A capital is a city where a region's government is located. This is where government buildings are and where government leaders work. A region can be defined as a nation, state, province, or other political unit. At the county level, capitals are usually called "county seats."
In some countries, there are two cities that serve as capitals. For instance, Santiago is the capital of Chile but the National Congress of Chile is located in Valparaso. In Tanzania, Dar es Salaam is the official capital, but most of the government is located in Dodoma.
A capital is frequently a country's business, cultural, and population center. Capital cities are often historical centers of trade, communication, and transportation. London, England, and Paris, France, developed hundreds of years ago around large, busy rivers (the Thames in London and the Seine in Paris). Baghdad, Iraq, and Damascus, Syria, have been thriving urban centers for thousands of years.
Rarely, a capital city is constructed just to be a capital city. Brazil's government built its capital, Brasilia, purely to serve as a government city.
Brasilia was constructed as a capital city between 1956 and 1960. Brazil's previous capital, Rio de Janeiro, was crowded. Its design hindered government work because buildings were located far apart from one another and traffic was heavy. Brasilia was constructed in the countrys interior, to spur development there and lay a plan for an ideal capital city. City planners, architects, and political scientists worked with Brazils leaders on the design of Brasilia.
City of Brotherly Love
Until 1801, when the District of Columbia was established as the nation's capital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was the capital of the United States.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry architect Noun
person who designs buildings or other large structures.
sale of goods and services, or a place where such sales take place.
city where a region's government is located.
Encyclopedic Entry: capital city Noun
large settlement with a high population density.
city planner Noun
person who plans the physical design and zoning of an urban center.
sharing of information and ideas.
to build or erect.
county seat Noun
city or town where the government of a county is located.
to form or officially organize.
system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.
to delay or hold back.
internal or inland.
political scientist Noun
person who studies the structure and ideas of government.
total number of people or organisms in a particular area.
earlier, or the one before.
division of a country larger than a town or county.
Encyclopedic Entry: province spur Verb
to encourage or move forward.
buying, selling, or exchanging of goods and services.
movement of many things, often vehicles, in a specific area.
movement of people or goods from one place to another.
urban center Noun
densely populated area, usually a city and its surrounding suburbs.