Alternate Capital Cities

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Atterdag, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. Atterdag Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2018
    Just a fun little idea I had. Come up with some scenarios to change a country's capitol city, either changing it to another city or founding a new one. Bonus for taking a relatively minor city and raising it to capital status.
  2. Jan Olbracht Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2012
    Łódź as capital of Poland (could be done even with 1945 POD). Łódź was de facto capital for a while after ww2. After Poland's borders were moved west, Łódź was right in the middle of the country. And the city was not much devasted by war, unlike Warsaw, which was turned into sea of ruins after Warsaw Uprising. Also as "Worker's City" it could be useful for Communists for propaganda purposes.
    IMHO due to its central location Łódź would be more practical as capital of modern Poland than Warsaw is.
    Also it fullfills point about being relatively small and unimportant town for most of its history. In 1793 it has only 250 inhabitants. City grew fast after 1820 thanks to textile industry (it was nicknamed "Polish Manchester") and quickly became second biggest Polish city after Warsaw.
  3. Atterdag Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2018
    Could it be achieved with a pre-1900 POD? Without going too far back in time of course.
  4. ArchimedesCircle Radical Groucho-Marxist

    Aug 25, 2015
    Tecumseh's Confederacy
    Isn't Berlin really only the capital of Germany because Prussia ended up unifying it? If a different German state comes out on top their capital would probably be used. Hanover for Hanover, Dresden for Saxony, Munich for Bavaria, etc.

    Rio de Janeiro for Portugal if the UK of Portugal, Brazil and the Algraves continues.
  5. Jan Olbracht Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2012
    If that POD includes destruction of Warsaw and Poland being shifted west, then yes.
    With pre-1900 PODs you could get other cities being made capital of Poland easily:
    -if 1795 partition borders stick, then Warsaw, being right at the border, would decline. Poznan or Cracow would be capital likely after Poland regains independence.
    -Duchy of Mazovia is not incorporated into Kingdom of Poland in 1526. Warsaw would remain perifferial town. Sejm would be propably usually called to Lublin instead, so Lublin may become capital of Poland one day.
  6. Rdffigueira A citizen of the Southern Hemisphere

    Nov 14, 2014
    Rio de Janeiro/BR
    A different German unification (even if we can must take the POD to before the 19th Century) could make another city the German capital, perhaps Frankfurt due to its "parliament" or other city in Franconia/Rhineland region. Due to its confederal nature, one city in the geographic center of the country could be elected capital as a symbolic comprimise between the member-states (like what happened to Canberra in Australia), without really reducing the significance of Berlin or Vienna. From a Medieval POD, depending on the dynasty that "unifies" the HRE, we could see a capital somewhere else than Berlin.

    Same for Italy, if the Roman Question remains unresolved and the Kingdom fails to secure Rome (not that likely, I believe). The seat of government might remain in Florence, even if there is a claim to Rome.

    Russia also could also exist with a capital somewhere else if the Tsardom of Muscovy fails to rise (Vladimir comes to mind, but perhaps Kiev, if it avoids the Mongol onslaught).

    China is another good example: it has had so many capitals throughout its history that the selection of Beijing could be butterflied away if successive dynasties become consolidated in the same city (Chang'an? Nanking?)
  7. Drex Alférez de caballería

    Apr 23, 2017
    Regum Valentiae, Monarchia Hispaniae
    If Germany was somehow unified in 1848 it's capital would be Frankfurt. The US could have placed it's capital rather easily in Philadelphia should the CSA won as D.C. would be right across the border. If France won the Franco-Prussian War, the capital of Italy would be Florence as Rome wouldn't have been taken (possibly). If the bolsheviks were crushed, the capital of Russia would be Saint Petersburg. If the Catholic Monarchs didn't had a fixation for placing a capital in the exact center of Iberia, Toledo or Valladolid would be the capital of Spain. There was a proposal in Argentina during the 60's to move the capital to Viedma. The ROC could have kept using Nanking as their capital supposing they won, and literally every African country could realistically place it's capital in some other town.
    John_Smith12, Ciniad and P L Richards like this.
  8. GauchoBadger Gang Weeder (in a society)

    Feb 28, 2016
    "Tiradentes" somehow succeeds in rebelling and estabilishing a Brazilian Republic in the 1790's, and Ouro Preto (one of the largest cities in South America at the time, as a result of the Minas Gerais gold rush) could become the capital rather than Rio de Janeiro.
    Also regarding Brazil -- if Uruguay is annexed into the empire, then Argentina could relocate its capital from the now strategically threatened Buenos Aires to somewhere further inland, such as Cordoba or Santa Fe.
  9. vortiger Well-Known Member

    Feb 4, 2018
    Taiping rebellion succeeds Tianjing/ Nanjing would probably become the capital of china.

    If the Frankfurt assembly succeeds in uniting Germany, then possibly Frankfurt would be the German capital.

    a successfully CSA would probably make Washington DC far too vulnerable a location for the USA capital. I have always been quite partial to Philadelphia becoming the new capital.

    if a successful Scandinavian unification in the 19th century happened, i propose that Malmö would be the ideal place for a capital.

    perhaps Napoleon is successful in Egypt and might move the capital to Alexandria. one reason just for is own ego and two i would assume it would be an easier defendable location(that does assume Napoleon is successful beating the British navy though).
    Kaze likes this.
  10. FalconHonour Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2018
    London hasn't always been the automatic capital of the UK, to be honest. Financial capital, yes, but not administrative. The Mercians used Winchester, so that would be the automatic 'capital' if you wanted to go back to the Saxon roots. But the Alt! Capital I'd like to see done would be Oxford. Charles I used it as his capital when the Parliamentarians took London, so perhaps, if Charles I won the English Civil War - and I'm aware that's a big if - he keeps Oxford as his capital to punish the Londoners for their treason/reward Oxford for its loyalty?
  11. Iluvatar Man of Kent

    Sep 1, 2016
    Kent, England, United Kingdom
    If William the Bastard loses the Battle of Hastings (perhaps the English shield wall doesn't pursue 'fleeing' Norman knights, perhaps Harald Hardrada doesn't land in the north), then it's possible Winchester could remain the 'capital' of England. By 1066 London was already had the largest population and was much more economically significant than Winchester, but there are examples of capitals remaining in less important cities (Edinburgh instead of Glasgow springs to mind; or Canberra instead of Sydney or Melbourne).

    If the absolutist regime of Louis XVI remains in control, then perhaps Versailles would become the effective capital of France instead of Paris?

    If Greece ever managed to capture Constantinople then that could become the capital, though if Turkey retains territory immediately across the Bosporus then it might be merely a ceremonial capital. Additionally, I believe I read somewhere that Athens was only chosen as the Greek capital because of its significance in the Classical Era - if this pressure was reduced then an alternative could have been Argos.
  12. BlueFlowwer Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2017
    Cordoba as capital of Spain would be interesting.
  13. John Farrier Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    In 1938, Prince Franz Josef II of Liechtenstein moves into Gutenberg Castle instead of Vaduz Castle, thus situating the capital of the principality in the village of Balzers instead of Vaduz.
  14. JSilvy Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2018
    The Isle of Manhattan
    - Mecca, Jeddah, or some other Hejazi city as the capital of Arabia if the Hashemites retain power.
    - Tel Aviv remaining the capital of Israel after 1949.
    - The US could potentially have chosen an existing city in Maryland such as Baltimore as its capital instead of building DC.
    - China is easy, since capitals have changed so much that any city has potential with a few butterflies.
    - Same goes for Iran
    - For Japan, just keep the capital in Kyoto or have another clan re-unify the island.
    - Aleppo as a potential capital of Syria.
    - Turkey keeps Istanbul as the capital
    - Italy keeps the capital in Florence instead of moving it to Rome.
    - The Spanish crown stays in Toledo instead of moving to Madrid.
    - Change some Cold War history to make Aden the capital of unified Yemen instead of Sana'a
    - Instead of building Lima, the Spanish do the same thing in Peru as they did in Mexico by making the former capital of the empire they conquered (in this case the Inca capital of Cuzco) the capital of the new Spanish colony, although this may be hard since it's up in the mountains.
  15. pompejus Hertog van Gelre

    Mar 27, 2006
    I could easily see The Hague as capital of the Netherlands. In many other countries the Hague would have been the capital, since it has the seat of government.
    Lord Arthur, Ciniad and JSilvy like this.
  16. herkles Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2017
    The capital of Canada could have been anywhere since it was Queen Victoria that picked it. She could have chosen a different city. Perhaps Montreal or Toronto or even Halifax or CharlotteTown?
  17. Koprulu Mustafa Pasha Sadrazam of the Roman Empire

    Oct 24, 2017
    I somehow have a weakness for Rome or Belgrade being an Ottoman Capital. Of course if the main focus is on the West rather than divided.
    JSilvy likes this.
  18. Koprulu Mustafa Pasha Sadrazam of the Roman Empire

    Oct 24, 2017
    Austrian Capital in Prague... This would be optional if Austria lost Hungary and focusses on Germany.

    Krakow as Polish Capital...

    Russian Capital in Kazan? Sounds interesting...
  19. saint polype Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2014
    I planned to make a similar thread, but I guess this sort of thing is pretty obvious.
    I was gonna ask: where would YOU have placed the capital of [country] from a strategic perspective, if you had ASB history influencing powers? :)
  20. MrGreyOwl Watching Bird

    Nov 16, 2014
    Lyon could have been the capital of France early on. It was already an administrative center of Roman Gaul, the Franks could have chosen it for their seat of power, especially if Lutetia/Paris is burned to the ground by the Huns in 451 CE.