Essays & Images on Cities, Travel and Contemporary Culture. A web journal of James A. Clapp, Ph.D., an UrbisMedia Ltd. Production

CQQ-No.021: New Capitals

CQQ021_rangoonCapital cities may, or may not, live up to the literalness of their designation. London, Paris and Cairo, for example, meet the test in virtually every way. But in other cases, one must strain a little (or a lot) to fully accept the temporariness of Bonn, or architecturally-pretentious Brazilia, as the “head” cities of their respective nations.

True capitals seem at times to be made, not born. Necessity, or circumstance may place a county’s administrative brain in one city or another, but a nation’s soul is another matter. Indeed some capitals, being solely dominated by the business of government, seem places least representative and least in touch with the territory beyond their borders. Many capitals were deliberately located and created cities: New Delhi, Islamabad, Canberra, Brazilia, Washington D.C. But there seems to be no formula or pattern for the achievement or ascription of a city as the capital of its state. Nevertheless, one circumstance is certain, with the creation of a new state, one of its cities must be accorded capitol status. Such was the case in several new countries, most in central Europe and central Asia, that achieved independence in the past several years.

Match the new nation-state with its capitol city.

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©2004, ©2015, James A. Clapp (UrbisMedia Ltd. Pub. 1.1.2004)