Discover the Old Dominion – the Commonwealth of Virginia|
Virginia is a state known for being the “Mother of Presidents.” It is because more U.S. Presidents, 8 to be exact, were born in this place than any other states. Among these 8 presidents, five were re-elected to serve the country for a second term. They are Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, George Washington, Woodrow Wilson and James Madison. The three more US Presidents from Commonwealth of Virginia were William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, and John Tyler.
The Commonwealth of Virginia, which is also known as the Old Dominion is among the nation’s original states that revolted and fought against British rule during the American Revolution. It was also the first American state to be colonized by England.
Among the 55 states of America, Virginia is one of the four states that employ the name commonwealth. It received its statehood on June 25, 1788 and it became 10th of the 13 original US states to ratify the Constitution.
This state can be found in the south-central part of the United States of America. At the time when the United States was founded, the states of Kentucky and West Virginia were part of Virginia. In 1792, Kentucky was admitted to the Union as separate and independent state while West Virginia has been detached from Virginia during the American Civil War.
Virginia is the most northerly among the Southern US states. This state appears almost triangular in shape and is bordered in the north part by Maryland, West Virginia and the District of Columbia; in the south by North Carolina and Tennessee; in the west by West Virginia and Kentucky and in the east by Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay.
In the eastern part, Virginia is divided by the Chesapeake Bay, which completely separates a small portion of the state that occupies the Delmarva Peninsula from the mainland of Virginia. This separated land was named the Eastern Shore.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has five regions such as Tidewater, Piedmont, Blue Ridge Mountains, Valley and Ridge and the Appalachian Plateau. The Tidewater region of Virginia, also known as the coastal plain, is generally flat and somewhat swampy. It is slashed by four big tidal rivers such as the Rappahannock, the Potomac, the York and the James. This region also holds dense forests of pine and hardwood, which are made attractive by flowering redbud and dogwood in early spring.
The Piedmont region is generally a fertile place that broadens progressively to the south, up to North Caroline line. In the western part of Piedmont lies the Blue Ridge range, carpeted with bluegrass and highlighted by rhododendron and mountain laurel during spring. This region rises up to the state’s highest peak, Mt. Rogers.
Between the Blue Ridge and the Allegheny Plateau is the Valley and Ridge province. The Valley of Virginia is one of the most famous valleys in this place while the Shenandoah Valley comes rich and historic.
Based on the 2004 Census, the population of Virginia was approximately 7,459,827. Among this populace, 679,500, which accounted to 9.1% of the population, are foreign-born, including the estimated 100,000 illegal aliens.
Talking about the Commonwealth of Virginia’s racial makeup, 70.2% are White non-Hispanic, 19.6% Black, 4.7% Hispanic, 3.7% Asian, 0.3% Native American and 2% mixed race.
Moreover, the African American, American, German, English and Irish are the five largest ancestry groups in this state.
The Commonwealth of Virginia is historically the biggest and richest origin and colony of American and Southern culture. About half of the state’s population was composed of black slaves who are working in the state’s cotton, tobacco and hemp plantation. The Blacks are now focused in the eastern and southern tidewater and piedmont region because these are the places where agriculture was popular.
The economy of the Commonwealth of Virginia is highly-diversified but one of the better-balanced in the US. Among the sources of income are the tobacco and grains farming, military installations in the Hampton Roads and manufacturing and transportation in Southside Virginia. A large part of Virginia is situated within 11 Metropolitan Statistical States.
Virginia’s traditional staple, tobacco, remains as the country’s leading crop and its grains like peanuts, soybeans, corn cotton, sweet potatoes and apples all bring income to the populace.
The production of wine is also significant. However, the chief sources of agricultural income today are the dairy goods, cattle, and poultry, which are particularly raised in the Valley of Virginia.
The state’s major mineral is coal. The rail transport equipment industry is centered in Roanoke while Hampton is the hub for aeronautical research. North Virginia is now the place where computer communications firms in the U.S. are based.
Included in Virginia’s many institutions of higher learning are College of William and Mary found in Williamsburg; George Mason University based at Fairfax; Hampton University; Mary Washington College lying at Fredericksburg; the University of Virginia at Charlottesville; Virginia Commonwealth University situated at Richmond and many more.
Cities and Towns
Among the 43 independent cities in the United States, 39 can be found in Commonwealth of Virginia. And under the laws implemented within the states, all municipalities integrated as cities become independent of any county.
The state’s capital is Richmond and the largest city is the Virginia Beach. Other large and important cities in this state are Chesapeake, Hampton, Alexandria, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Newport News and Arlington.
The state of Virginia is officially styled a commonwealth. The legislature is composed of a house of delegates with 100 members and a senate with 40 officials. The delegates are elected for 2-year terms while the senators serve the state for four-year terms.
The government’s executive branch is made up of the governor, the lieutenant governor and the attorney general of the state. These three officers are separately elected to serve four-year terms.
The judicial branch is consisting of Supreme Court of Virginia, the Virginia Court of Appeals, the district Courts and the circuit courts.