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Virginia



Virginia is one of the original 13 states of the United States that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution and is generally classified as part of the South. Its official name is the Commonwealth of Virginia; it is one of four Commonwealths out of the fifty United States.

Kentucky and West Virginia were part of Virginia at the time of the founding of the United States, but the former was admitted to the Union as a separate state in 1792 while the latter broke away from Virginia during the American Civil War.

Virginia is known as the "Mother of Presidents", as more U.S. Presidents (8) were born in this state than in any other. Five of them were re-elected to a second term: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and Woodrow Wilson. William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, and Zachary Taylor round out the list of American Presidents from the Commonwealth of Virginia. (Historical footnote: both Harrison and Taylor died while in office.)

Brief History of Virginia

mong Native American people living in what now is Virginia were the Powhatan, Nottaway, Meherrin, Pohick, Monacan, Saponi, and Cherokee.

At the end of the 16th century when England began to colonize North America, "Virginia" was the name Queen Elizabeth I of England (who was known as the "Virgin Queen" because she never married) gave to the whole area explored by the 1584 expedition of Sir Walter Raleigh along the coast of North America, eventually applying to the whole coast from South Carolina to Maine. The London Virginia Company became incorporated as a joint stock company by a royal charter drawn up on April 10, 1606. It swiftly financed the first permanent English settlement in the New World which was at Jamestown in the Virginia Colony in 1607. Its Second Charter was officially ratified on May 23, 1609.

Virginia was given its nickname "The Old Dominion" by King Charles II of England at the time of the Restoration for remaining loyal to the crown during the English Civil War. Patrick Henry served as the first Governor of Virginia, from 1776 to 1779, and again from 1784 to 1786. On June 12, 1776, the Virginia Convention adopted the Virginia Declaration of Rights, a document that influenced the Bill of Rights added later to the United States Constitution. On June 29, 1776, the convention adopted a constitution that established Virginia as a commonwealth independent of the British Empire. In 1790 both Virginia and Maryland ceded territory to form the new District of Columbia, but in an Act of the U.S. Congress dated July 9, 1846, the area south of the Potomac that had been ceded by Virginia was retroceded to Virginia effective 1847, and is now Arlington County and part of the City of Alexandria.

Virginia is one of the states that seceded from the Union to become the Confederacy during the Civil War. When it did, some counties were separated as Kanawha (later renamed West Virginia), an act which was upheld by the United States Supreme Court in 1870.

Virginia formally rejoined the Union on January 26, 1870, after a period of post-war military rule.

On January 13, 1990, Douglas Wilder became the first African American to serve as Governor of a US state since Reconstruction when he was elected Governor of Virginia.

Fast Facts:

  • State motto: "Sic semper tyrannis." (Thus always to tyrants.)
  • State bird: Cardinal
  • State dog: American Foxhound
  • State flower: Dogwood
  • State tree: Dogwood
  • State insect: Tiger swallowtail
  • State song: none; the former state song, "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny," was retired in 1997 because some found its lyrics to be racially offensive

VIRGINIA COUNTIES


Loudoun
Culpeper
Manassas City
Fauquier
Fairfax
Clarke
Prince William
Fairfax City
Falls Church City
Arlington
Alexandria City
Fredericksburg City
Caroline
Stafford
Northumberland
Orange
Essex
Westmoreland
King George
Richmond
Lancaster
Spotsylvania
Winchester City
Warren
Frederick
Rappahannock
Shenandoah
Page
Madison
Harrisonburg City
Rockingham
Augusta
Albemarle
Nelson
Greene
Fluvanna
Waynesboro City
Gloucester
Amelia
Buckingham
Hanover
King William
New Kent
Goochland
Mathews
King And Queen
Louisa
Cumberland
Charles City
Middlesex
Henrico
James City
York
Powhatan
Chesterfield
Richmond City
Accomack
Isle Of Wight
Northampton
Chesapeake City
Suffolk City
Virginia Beach City
Norfolk City
Newport News City
Hampton City
Poquoson City
Portsmouth City
Prince George
Petersburg City
Brunswick
Dinwiddie
Nottoway
Southampton
Colonial Heights City
Surry
Greensville
Franklin City
Hopewell City
Sussex
Prince Edward
Mecklenburg
Charlotte
Lunenburg
Appomattox
Roanoke City
Patrick
Henry
Pulaski
Roanoke
Montgomery
Botetourt
Franklin
Pittsylvania
Floyd
Giles
Bedford
Martinsville City
Craig
Radford
Salem
Bristol
Washington
Wise
Dickenson
Lee
Russell
Buchanan
Scott
Norton City
Grayson
Smyth
Wythe
Bland
Tazewell
Carroll
Galax City
Staunton City
Bath
Highland
Rockbridge
Buena Vista City
Alleghany
Covington City
Lexington City
Lynchburg City
Campbell
Halifax
Amherst
Danville City

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