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After the war, Fredericksburg recovered its former position as a center of local trade and slowly grew beyond its prewar boundaries.Neither the city of Fredericksburg, nor either of the surrounding counties, reached the 1860 level of population again until well into the 20th century.Named for Frederick, Prince of Wales, son of King George II, the colonial town named its streets after the members of the royal family.The county court was moved to Fredericksburg in 1732, and the town served as county seat until 1780.Tourism is a major part of the economy, with approximately 1.5 million people visiting the Fredericksburg area annually, including the battlefield park, the downtown visitor center, events, museums and historic sites.Fredericksburg is home to several major retail and commercial centers including Central Park (as of 2004, the second-largest mall on the East Coast) and Spotsylvania Towne Centre, located in Spotsylvania County adjacent to the city line.It promoted the development of a canal on the Rappahannock and construction of a turnpike and plank road to bind the interior country to the market town.



Many Fredericksburg-area residents commute to work by car, bus, and rail to Washington and Richmond, as well as Fairfax, Prince William, and Arlington counties.The court was then moved closer to the county center in Spotsylvania County.In 1781, Fredericksburg was incorporated as a town, with its own court, council, and mayor.A much-needed railroad joining the town to the farming region to the west was not finished until after the Civil War.