We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a State Capital?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
America Explained is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At America Explained, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A state capital is the city in a state within the United States of America in which the state legislature and major government offices are located. This is a necessarily loose definition because the location of a state’s capital is typically decided by the legislature of the state itself, with little in the way of hard rules regarding the location and establishment of state capitals. Population and city size are not prerequisites for a city to serve as a capital, and many capitals are not the most populated or largest cities within a state.

The state capital is usually the seat of political power within that state, and typically houses the state legislature and executive offices. The state Supreme Court is also often located in the capital city and offices for various major federal government agencies may be located there as well. There is not typically a geographical requirement for a city being a capital, with some capitals being located along the borders of other states or countries.

Once a state capital is established, it is also not required that the location remain the capital of the state for any particular length of time. Some states have had numerous capitals over their history, and many capital cities served as capitals even before the state they are within became a state in the US. This often happened due to a state being a colony before the establishment of the country, existing as part of an independent territory, or by being a part of another country before becoming a state within the US.

Boston, Massachusetts, has been a capital for the longest consecutive period of time, having been a capital of either a colony or a state since 1630. The state capital of New Mexico, Santa Fe, has been a capital since 1610, but this was interrupted during the Pueblo Revolt in 1680 when the Pueblo people laid siege to the city and drove out the Spanish government. This lasted until 1692 when the Spanish successfully took back the city and re-established it as the capital of the New Mexico province of New Spain.

America Explained is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

America Explained, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.