When Vandalia was designated as the new capital of Illinois in 1819, Ferdinand Ernst, a wealthy German emigrant, gave a precise description showing that uniformity was the motto: “The plan of the town is a square subdivided into 64 squares, and the space of two of these squares in the middle is intended for public use.

Capitals are most likely to see such tension, because they enhance the relationships between both spheres, be they good or bad.

When Delaware replaced its old statehouse at the beginning of the 1930s, it chose to go back to the Georgian model. Likewise, when the capitol in Charleston, West Virginia, burned in 1921, the architect chosen to replace it was Cass Gilbert, who gave the new capitol a neoclassical design and built it for slightly less than 10 million. Its dome is 293 feet high, 5 feet higher than that of the national capitol, making it the largest dome in the country. 5 million, was a four-story “modern Greek” building (fig.

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