Capital

Alternate uses: capital (economics) and capital (disambiguation)
The capital city or political capital of a country or other political entity is the city or town that contains the seat of government.

Historically, it was also the place where the various economic forms of capital were concentrated for easier protection - the origin of the use of the term in economics.

A country may have more than one official capital at any given point in time. It may be separate from the actual seat of government or move about seasonally. Different branches of government may be centered in different cities.

See also: county town, county seat, borough seat.


Political capital also refers to the goodwill that a government or politician has stored. By building up political capital by pursuing popular policies, a politician can then support unpopular policies yet have enough popular support to remain in office. Political capital refers to goodwill amongst the population at large; but it can also refer to goodwill with other lawmakers or officials. For example, if the President of the United States leans on Congress very hard to pass a proposal that it might not have passed without the President's attention, he is said to have spent some political capital.

see social capital

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