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Maps for reference

I’m creating a Godzilla fanfiction worldbuilding project and in it, after Canada collapsed into a lawless mess and the US moved to annex the country, the US formed the United States of North America (USNA), the spiritual successor/evolution of the former United States of America. Both Washington, DC as well as the Western United States were ravaged by Godzilla, prompting the annexation of Canada, the creation of a massive heavily fortified and militarized border on Western North America (the Continental Militarized Zone/CMZ), as well as designating Denver as the new capital of this North American superstate.

But would Denver make for a good capital city? I’ve heard that Denver is one of the top contestants when it comes to an alternative US capital but could there be other cities that I should consider (e.g. St. Louis)? What advantages and disadvantages does Denver bring to the table as a potential capital of a continent?

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    $\begingroup$ Godzilla invasion i can believe. But America remaining sane while Canada collapses into a lawless mess? Wow, now that really stretches my suspension of disbelief. $\endgroup$ – PcMan Mar 8 at 9:11
  • $\begingroup$ The location of a nation's capital city is a question of the politics of that place and time. The details of those (imaginary) political struggles can be unpredictable: You can have the result be anything you wish. For example, at the Constitutional Convention that created the USNA, one negotiator forced the new Capital to be at Cleveland in exchange for their vote on Supreme Court size. Other "advantages and disadvantages" may not enter into that political decision. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Mar 8 at 11:06
  • $\begingroup$ @PcMan Maybe Canada just dropped to the same level as the US - the relative decline might make it seem like a lawless mess. $\endgroup$ – Lio Elbammalf Mar 8 at 12:05
  • $\begingroup$ You should seriously think about annexing Mexico instead of Canada which would make the joint cities of Juarez and El Paso the natural new capital. Mexico has more of what we need than Canada does. $\endgroup$ – David R Mar 8 at 21:14
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NORAD coordinates U.S. and Canadian defenses out of Colorado Springs, which is nearby. Denver is larger, and depending on specific circumstances of your plot might be justified in terms of population size (more people to defend against monsters, more defense resources, more secure site for a capital)

Central location (which I assume is why NORAD is nearby anyway).

Far from water. If your Godzilla swims around in the sea, they want a capital as far from the ocean as possible! Because who knows how many of them are breeding and maturing right now?

High. Denver's extra height means that at least that pudgy dinosaur is going to have to get some serious exercise before it can lay waste to it. Maybe you can take advantage of local topography to help build a ridiculous wall somewhere like in "Pacific Rim".

Legal marijuana. So that the continental leaders will actually listen in time to that annoying little kid who knows all about what Godzilla really wants.

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    $\begingroup$ Marijuana as a anti-Godzilla defense. Wait till the wind is in the right direction them light up multi-tonne piles of magic weed. Pretty soon old Godzy will be all chillaxed and laid back. Then all you need is a huge pile of munchies and a free cable subscription. Problem solved. $\endgroup$ – Mon Mar 8 at 0:55
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    $\begingroup$ I left that out, on account of (a) the Chemical Weapons Convention, (b) the point of sale taxes, and mostly (c), the munchies. Making Godzilla hungry outside your city sounds like a bad plan to me. I've never actually seen Godzilla eat, but if somebody sends you out to feed Godzilla, I don't think it's going to be looking at that bowl of tortilla chips. $\endgroup$ – Mike Serfas Mar 8 at 2:53
  • $\begingroup$ Its a national emergency so it will be government supplied mary jane and munchies (i.e purchased at double the retail price but tax exempt). $\endgroup$ – Mon Mar 8 at 3:44
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Depends on what "Annex" Means

I think Denver would be the logical capital for a United States faced with the situation you describe. However I think if anything that grants impetus for it to NOT be the national capital for the USNA.

Historically both Washington D.C. (US Capital) and Canberra (Capital of Australia) were created out of whole cloth in part to unify the burgeoning nation they would be the capital of. Both were situated more-or-less in the geographical center of their nation at the time. Canberra was actually created on the exact midpoint between two competing claims (Melbourne and Sidney). Even given the destruction of the previous capitals and utter lawlessness in Canada, I can't imagine the Canadians would be thrilled by a Union. Likewise I can't imagine the US Army is actively conquering Canada when Kaiju are wrecking whole swaths of the US. So I'm imagining more of a "mostly peaceful" marriage-by-necessity USNA rather than some sort of US military campaign or active begging on the part of the Canadians.

If the above is true, there would be a LOT of pressure on the Canadians to be distinctive members of the USNA. I would imagine that if Denver became the New US Capital (and there are many reasons why it should be in your timeline) The USNA National Capital would NOT be Denver. It's far away from Canada, it's already the US Capital/a US State Capital, and Canadians are already going to be a minority. Allow the nation to be ruled from the US Capital and Canada isn't a thing anymore in any respect. It just becomes a scarecly-populated backwater of the US, regardless of the name change. Likewise American pride/politics would likely shy away at ANY Canadian city being the USNA Capital.

A compromise bet would be to found a city on the border that straddles the two nations (much like Canberra and to a lesser extend D.C.) to show "unity" and is something that doesn't have the baggage of already being a state/national capital. However, in the middle of fighting a massive Kaiju invasion with presumably millions dead that seems too difficult/wasteful even for politicians. So instead I would imagine some large town or minor city close to the border on the US side would be used as the official USNA capital. There are a ton of contenders like Sault Ste. Marie (A US AND Canadian town right across from each other in Michigan/Ontario), but without a map of your Kaiju-devastated regions I can't comment on what town would be best. There are better choices but those are all on the east/west coast and I assume are destroyed in your timeline.

TL/DR: Your choice of Denver makes perfect military and political sense for the US. But for the USNA Canada would likely have serious political problems with it. A city on/near the old border would be the likely compromise position.

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Philadelphia - Nationalists will "gather around the flag" and look to past political history.

So I found a survey asking a similar question in a writers forum. Philadelphia and New York were the clear winners. New york - because everyone is there already, and Philadelphia - because it has all that political history (where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed).

When bad things happen in the USA, there's a rally-around-the-flag effect, and nationalism / patriotism surges. A return to history of Philadelphia ("Let's take the nation back to what the founding fathers envisioned!") seems like it could naturally flow from that nationalism.

If your facing an underwater enemy that likes squishing skyscrapers New York probably isn't in a good way - much of the city is very close to sea level and it has a lot of coastline. Philadelphia you have a river that you can net off to keep godzilla further away and lower the nets to let boats in.


As an aside, Canada seems much less likely to collapse into a lawless mess than the USA, even under a barrage of godzillas. Canada has significantly less militias who want to overthrow the government, less polarisation, and the last time their capital was attacked by a lawless militia was 1813, 208 years ago. USA is just over 2 months.

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    $\begingroup$ The thing is that Philadelphia was also ravaged by Godzilla. In fact, the entire Northeast Megalopolis was destroyed by Godzilla and is now a large strip of wasteland. $\endgroup$ – user69268 Mar 8 at 6:14

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