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

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
20,960
SoCal
#11
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 ...
Why did southern Italians agree to Italian unification if they resented being ruled by a northern Italian King, though?
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,265
Dispargum
#12
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?
I suppose we could go by population center, but that always moves and sooner or later we'd have to relocate the capital again. Geographic center makes more sense if the purpose is to save on travel time from each coast. By 1900, everyone knew the expansion impulse of Manifest Destiny had reached its limits.

There is no requirement for the capital to be in a federal district. That was always optional. At some point in the 20th century a separate federal district no longer made sense. I think the founders did not want civil servants to vote in federal elections, but as soon as people began commuting in from the suburbs, that didn't work anymore. Even if we did want a new federal district, the government could afford it - especially after flipping the old one. :)
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
20,960
SoCal
#13
I suppose we could go by population center, but that always moves and sooner or later we'd have to relocate the capital again. Geographic center makes more sense if the purpose is to save on travel time from each coast. By 1900, everyone knew the expansion impulse of Manifest Destiny had reached its limits.
Agreed.

There is no requirement for the capital to be in a federal district. That was always optional. At some point in the 20th century a separate federal district no longer made sense. I think the founders did not want civil servants to vote in federal elections, but as soon as people began commuting in from the suburbs, that didn't work anymore. Even if we did want a new federal district, the government could afford it - especially after flipping the old one. :)
What's the "flipping" a reference to? Are you suggesting selling Washington DC back to Maryland and then using this money to build a new US capital somewhere else?
 
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AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,823
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#14
Why did southern Italians agree to Italian unification if they resented being ruled by a northern Italian King, though?
First of all, note that the "Italian Nation" had overall created by the experience of WWI. Millions of young men from all around the country shared that devastating experience and all Italy supported them. Unfortunately that national pride was "kidnapped" by Fascism some years later ...

This said, when Garibaldi conquered the Southern Kingdom the situation was really different from what we can imagine. Italian populations were really used to see the Lord changing [and not rarely the new Lord was a foreign governor: Spaniards, French, Austrians ... it happened they took a piece of Italy]. The Kingdom of Naples, on the other hand, was an entity with a history and a strong identity [still today in Naples there are Monarchic movements wanting the Southern Kingdom back ...], but at level of aristocracy, Army and big business. Common people, as said, didn't mind that much who ruled.

So, in that historical context, it wasn't a problem to put together two pieces of Italy. Sure it wasn't a triumph like the annexation of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany [there was a popular referendum where the "yes" were more than the 100% of the electors who voted!!!! Someone suspected there was a vote rigging ...].

The new Kingdom acted politically to persuade the high classes to accept the change, making some mistakes with the rural populations [and leaving a lot of room to Mafia to grow].

This means that there was a political integration which worked with the high classes, the common people didn't mind too much and then, slowly an Italian national identity had created year after year until the experience of WWI.
 
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Oct 2012
671
#15
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?
Well, Russia did move it`s capital from St.Petersburg to Moscow.
 
Likes: Futurist
May 2019
14
Saint-Petersburg, Russia
#16
If we base our discussion on Russia's example, then, as I see, we should understand that possiblity of moving country's capital could've been inspired by some extraordinary changes in political regime of particular country. Russia's the best example this way. So, the answer to topic's main question could be: any country, which was in big political and social changes (revolutionary changes more often), could have changed its own capital.
 
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May 2019
14
Saint-Petersburg, Russia
#17
the common people didn't mind too much
I disagree this idea. After all, Italian government has done something to make common people feel more like Italian nation. The biggest campaign to reach it was educational reform, which has brought school system free and obligatory for everyone. It's clear that reform was determined to the middle- and lower- classes of people.
 
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AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,823
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#18
I disagree this idea. After all, Italian government has done something to make common people feel more like Italian nation. The biggest campaign to reach it was educational reform, which has brought school system free and obligatory for everyone. It's clear that reform was determined to the middle- and lower- classes of people.
Listen, I think to a famous Italian say ... "Francia o Spagna, basta che se magna!" [France or Spain, it's ok if we eat!].
In Southern Italy there were popular movements thinking to join the Kingdom of Piedmont to unify Italy. Sure. But it wasn't the people to defeat the Kingdom of Naples [and it didn't require a great effort to do this] ... it was Garibaldi.

But you are right. After the conquest the "historical Left" did a lot to improve the condition of life of the Southerns. It's a historical fact. And the Royal Family did its part.

Now, come on ... the most famous Italian pizza had created for the new Queen ... Margherita. Have you ever heard about the "Pizza Margherita"? It had invented for the new Queen coming from Turin ...
 
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May 2019
14
Saint-Petersburg, Russia
#19
Listen, I think to a famous Italian say ... "Francia o Spagna, basta che se magna!" [France or Spain, it's ok if we eat!].
In Southern Italy there were popular movements thinking to join the Kingdom of Piedmont to unify Italy. Sure. But it wasn't the people to defeat the Kingdom of Naples [and it didn't require a great effort to do this] ... it was Garibaldi.

But you are right. After the conquest the "historical Left" did a lot to improve the condition of life of the Southerns. It's a historical fact. And the Royal Family did its part.

Now, come on ... the most famous Italian pizza had created for the new Queen ... Margherita. Have you ever heard about the "Pizza Margherita"? It had invented for the new Queen coming from Turin ...
I agree about Garibaldi, ofc. But I don't rly understand, why is Margarita there? :)
 
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AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,823
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#20
I agree about Garibaldi, ofc. But I don't rly understand, why is Margarita there? :)
There is a kind of popular legend about the origin of the Pizza Margherita: someone invented it in occasion of a visit of Queen Margherita [this would be the reason why that pizza carries that name].
 
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