Charlotte: The Perceived Capital of North Carolina

Formerly known as the Golden State, long before California, Charlotte is the largest city in the state of North Carolina and an economic hotspot in the United States. It is also the second-largest banking center in the country after New York.

In addition to having the largest landmass, Charlotte is also home to the largest population in North Carolina. Due to its geographic and demographic supremacy over all other cities in North Carolina, many people believe Charlotte to be the state capital of the Old North. But the reality is not the same, nor has it ever been.

Despite all the salient features, Charlotte is yet another city in North Carolina. However, the glorious city was once the unofficial capital of the Confederacy at the end of the Civil War. After the capture of Richmond, Virginia, Charlotte named it the seat of Confederation in 1865.

But even then, no official document was issued declaring Queen City the state capital. In conclusion, the bustling city of Charlotte, North Carolina, was never the capital, nor is it today.

The current capital of North Carolina

The current state capital of the Old North has been Raleigh since 1792. It is located just 130 miles from Charlotte and is home to a population of 450,000 people. On the other hand, Charlotte has a population of around 2.5 million people (almost twice the size of Raleigh) and makes up a total of 16 counties.

Raleigh is the second-largest city in North Carolina. Although it officially became the capital in 1792, it was chosen to be the state capital in 1788, when North Carolina was in the process of becoming a separate state.

Ancient Capitals of North Carolina

Before the state of Carolina was demarcated in the northern and southern regions, the region’s capital was Charleston, which exists in present-day South Carolina. At that time, Carolina was a British province under the reign of King Charles I.

Charleston and Carolina were named after the then British monarch; King Charles-Carolina was the Latin form of Charles; while Charleston (which was originally called the city of Charles) was clearly named so to honor the king.

Although the two regions were not separated at the time, based on the current location of North Carolina; historians claim that the city of Edenton was the capital of the region that would later be known as the name of North Carolina.

From 1766 to 1788, the city of New Bern was declared the capital of the State of the Old North. But due to Raleigh’s strategic geographic location, it was chosen as the capital from 1788.

Charlotte as the capital of the Confederation

After the capture of Richmond Virginia in April 1865, Jefferson Davis moved to Charlotte to establish the seat of Confederation. Charlotte was home to a military hospital, the Ladies’ Aid Society; a prison, the United States Confederate State Treasury, and the Confederate Naval Guard. It was also the last capital of Confederation.

Due to the similarity of the two names, Charlotte and Charles; many Americans believe that Charlotte was named after the British King, but instead, she was named after the Queen Consort of Great Britain, Queen Charlotte.

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