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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Capital Cities

Wherever a government establishes its capital, the city will grow in size because the additional spending attracts labor and businesses to service the government and its employees and thus, it becomes a commercial center for the nation as well.

A CAPITAL CITY IS FORMED in the same way as a provincial city, with these differences: the largest property owners in the state reside in the capital; the king or supreme government is established in it and spends the government’s revenues there; the supreme courts of justice are located there; it is the center of the fashions, which all the provinces take as their model; and the property owners, who reside in the provinces, occasionally spend time in the capital, and they send their children there to be educated. Therefore, all the lands in the state contribute, more or less, to maintain those who dwell in the capital.
If a sovereign leader leaves a city to establish residence in another, nobles will follow him and locate their residence with him in the new city, which will become great and important at the expense of the first. We have seen a recent example of this in the city of Petersburg to the disadvantage of Moscow,7 and one sees many old cities, which were important, fall into ruin and others spring from their ashes. Great cities usually are built on the seacoast or on the banks of large rivers for the convenience of transportation. Water transportation of the products and merchandise necessary for the subsistence and comfort of the inhabitants is much cheaper than wagons and land transportation.

Essay on Economic Theory, An

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