Which countries could have realistically moved their capitals in the late 19th or early 20th centuries?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,752
SoCal
#1
Which countries could have realistically moved their capitals in the late 19th or early 20th centuries? Russia would be an obvious example because its Tsar had absolute power until 1905-1906 and a lot of (albeit no longer absolute) power even after 1906. However, what other countries could have realistically qualified for this?

I mean, Italy moved its capital to Rome in 1870, but would there have ever actually been the desire to move the Italian capital out of Rome and into a different city? Somehow, I strongly doubt it due to the historical importance that Rome had and still has for Italians and also due to the fact that Italy wasn't an absolute monarchy like Russia was.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this and on this question of mine?
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
26,255
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#2
About Italy, you miss a capital.

When Italy was unified [but without Rome yet] the Royal Court was in Turin. Since Italy is a long peninsula and Turin is almost in Switzerland they thought to a central city as capital ... Florence became the capital of Italy and it remained the capital for 6 years.

It was only after the conquest of Rome that, finally, the "Urbe" became the capital of the Italian Kingdom.

Anyway Florence has been and still is a good alternative. Remember that the Italian we speak is a product of the culture of that area. The Renaissance started from there ... and, on the other hand, at Venice they have never showed a great interest to be the cradle of modern Italy.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,752
SoCal
#3
About Italy, you miss a capital.

When Italy was unified [but without Rome yet] the Royal Court was in Turin. Since Italy is a long peninsula and Turin is almost in Switzerland they thought to a central city as capital ... Florence became the capital of Italy and it remained the capital for 6 years.

It was only after the conquest of Rome that, finally, the "Urbe" became the capital of the Italian Kingdom.

Anyway Florence has been and still is a good alternative. Remember that the Italian we speak is a product of the culture of that area. The Renaissance started from there ... and, on the other hand, at Venice they have never showed a great interest to be the cradle of modern Italy.
Interesting.

That said, though, would the Italian parliament and people have actually been on board for a relocation of the Italian capital to Florence sometime after 1870 had the Italian King proposed this?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,752
SoCal
#4
BTW, didn't Ataturk move the capital from Istanbul to Ankara? Or was it because Istanbul wasn't under Turkish rule during this time?

Could the Ottomans have realistically made a similar move back when they were in power?
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,941
Dispargum
#5
Here in the US most state capitals are near the center of their state to make it easier for residents to access their state government (and also to make it easier for legislators to travel back and forth to their home districts). Washington DC, however, is all the way over on one end of the country giving New Yorkers easier access to the federal government than Californians. Most of the monuments and civil service buildings were built after 1900. Could we have moved the national capital to Kansas City or someplace like that?
 
Likes: Futurist

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
26,255
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#6
Interesting.

That said, though, would the Italian parliament and people have actually been on board for a relocation of the Italian capital to Florence sometime after 1870 had the Italian King proposed this?
Rome, before of the final conquest by the Italian Kingdom, was the capital of a foreign country ... the State of the Church. In Central Italy they didn't love that much the realm of the Pope, so that I guess that in those regions no one would have complained if the capital of the new Italian Kingdom remained at Florence. But there was the matter of the construction of the "national identity". Rome was essential as capital. Even if the Kingdom of Piedmont and Sardinia was well more French than Italian [!], anti-clerical, not beloved at all by the Vatican [imagine that the Pope asked to Catholics not to vote in the early elections of the Italian Kingdom] and with a social / economical structure more similar to a German state.

Anyway ... no, the Parliament at Rome would have never accepted a further move of the capital.
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,752
SoCal
#7
Here in the US most state capitals are near the center of their state to make it easier for residents to access their state government (and also to make it easier for legislators to travel back and forth to their home districts). Washington DC, however, is all the way over on one end of the country giving New Yorkers easier access to the federal government than Californians. Most of the monuments and civil service buildings were built after 1900. Could we have moved the national capital to Kansas City or someplace like that?
A new US capital would have to be near the US's mean center of population during this time, no? :



Also, the US state(s) who is(/are) going to lose territory as a result of this are going to need to get generously compensated for them to actually accept this, no?
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
26,255
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#8
Since the fact that Florence has been capital of Italy is not so known abroad, I imagine that the alternative is not so known as well: Naples. The other alternative to Rome was Naples, but the King decided for Florence [waiting to conquer Rome].

But ... Italy moved its capital for real during the last phases of WWII.

From September 1943 to February 1944 the King and the government stayed in Brindisi; then ... from February to July 1944 the Italian government wasn't in Rome, but in Salerno. So, even if there was no time to write it into the Constitution of the Kingdom, for a bit less than 6 months the real capital of Italy was Salerno. Rome was occupied by the Germans ...
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,752
SoCal
#9
Since the fact that Florence has been capital of Italy is not so known abroad, I imagine that the alternative is not so known as well: Naples. The other alternative to Rome was Naples, but the King decided for Florence [waiting to conquer Rome].
Why not move it to Naples and then relocate it to Rome if necessary?

But ... Italy moved its capital for real during the last phases of WWII.
From September 1943 to February 1944 the King and the government stayed in Brindisi; then ... from February to July 1944 the Italian government wasn't in Rome, but in Salerno. So, even if there was no time to write it into the Constitution of the Kingdom, for a bit less than 6 months the real capital of Italy was Salerno. Rome was occupied by the Germans ...
Yes, but as you said, that was because Rome was occupied by the Nazis during this time. In other words, it doesn't really count. Now, if the capital would have remained outside of Rome after the liberation of Rome, then it would count for this.
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
26,255
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#10
Why not move it to Naples and then relocate it to Rome if necessary?



Yes, but as you said, that was because Rome was occupied by the Nazis during this time. In other words, it doesn't really count. Now, if the capital would have remained outside of Rome after the liberation of Rome, then it would count for this.
Sure Salerno [or Brindisi as well] doesn't count here ...

About Naples: Southern Kingdom wasn't a welcoming territory for the "Italian King". Actually there they saw the King of Piedmont as a foreign invader! This is still a sensitive argument, but there was a nice work of construction of the "myth of unification" in Italy. In a few words, it wasn't that safe for the "King of Italy" to move to Naples.

To make a comparison with US ... imagine if, after the end of the Civil War, the President would have moved to Atlanta ...
 
Likes: Futurist