The United States capitals are the places where the government of the United States has been based. The capital city today is Washington, D.C. But the U.S. government did not move to Washington, D.C., until 1800. Before that time, the nation’s government met in many different places.
The nation’s first lawmaking body was called the Continental Congress. It first met in Philadelphia in 1774, just before the American Revolution (1775-1783). British troops captured Philadelphia in 1777, forcing the Congress to flee. The official seat of government moved several times between 1777 and 1784. The Continental Congress became the Congress of the Confederation in 1781. It settled in New York City in 1785. The United States Congress was formed in 1789. It met in Philadelphia from 1790 to 1800. Then the government moved to Washington, D.C.