|State nickname: Old Dominion|
|Other U.S. States|
|Largest city||Virginia Beach|
|Governor||Mark R. Warner|
|Area (rank)||110,862 km² (35th)|
|- Land||102,642 km²|
|- Water (%)||8,220 km² (7.4%)|
|Population as of 2000 Census|
|- Population (rank)||7,196,750 (12th)|
|- Density (rank)||69.03 /km² (14th)|
|Admittance into Union|
|- Date (order)||June 25, 1788 (10th)|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
|Latitude||36°31'N to 39°37'N|
|Longitude||75°13'W to 83°37'W|
|Width : Length||320 km : 690 km|
|- Highest||1,746 meters|
|- Mean||290 meters|
|- Lowest||0 meters|
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.)
At the end of the 16th century when England began to colonize North America, "Virginia" was the name Queen Elizabeth I of England 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 1776-79, and again from 1784-86. 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 Congress dated July 9, 1846, the territory that had been ceded by Virginia was returned, 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 West Virginia, an act which was upheld by the United States Supreme Court in 1870.
Law and government
In colonial Virginia, the lower house of the legislature was called the House of Burgesses. The House of Burgesses made up the other part of the General Assembly. Its members were chosen by all those who could vote in the colony. Each settlement chose two people or burgesses to represent it. The Burgesses met to make laws for the colony and set the direction for its future growth. The idea of electing burgesses was important and new. It gave Virginians a chance to control their own government for the first time. At first the burgesses were elected by all free men in the colony. Women, indentured servants, and Native Americans could not vote. Later the rules for voting changed, making it necessary for men to own at least fifty acres (200,000 m²) of land in order to vote.
Today, the General Assembly is made up of the Senate and the House of Delegates.
Virginia is bordered by West Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia (across the Potomac River) to the north, by Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, by North Carolina and Tennessee to the south, and by Kentucky to the west.
Chesapeake Bay divides the state, with the eastern portion (called 'Eastern_Shore_of_Virginia" title ="Eastern Shore of Virginia">Eastern Shore of Virginia'Delmarva_Peninsula" title ="Delmarva Peninsula">Delmarva Peninsula, completely separate (an exclave) from the rest of the state.
Virginia is divided into the following 3 regions: Tidewater - Stretching from the Atlantic coast to the fall line Piedmont - East of the Appalachian Mountains to the Tidewater Region Ridge and Valley - West of the Appalachian Mountains
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2003, Virginia's population was estimated at 7,386,330 people.
The racial makeup of the state is:
- 70.2% White, non-Hispanic
- 19.6% Black
- 4.7% Hispanic
- 3.7% Asian
- 0.3% American Indian
- 2% are mixed race
6.5% of Virginia's population were reported as under 5, 24.6% under 18, and 11.2% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 51% of the population.
Important cities and towns
Under the laws in effect in Virginia, all municipalities incorporated as cities are independent of any county. Of the approximately 43 independent cities in the United States, 39 are in Virginia. The complete list of Virginia independent cities follows:
Some other municipalities incorporated as towns, which are not independent of a county, include:
Colleges and universities
Professional sports teams
The Minor League Baseball Teams are:
The minor league soccer teams are:
- USL First Division
- USL Second Division
- Northern Virginia Majestics
- Hampton Roads Piranhas
- 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 due to racist lyrics in the 1990s
USS Virginia was named in honor of this state.
Virginia is the last state to have split its electoral vote in a Presidential Election, in 1916.
- State Government website
- Charter to Sir Walter Raleigh : 1584
- The First Charter of Virginia; April 10, 1606
- The Second Charter of Virginia; May 23, 1609
- The Third Charter of Virginia; March 12, 1611
- U.S. Census Bureau
|Political divisions of the United States|
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