Each state has its own capital city; for example, Phoenix is the capital of Arizona, Boston is the capital of Massachusetts, Hartford is the capital of Connecticut, Jefferson City is the capital of Missouri, and Juneau in Alaska and Sacramento is the capital of California. Each state's capital functions as its respective center of government.
State capitals are the location of a state's central government. The capitol building, state legislatures and governor's office are all found in the state capital. The capital city of a state is often not the biggest city in the state. In California, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego are all larger in population than the state capital of Sacramento. This is true in many other states as well, such as Texas, with Austin being the state capital and Houston being the largest populated city, or New York, with Albany as the capital and New York City having the most people. Phoenix, located in central Arizona, is among the capital cities that are the most populated in the state, and it is the only U.S. state capital city with a population over 1 million, as of 2015.
Some states have changed capital cities in the past. The state capital of California has changed several times. First it was in San Jose, then Vallejo, then Benicia a year later, followed by Sacramento, San Francisco and finally Sacramento once again.
Boston was an important center of colonial life in the days before the American Revolution. It also was the scene of some of the important events leading up to the war, such as the famous Boston Tea Party. Part of the historical importance and influence of this capital city lies in its strategic position on the coast.
Hartford can boast being the site of many "firsts" in the United States. This historic New England city was the home to the nation's first African-American congregation, first two-sided building, first newspaper still in print as of 2015, first public art museum and first advertising photographs.
Officials incorporated the town of Jefferson City in 1825, and the next year the state's general assembly moved to the new community. It became a city in 1839. The capital became a center of controversy regarding the issue of slavery during the Civil War. Juneau, Alaska, was one of the latecomers to the circle of state capitals, in part because Alaska was one of the last states to join the nation.