Virginia State Facts

Virginia State Facts

Federated state of the USA (105,586 km 2 with 7,882,590 inhabitants in 2009), in the Southeast. Capital Richmond. It consists of very different natural regions: in the western section extends the Blue Ridge the Appalachian system, which crosses the entire state from southwest to northeast; further to the west are the Allegheny Mountains, while to the east of the Blue Ridge extends the Piedmont, a region of hills furrowed by rivers (Potomac, Rappahannock, James) that come down from Appalachian, separated from the coastal plain by the presence of an accentuated edge (Fall Line) which passes through Richmond, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and affected by the wide river estuaries. The climate is generally warm temperate, with abundant rainfall, mainly in summer. Agriculture forms the basis of the state’s economy, with large production of cereals, fodder, tobacco, cotton, vegetables and fruit (apples, in the northern section). Breeding, fishing (notable oyster farming) and exploitation of woodland are intensely practiced. Among the mineral resources, coal is of particular importance, obtained in the southwest plateau region. The hydroelectric exploitation is remarkable. Among the industries the mechanical, chemical, wood, food and tobacco manufactures prevail. According to abbreviationfinder, important cities, besides the capital, are: Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Newport News, Chesapeake, Hampton, Alexandria, Portsmouth, Roanoke.

The colony of Virginia was founded in 1607 by Captain C. Newport on behalf of the Virginia Company of London, to which the previous year James I of England had granted the territory to be explored. In 1612, with the beginning of the cultivation of tobacco, the colony began to grow economically and in 1619 slavery was introduced with the dispatch of deportees from Africa, while the Native Americans were definitively enslaved in 1644. In 1624, meanwhile, Virginia had become a royal colony. During the English Civil War the Virginia remained loyal to the monarchy and only in 1652 the governor W. Berkeley he had to abdicate in favor of the Puritan R. Bennett. Upon the return of Charles II, Berkeley was reconfirmed, but his policy of support for the large landowners of the eastern Virginia and the lack of interest shown in defending the western frontiers provoked a revolt, led by N. Bacon. Bacon died and the revolt returned, Berkeley proceeded to a harsh repression. Middle Plantation became the capital in 1691; in 1693 J. Blair founded the second American university after Harvard in Williamsburg, William and Mary College. The Virginia, which in the second half of the 18th century. experienced a massive immigration of settlers, led the opposition to British colonial policy and the events that led to the revolution. In 1774 a Convention met in Williamsburg, which the following year effectively assumed the government; the Bill of rights of Virginia (June 12, 1776) was the first enunciation of American democratic freedoms, which was followed by the enactment of the new Constitution to replace the colonial statute. Richmond, capital since 1779, was taken by the British in 1781, but the war of liberation ended in Virginia with the English surrender to Yorktown. At the outbreak of the civil war (1861), the assembly of the Virginia voted for secession, but the deputies of the western zones repudiated the vote, giving life to the western Virginia (➔ West Virginia). Virginia joined the Confederation, of which Richmond was the capital, becoming the scene of all the main battles of the war. In 1869 the Virginia adopted a new Constitution and the following year it was readmitted to the Union. The Constitution had its final draft in 1902.

According to countryaah, Virginia has the following main cities:


Capital of the state of Virginia (United States), capital of Henrico County; it stands on both banks of the James River, approximately 145 km. from the outlet of this in the Chesapeake Bay, in an undulating territory, at an altitude of 50-75 meters (the valley floor is at 5 m). The city, whose origins date back to the second half of the century. XVII, was first built on seven hills and therefore was also called the “modern Rome”; it became the state capital in 1779, when the seat of government was moved there from Williamsburg. At the outbreak of the Civil War (see united states: History), Richmond, was already a center of great importance. Created on 8 May 1861, the capital of the Confederation of Southern States, it was repeatedly seriously threatened by the federal armies; but defended by its triple enclosure of fortifications, it was able to resist until, on April 3, 1865, after a very hard battle lasting several days which reduced it to a smoking ruin, it returned to the possession of the feds. Its population has risen from 3761 inhabitants in 1790 to 27,570 in 1850, to 85,050 in 1900, to 127,628 in 1910, to 171,667 in 1920, to 182,929 in 1930, thus occupying first place among the cities of the state and 44. ° among the great cities of the confederation. The ethnic composition of the city is as follows: Indigenous whites born to indigenous parents 63.2%; Whites born to partially or totally foreign parents 5.6%; Whites born abroad 2.2%; color elements (Negri and others) 29%. Of the Whites born abroad (4046 individuals in all) the most important nuclei were given by Russians, Italians and Germans. Richmond has great importance from an industrial and commercial point of view: the number of people employed in various activities increased from 35,227 in 1890 to 83,794 in 1930, of which 33% employed in industries and crafts, 26% in commerce and in transport, 14% in employment. The workers employed in large industry were 14,849 in 1909, 21,759 in 1919, 17,491 in 1929. The main industry is that connected with the processing of tobacco for the manufacture of cigars and cigarettes (7 factories and 5876 workers in 1927) and for the production of chewing and smoking tobacco (4 factories and 1286 workers in 1927); mechanical industries follow (shipbuilding and railway and ship repairs) with 5 factories and 2141 workers in 1927; publishing (1276 workers), papermaking, etc. Built in an agricultural center, favored by an excellent road and rail network, by navigable waterways, Richmond has also become a large commercial center, served by the lines of the Atlantic Coast Line; Chesapeake and Ohio; Seabord Air Line; Southern; etc., by shipping lines operated by the Chesapeake Steamship Company and Eastern Steamship Lines, which connect it with the major ports of the Atlantic (Norfolk, Baltimore, New York, etc.).

Monuments. – The Capitol, erected in 1785-92, was designed by Th. Jefferson on the model of the Maison Carrée in Nîmes. There is the statue of Washington sculpted by J.-A. Houdon (1796) and a copy of the Lafayette statue by the same artist. The church of S. Giovanni was built in 1740. The so-called monumental church is the first to be built in America, abandoning the tradition of the century. XVIII for the neoclassical style. Several old houses have been transformed into museums: the home of the Chief Justice Marshall (1795) currently houses some historical collections; the Wickham House (1812), now the Valentine Museum, contains a collection of books from the 15th and 16th centuries; the palace built in 1819, later the Confederate’s Executive Mansion, now contains the Confederate Museum. Richmond has several excellent modern buildings. We mention the headquarters of the Federal Reserve Bank, of the architects Sill, Buckler and Fenhagen; among the monuments of the city there is a shrine dedicated to E. Allan Poe, the Washington monument by Th. Crawford and the equestrian statue of RE Lee by Mercié.

Cultural institutes. – Richmond is an important center of study. The University of Richmond was founded in 1832 as a Baptist seminary, it was named Richmond College in 1840 and a university in 1921. It issues degrees in the three sections of liberal arts, science and law, in which the various courses are grouped. It includes Richmond College for Men, Westhampton College for Women and TC Williams School of Law; it also includes an evening school of commerce and a school of arts and sciences; it has a library of about 55,000 volumes and a museum of archeology and ethnology. Other important study institutes are: Union Theological seminary (Presbyterian, founded in 1824 and transferred to Richmond in 1898); the Medical College of Virginia (founded 1838), the oldest medical school in the southern states; Virginia Union University for Negri (founded 1899) also includes Wayland Seminary and Richmond Theological Seminary (both founded in 1865), as well as Hartshom Memorial College. Both the University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary maintain important branches in Richmond. There are also two high schools and two normal schools, one for Bianchi and one for Negri. Among the libraries are worth mentioning: the Virginia State Library (founded in 1823), with about 220,000 volumes; the State Law Library, with approximately 30,000 volumes; the Richmond Public Library (founded in 1924), with approximately 100,000 volumes, and the Grace Arents Public Library, with approximately 170,000 volumes. Of the museums, remember the Virginia State Museum (founded in 1907), with collections concerning the natural sciences and the history of the state of Virginia; the Valentine Museum (founded in 1892), with collections of art, carpets, porcelain, sculptures, etc., including an archaeological section concerning especially the aborigines of Virginia and North Carolina; finally, the Confederate Museum (founded in 1896), which displays memories of the Secession war.

There are also many scientific, historical and literary associations in Richmond.


City and port of the USA (100,577 in 2008), in the southeastern part of Virginia, facing Norfolk, on the southern coasts of the inlet of Hampton Roads. It is an important railway junction. The port movement is intense. Chemical (fertilizers and plastics), food, mechanical, naval industries.


Bay of the Atlantic coast of the USA (Virginia and Maryland), which penetrates the continent for 300 km, with a width of 60 km, limited to the east of the peninsula of Delaware. It has indented coasts, with numerous estuaries (rivers Potomac, Susquehanna, James etc.) from the merger of which, ultimately, this bay results. C. was the gateway to the first European settlements in the New England. Along its coast they are found Baltimore, Washington, Norfolk. Since 1964, the two ends of the bay on the Atlantic (Norfolk and Cape Charles) have been joined by a grandiose complex of underwater bridges and tunnels which, resting on 4 artificial islands, spans 28 km of open sea.

Virginia State Facts

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