A federal capital is a political entity, often a municipality or capital city, that serves as the seat of the federal government. A federal capital is typically a city that physically encompasses the offices and meeting places of its respective government, where its location and relationship to subnational states are fixed by law or federal constitution. Federal capitals may or may not be considered states in themselves, and either exercise significant political autonomy from the federation or are directly ruled by the national government located within their premises, as federal districts.
Federal capitals are often new creations. That is, they are not established in one of the existing state capitals (but they may well be a pre-existing city). They have not grown organically as capitals tend to do in unitary states. This is because the creation of a federation is a new political entity and it is usually necessary not to favour any one of the constituent state capitals by making it the federation capital. This is also the motivation behind the creation of federal capital territories as districts governed apart from the constituent state governments.  It is especially important that the choice of federal capital be neutral in multi-ethnic states such as Nigeria. 
Examples of well-known federal capitals include Washington, D.C., which is not part of any U.S. state but borders Maryland and Virginia; Berlin, which is a state of Germany in its own right and forms an enclave within the much larger state of Brandenburg; and the Australian Capital Territory, a territory of Australia which includes the capital city of Australia, Canberra.
Canada is the only federation in the world not to accord a special administrative subdivision to its capital.[ citation needed ] Rather, Ottawa is merely another municipality in the Province of Ontario. The Canadian government does designate the Ottawa area as the National Capital Region, although this term merely represents the jurisdictional area of the government agency that administers federally owned lands and buildings, and is not an actual political unit. The City of Ottawa is governed as any other city in Ontario would be.
The Australian Capital Territory, known as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) until 1938, is a landlocked federal territory of Australia containing the national capital Canberra and some surrounding townships. It is located in southeastern Australian mainland as an enclave completely within the state of New South Wales. Founded after Federation as the seat of government for the new nation, the territory hosts the headquarters of all important institutions of the Australian Government.
Federalism is a combined or compound mode of government that combines a general government with regional governments in a single political system, dividing the powers between the two. Federalism in the modern era was first adopted in the unions of states during the Old Swiss Confederacy.
Administrative division, administrative unit, country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, constituent state, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for geographical areas into which a particular, independent sovereign state (country) is divided. Such a unit usually has an administrative authority with the power to take administrative or policy decisions for its area.
An independent city or independent town is a city or town that does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity.
Secession is the withdrawal of a group from a larger entity, especially a political entity, but also from any organization, union or military alliance. Some of the most famous and significant secessions have been: the former Soviet republics leaving the Soviet Union after its dissolution, Texas leaving Mexico during the Texas Revolution, Biafra leaving Nigeria and returning after losing the Nigerian Civil War, and Ireland leaving the United Kingdom. Threats of secession can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals. It is, therefore, a process, which commences once a group proclaims the act of secession. A secession attempt might be violent or peaceful, but the goal is the creation of a new state or entity independent from the group or territory it seceded from.
Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to govern at a subnational level, such as a regional or local level. It is a form of administrative decentralization. Devolved territories have the power to make legislation relevant to the area, thus granting them a higher level of autonomy.
A federation is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central federal government (federalism). In a federation, the self-governing status of the component states, as well as the division of power between them and the central government, is typically constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision, neither by the component states nor the federal political body. Alternatively, a federation is a form of government in which sovereign power is formally divided between a central authority and a number of constituent regions so that each region retains some degree of control over its internal affairs.
A federated state is a territorial and constitutional community forming part of a federation. Such states differ from fully sovereign states, in that they do not have full sovereign powers, as the sovereign powers have been divided between the federated states and the central or federal government. Importantly, federated states do not have standing as entities of international law. Instead, the federal union as a single entity is the sovereign state for purposes of international law. Depending on the constitutional structure of a particular federation, a federated state can hold various degrees of legislative, judicial, and administrative jurisdiction over a defined geographic territory and is a form of regional government.
A federal district is a type of administrative division of a federation, usually under the direct control of a federal government and organized sometimes with a single municipal body. Federal districts often include capital districts, and they exist in various federations worldwide.
A capital city or capital is the municipality holding primary status in a country, state, province, department, or other subnational entity, usually as its seat of the government. A capital is typically a city that physically encompasses the government's offices and meeting places; the status as capital is often designated by its law or constitution. In some jurisdictions, including several countries, different branches of government are in different settlements. In some cases, a distinction is made between the official (constitutional) capital and the seat of government, which is in another place.
State may refer to:
The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the two entities within the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being Republika Srpska. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of 10 autonomous cantons with their own governments and legislatures.
A state government is the government that controls a subdivision of a country in a federal form of government, which shares political power with the federal or national government. A state government may have some level of political autonomy, or be subject to the direct control of the federal government. This relationship may be defined by a constitution.
A central government is the government that is a controlling power over a unitary state. Another distinct but sovereign political entity is a federal government, which may have distinct powers at various levels of government, authorized or delegated to it by the Federation and mutually agreed upon by each of the federated states. Though inappropriate, the adjective "central" is also sometimes used to describe the government of a federation, such as in India.
A capital district, capital region or capital territory is normally a specially designated administrative division where a country's seat of government is located. As such, in a federal model of government, no state or territory has any political or economic advantage relative to the others because of the national capital lying within its borders. A capital territory can be a specific form of federal district.
A federal territory is an administrative division under the direct and usually exclusive jurisdiction of a federation's national government. A federal territory is a part of a federation, but not a part of any federated state. The states constitute the federation itself and share sovereignty with the federal government, while a territory does not have sovereign status and is constitutionally dependent on the federal government.
A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman provincia, which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire's territorial possessions outside Italy. The term province has since been adopted by many countries. In some countries with no actual provinces, "the provinces" is a metaphorical term meaning "outside the capital city".
A territory is an area of land, sea, or space, belonging or connected to a particular country, person, or animal.