In politics, a capital (also called capital city or political capital — although the latter phrase has an alternative meaning based on an alternative meaning of "capital") is the principal city or town associated with its government. It is almost always the city which physically encompasses the offices and meeting places of the seat of government and is usually fixed by law. The word capital is derived from the Latin caput meaning "head," and possibly related to Capitoline Hill, the tallest hill in Ancient Rome and that city's religious and historic center.
Capital cities in NationStates are an entirely imagined concept; it is down to the nation's owner to define or decide their capital city as they are not an official part of the game. As a consequence, most people who have defined a capital city will likely be using them for some sort of roleplaying purpose.
As in real life, capital cities in NationStates are largely the seat of government for most nations, and as such they feature prominently in most diplomacy-based roleplay. However, a number of players will have nations with many cities, towns and other areas of population, so it does not always follow that all action will take place there. They are not automatically important; the owner has to make that so.
If you are engaging another nation in roleplay and you need to mention a city from their nation, it is normally safe to start with their capital city.
Unorthodox capital city arrangements
There are a number of cases where states or other entities have more than one capital city or where there is no official capital city. In other cases, the official capital may not be the actual seat of government for security or other reasons. In still other cases, the capital might be the seat of the government but not the actual geographical location for decision-making.
- The Resurgent Dream: Under the Commonwealth of Peoples there was no official capital, although New Amsterdam served as a de facto capital. With the formation of the Confederated Peoples, New Amsterdam was made the official capital but some important public institutions continued to be based elsewhere, such as the Confederal Supreme Court in Taliadoros, Hipolis.
- Free Outer Eugenia: Like many other anarchist societies, Free Outer Eugenia has no administrative center. Centralization is replaced with a high level of local autonomy and bottom-up rule in the form of direct industrial democracy.
- Paranoian Mundia: Has two capitals, Irulu being the administrative center and Wheyton the social welfare distribution center.
- Bubosia: Arcara is the capital as it is the founding city, although Bubon is the seat of government as it is where Bubosia became a country.
- San Adriano: The country is so small that its entire territory is also its de facto capital.
- Pa'atua: De jure, the capital is Ufanua. De facto, the latter is almost a ghost town, and Ufanua Fo'u is the country's real administrative centre.
- Siberian Wastelands is a centralized alliance of numerous kingdoms lead by a central duma in karkenkough, with the kingdoms capitals spread out, and the city of tungusta, which houses the national parliment of the nation, and kakeroun, which houses the supreme congress of judical acts.
- Uninhabited Kiravian Empire posessions may have their de jure capital in any city of the Empire. Thus, numerous villages have become the capitals of desolate atolls.