Is new York City in new York stateNew York City, New York State?
So why isn't New York City the capitol of the state of New York?
Albany was an equally important town for a long while. Situated at the crossroads of the Hudson and Mohawk River, both of which were important itineraries. In 1754 Benjamin Franklin came to Albany and presented the Albany Plan of Union, the first official suggestion to unite the settlements. Finally made Albany the capitol in 1797, before that the legislature seemed to have fun roaming up and down the Hudson, with stations in NYC, Kingston and Poughkeepsie.
Meanwhile, New York City was occupied with becoming the US capitol under the Statutes of the Confederation (another heading that also went to Philadelphia and Trenton). A number of well-to-do New Yorkers, among them George Clinton, wanted the city in a place nearer to theirs.
Albany was the first "civilian" in New York State to be populated in 1614 by Netherlandish populations of skins, who also erected Fort Van Nassouwen (Fort Nassau) for a shelter. Beverwijck was the original town where the municipalities were living and working. When the English took over the Netherlands in 1664, it was re-named Albany in honour of the Duke of Albany, who became the last Stuart James II of England and Ireland, and James VII of Scotland.
The argumentation therefore seems to be due to the historic importance of Albania. For most of the state of New York, Albany is much more central than New York City. It' s simpler for those in the far west and far north of the state to go to Albany than to go all the way to New York City.
Situated at the intersection of the major north-south itinerary along the Hudson River Valley and the major state-east westerly itinerary along the Mohawk River Valley, this is particularly apt.
Only with the demise of the Rust Belt towns in the hinterland of New York has New York City recently regained importance in state policy. At the forefront of ocean-going shipping on the Hudson River. For example, most of the cargo and goods from the hinterland of Albany were anticipated to be transhipped directly to vessels departing for Europe.
It is still an important merchant naval harbour and, due to the closing of the railway viaduct in Poughkeepsie, also the site of the farthest downriver intersection on the Hudson River for goods traffic (there is the railway channel on the northeast corridor between New Jersey and New York City, but this is for passengers only).
As the state capitol relocated to Albany a few centuries before the opening of the Erie Channel, I question whether this would have been an important thought for the move, beyond the ability to build the Channel in 1797. The city became the capitol after the revolutionary period (1797).
Previously, the New York Provincial Congress was in New York City. Forerunners of the idea that the United States should not be the centre of the economy and society - too much force in one place seemed to work in Europe at that point in the past - from the point of view of US rule, England and the British Empire were only London plus hinterland, and they wanted a new regime that reflected a fairly divided system of powers.
Then followed the whole country, with a "non-state", socio-economic irrelevantly shaped territorial area elected for the state. Since then, other countries have used the same model - Australia and Brazil are remarkable examples, especially Brazil, which has been carving a capitol from the outback. It' s not uncommon for a state to have a different capitol than its most famous or biggest town.
An advantage is that the state is diversifying its commercial orientation so that it is not so much reliant on a single country in terms of cultural and commercial aspects. Illinois has Springfield, not Chicago; California's California metropolis is Sacramento, not Los Angeles or San Francisco; Pennsylvania's metropolis is Harrisburg, not Philadelphia (or Pittsburgh); Florida's metropolis is Tallahassee, not Miami.
Difficult as it may seem, most trade and industrial (and agricultural) activities took place in the hinterland of New York during the Netherlands colonisation. Erie Canal was constructed to serve Albany (it links up with the Hudson just off Troy), and that was the real'intrastate highway' of the nineteenth century; the increase of NYC was a result of the blast of Europe's immigration to the US, most of which could not (literally) get out of the city once they reached the coast.
When NYC became the largest city area, the Capitol of NY had been founded for over a hundred years (as a state). BW, Wikipedia has all this and more on their page that covers Albany; if you are interested in NY story (before the US) I commend it. Albany is the main town, because before the Revolutionary War the main town was Kingston, not NYC (don't know why).
The state government, when the conflict broke out, thought Kingston was too prominent and the capitol was relocated to Albany. Albany was then a town of pig farms and abattoirs. An interesting side remark, the US win at the Battle of Saratoga (6-7 leagues to the North of Albany), with the US Armed Services under the command of General Benedict Arnold, halted General John Burgoyne's plans to divide the empires and brought Spain and France to arms red.
It should also be borne in mind that NYC was about the same height as Charleston, Philadelphia, Baltimore or Boston. The Erie Channel was what made NYC flourish and Albany was an important harbour on the water. For example, Milwaukee was supposed to be the "logical" Wisconsin city, but this concept lasted until the 1840', when Wisconsin's founders set up on a boggy narrow aisle between two seas.
West states that were established after the conflict tend to choose the biggest town - see Phoenix, Denver, etc.). It is the State of Washington that is the big runaway, and one could argue about an older civic civilization there.