AUGUSTA, Maine — Why is Augusta Maine’s resources city? It"s not among the bigger cities or towns. In fact, lot of the state may understand Augusta mainly for the state capital and the civic Center, where it hold concerts and also basketball tournaments.

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But the story of how it was preferred for the capitol is one the tells a lot about how the young state developed.


Maine officially ended up being a state on in march 15, 1820, the statehood act passed by Congress and signed by president James Monroe. But after Washington had actually acted and statehood to be a fact, Maine necessary a state capital.


At first, it remained in Portland, in a reasonably small building near the present site the Portland City Hall.


“The largest city at the time would be the an initial capital,” said historian Herb Adams that Portland, “but they likewise knew it couldn’t continue to be the capital."


Adams and also Maine State chronicler Earle Shettleworth said those outsides that Portland thought the new government required a more central location.


Shettleworth additionally said some human being worried Portland might be assaulted by sea, due to the fact that that had actually happened in the past, and also could quickly have taken place a few years earlier when british ships to be just exterior the harbor during the war of 1812.


“And we had actually just obtained over the war of 1812 and it was assumed ‘not a good idea to have actually your resources so vulnerable"," claimed the historian.


So in 1822, the Legislature order a committee to search for new locations because that the capital.They received requests from Augusta, Hallowell, Wiscasset, Belfast, and Portland, said Earle Shettleworth, concentrating on a place centrally situated for the populace at the time.


“The ideal offer to be Augusta, which said we will give you Weston’s Hill, where the statehouse is now, and also we will give you the beautiful land native Weston Hill under to the flow for a state park,” Shettleworth said.


He stated Augusta was also willing to aid pay for the building. In spite of those seeming benefits, it took five much more years for the Legislature to agree ~ above the deal. They ultimately did, the new State residence was built and also in 1832 the capital moved indigenous Portland.


“Portland was no happy to have actually the huge apple taken far from them,” stated Adams. "Portland made numerous efforts to gain it back."


“Literally every legislative session from climate to 1907 there to be a bill to return the funding to Portland.”


Finally, ~ 80 years of those arguments, Maine voters passed one amendment come the constitution to explain Augusta the irreversible capital.


Two century after statehood began, Maine is bigger, the State home larger. Augusta no much longer really in the center. But still the center of the decisions the will shape Maine’s future.


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