American Civil War
The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U. S. history. As a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States; the loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery. Among the 34 U. S. states in February 1861, secessionist partisans in seven Southern slave states declared state secessions from the country and unveiled their defiant formation of a Confederate States of America in rebellion against the U. S. Constitutional government; the Confederacy grew to control over half the territory in eleven states, it claimed the additional states of Kentucky and Missouri by assertions from exiled native secessionists without territory or population.
These were given full representation in the Confederate Congress throughout the Civil War. The two remaining slave holding states of Delaware and Maryland were invited to join the Confederacy, but nothing substantial developed; the Confederate States was never diplomatically recognized by the government of the United States or by that of any foreign country. The states that remained loyal to the U. S. were known as the Union. The Union and the Confederacy raised volunteer and conscription armies that fought in the South over the course of four years. Intense combat left 620,000 to 750,000 people dead, more than the number of U. S. military deaths in all other wars combined. The war ended when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Battle of Appomattox Court House. Confederate generals throughout the southern states followed suit. Much of the South's infrastructure was destroyed the transportation systems; the Confederacy collapsed, slavery was abolished, four million black slaves were freed.
During the Reconstruction Era that followed the war, national unity was restored, the national government expanded its power, civil rights were granted to freed black slaves through amendments to the Constitution and federal legislation. In the 1860 presidential election, led by Abraham Lincoln, supported banning slavery in all the U. S. territories. The Southern states viewed this as a violation of their constitutional rights and as the first step in a grander Republican plan to abolish slavery; the three pro-Union candidates together received an overwhelming 82% majority of the votes cast nationally: Republican Lincoln's votes centered in the north, Democrat Stephen A. Douglas' votes were distributed nationally and Constitutional Unionist John Bell's votes centered in Tennessee and Virginia; the Republican Party, dominant in the North, secured a plurality of the popular votes and a majority of the electoral votes nationally. He was the first Republican Party candidate to win the presidency.
However, before his inauguration, seven slave states with cotton-based economies declared secession and formed the Confederacy. The first six to declare secession had the highest proportions of slaves in their populations, with an average of 49 percent. Of those states whose legislatures resolved for secession, the first seven voted with split majorities for unionist candidates Douglas and Bell, or with sizable minorities for those unionists. Of these, only Texas held a referendum on secession. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for secession. Outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Lincoln's March 4, 1861, inaugural address declared that his administration would not initiate a civil war. Speaking directly to the "Southern States", he attempted to calm their fears of any threats to slavery, reaffirming, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the United States where it exists.
I believe I have no lawful right to do so, I have no inclination to do so." After Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy, efforts at compromise failed and both sides prepared for war. The Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on "King Cotton" that they would intervene, but none did, none recognized the new Confederate States of America. Hostilities began on April 1861, when Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter. While in the Western Theater the Union made significant permanent gains, in the Eastern Theater, the battle was inconclusive during 1861–1862. In September 1862, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which made ending slavery a war goal. To the west, by summer 1862 the Union destroyed the Confederate river navy much of its western armies, seized New Orleans; the successful 1863 Union siege of Vicksburg split the Confederacy in two at the Mississippi River. In 1863, Robert E. Lee's Confederate incursion north ended at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Western successes led to Ulysses S. Grant's command of all Union armies in 1864. Inflicting an ever-tightening naval blockade of Confederate ports, the Union marshaled the resources and manpower to attack the Confederacy from all directions, leading to the fall of Atlanta to William T. Sherman and his march to th
Administrative divisions of Virginia
The administrative divisions of Virginia are the areas into which the Commonwealth of Virginia, a U. S. state, is divided for administrative purposes. Some are local governments. However, all local governments are political subdivisions of the state. According to the 2002 Census of Governments, Virginia ranked 43rd among the 50 states in the number of local governments, with 521 as of June 2002. Virginia has 95 counties. Under Virginia law, counties may be chartered, their populations vary widely. Since Virginia has no civil townships, since incorporated towns cover such a small area of the state, the county is the de facto local government for much of the state, from rural areas to densely populated unincorporated communities such as Tysons Corner. In fact, Arlington County, while geographically small and urbanized, is unincorporated, making the county board the sole governing body in the entire county. Since 1871, all incorporated cities in Virginia have classified as independent cities; this is the most noteworthy aspect of Virginia local government relative to the other 49 states.
Of the 41 independent cities in the United States, 38 are in Virginia. The three that are not in Virginia are Maryland. Cities in Virginia are thus similar to unitary authorities in some countries. Other municipalities though they may be more populous than some existing independent cities, are incorporated as "towns", as such form part of a county. Eight independent cities had 2010 populations of less than 10,000 with the smallest, having a population of only 3958. On the other hand, six towns had populations of over 10,000. An independent city in Virginia may serve as the county seat of an adjacent county though the city by definition is not part of that county. An example is Fairfax, an independent city as well as the seat of Fairfax County; the United States Census Bureau treats all cities in Virginia as county-equivalents. A city can be formed from any area with a defined boundary having a population of 5,000 or more. Cities have been formed in the following ways: An area within a county, which may or may not have been a town incorporates as a city and thus becomes independent.
Examples are Falls Church, which separated from Fairfax County, Virginia Beach, which separated from Princess Anne County. A county is converted into a city. An example was the former city of Nansemond, which merged with Suffolk. Various local governments consolidate to form a city. An example is Chesapeake, formed from the merger of the independent city of South Norfolk and Norfolk County. Where the residents of an area of sufficient size wish to incorporate as a city, they must petition the Virginia state legislature to grant them a municipal charter. Virginia's independent cities were classified by the Virginia General Assembly in 1871 as cities of the first class and cities of the second class; the Virginia Constitution of 1902 included defined first-class cities as those having a population of 10,000 or more based upon the last census enumeration, while second-class cities were those that had a population of fewer than 10,000. Cities, granted a city charter, but did not have the requisite population, had their status grandfathered in.
Second-class cities did not have a court of record and were required to share the cost of that court with their adjacent county and shared the cost for three constitutional officers of that court — the clerk, commonwealth's attorney and sheriff — and those shared officers stood for election in both the city and the county. At least two constitutional officers — treasurer and commissioner of the revenue — were required to be elected by the residents of the city; the distinction between first- and second-class cities was ended with the Virginia Constitution of 1971. But cities that were classified as second-class cities at the time of the adoption of the 1971 Virginia Constitution were authorized to continue sharing their court system and three constitutional officers with the adjacent county; as of 2003, 14 of Virginia's independent cities retain these features. Unlike Virginia's cities, like municipalities in most other states, incorporated towns are municipalities that are within counties.
Local government is thus divided between the county. A town can be formed from any area with a defined boundary having a population of 1,000 or more; the method for forming towns is the same as for cities, petitioning the state legislature to grant a charter. As of 2014, there are 191 incorporated towns in Virginia. Virginia has unincorporated communities which are called towns colloquially. Local government in Virginia is subject to Dillon's Rule, which holds that cities and towns only have those powers expressly granted to them by Virginia or federal law, any power implied by those express powers, those powers essential to the municipality's existence. Under Virginia law, a municipality, whether a city or a town, must have a municipal charter; the charter is a form of contract, the municipality has no power to act outside of its charter. With few exceptions, a municipality's powers are narrowly construed; the powers extended to Virginia municipalities include the following: Exercising the general police power to enact and enforce rules and regulations to promote the health, morals, or welfare of its citizens, pro
Constitution of Virginia
The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia is the document that defines and limits the powers of the state government and the basic rights of the citizens of the U. S. Commonwealth of Virginia. Like all other state constitutions, it is supreme over Virginia's laws and acts of government, though it may be superseded by the United States Constitution and U. S. federal law as per the Supremacy Clause. The original Virginia Constitution of 1776 was enacted in conjunction with the Declaration of Independence by the first thirteen states of the United States of America. Virginia was an early state to adopt its own Constitution on June 29, 1776, the document was influential both in the United States and abroad. In addition to frequent amendments, there have been six major subsequent revisions of the constitution; these new constitutions have been part of, in reaction to, periods of major regional or social upheaval in Virginia. For instance, the 1902 constitution included provisions to disfranchise African Americans, who in 1900 made up nearly 36% of the state's population.
They did not regain suffrage until after passage of federal civil rights legislation in the mid-1960s. The preparation of the first Virginia Constitution began in early 1776, in the midst of the early events of the American Revolution. Among those who drafted the 1776 Constitution were James Madison. Thomas Jefferson was Virginia's representative to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia at the time, his drafts of the Virginia constitution arrived too late to be incorporated into the final document. James Madison's work on the Virginia Constitution helped him develop the ideas and skills that he would use as one of the main architects of the United States Constitution; the 1776 Constitution declared the dissolution of the rule of Great Britain over Virginia and accused England's King George III of establishing a "detestable and insupportable tyranny". It established separation of governmental powers, with the creation of the bicameral Virginia General Assembly as the legislative body of the state and the Governor of Virginia as the "chief magistrate" or executive.
The accompanying Virginia Declaration of Rights, written by Mason, focuses on guarantees of basic human rights and freedoms and the fundamental purpose of government. It, in turn, served as a model for a number of other historic documents, including the United States Bill of Rights. Critically, the 1776 Constitution limited the right to vote to property owners and men of wealth; this concentrated power in the hands of the landowners and aristocracy of Southeastern Virginia. Dissatisfaction with this power structure would come to dominate Virginia's constitutional debate for a century. By the 1820s, Virginia was one of only two states. In addition, because representation was by county rather than population, the residents of populous Western Virginia had grown discontented at their limited representation in the legislature. Pressure increased until a constitutional convention was convened in 1829–1830; this convention became a contest between eastern Virginia planters of the slaveholding elite and the less affluent yeomen farmers of Western Virginia.
Issues of representation and suffrage dominated the debate. Delegates to the convention included such prominent Virginians as James Madison, James Monroe, John Tyler, John Marshall; the convention compromised by loosening suffrage requirements. It reduced the number of delegates and senators to the Virginia General Assembly; the resulting constitution was ratified by a popular majority, though most of the voters in the western part of the state ended up voting against it. Thus, the underlying intrastate tensions remained, would have to be addressed later; as of the 1840 census, the majority of the white residents of the state lived in western Virginia, but they were underrepresented in the legislature because of the continued property requirement for voting. This compounded their dissatisfaction with the apportionment scheme adopted in 1830, based on counties rather than population, thus giving disproportionate power to the fewer, but propertied whites who lived in the eastern part of the state and kept a grip on the legislature.
As the state legislature elected the governor and the United States senators, Western Virginians felt they had little influence on state leadership. Their attempts to win electoral reform in the Virginia legislature were defeated each time; some began to discuss the abolition of slavery or secession from the state. The eastern planters could not continue to ignore their discontent, a new constitutional convention was called to resolve the continuing tensions; the most significant change adopted in the 1851 Constitution was elimination of the property requirement for voting, resulting in extension of the suffrage to all white males of voting age. The 1851 Constitution established popular election for the governor, the newly created office of lieutenant governor, all Virginia judges, rather than the election of the top two state officers by the legislature, or political appointment for judges; because of these changes, the 1851 Virginia Constitution became known as the "Reform Constitution". When in 1861, the Virginia legislature voted for secession in the events leading up to the American Civil War, all of the western and several of the northern counties dissented They set up a separate government with Francis H. Pierpont as governor.
During the Civil War, this separate or "
In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land, not governed by a local municipal corporation. Municipalities dissolve or disincorporate, which may happen if they become fiscally insolvent, services become the responsibility of a higher administration. Widespread unincorporated communities and areas are a distinguishing feature of the United States and Canada. In most other countries of the world, there are either no unincorporated areas at all, or these are rare. Unlike many other countries, Australia has only one level of local government beneath state and territorial governments. A local government area contains several towns and entire cities. Thus, aside from sparsely populated areas and a few other special cases all of Australia is part of an LGA. Unincorporated areas are in remote locations, cover vast areas or have small populations. Postal addresses in unincorporated areas, as in other parts of Australia use the suburb or locality names gazetted by the relevant state or territorial government.
Thus, there is any ambiguity regarding addresses in unincorporated areas. The Australian Capital Territory is in some sense an unincorporated area; the territorial government is directly responsible for matters carried out by local government. The far west and north of New South Wales constitutes the Unincorporated Far West Region, sparsely populated and warrants an elected council. A civil servant in the state capital manages such matters; the second unincorporated area of this state is Lord Howe Island. In the Northern Territory, 1.45% of the total area and 4.0% of the population are in unincorporated areas, including Unincorporated Top End Region, areas covered by the Darwin Rates Act—Nhulunbuy, Alyangula on Groote Eylandt in the northern region, Yulara in the southern region. In South Australia, 60% of the area is unincorporated and communities located within can receive municipal services provided by a state agency, the Outback Communities Authority. Victoria has 10 small unincorporated areas, which are either small islands directly administered by the state or ski resorts administered by state-appointed management boards.
Western Australia is exceptional in two respects. Firstly, the only remote area, unincorporated is the Abrolhos Islands, uninhabited and controlled by the WA Department of Fisheries. Secondly, the other unincorporated areas are A-class reserves either in, or close to, the Perth metropolitan area, namely Rottnest Island and Kings Park. In Canada, depending on the province, an unincorporated settlement is one that does not have a municipal council that governs over the settlement, it is but not always, part of a larger municipal government. This can range from small hamlets to large urbanized areas that are similar in size to towns and cities. For example, the urban service areas of Fort McMurray and Sherwood Park, of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and Strathcona County would be the fifth and sixth largest cities in Alberta if they were incorporated. In British Columbia, unincorporated settlements lie outside municipal boundaries and are administered directly by regional/county-level governments similar to the American system.
Unincorporated settlements with a population of between 100 and 1,000 residents may have the status of designated place in Canadian census data. In some provinces, large tracts of undeveloped wilderness or rural country are unorganized areas that fall directly under the provincial jurisdiction; some unincorporated settlements in such unorganized areas may have some types of municipal services provided to them by a quasi-governmental agency such as a local services board in Ontario. In New Brunswick where a significant population live in a Local Service District and services may come directly from the province; the entire area of the Czech Republic is divided into municipalities, with the only exception being 4 military areas. These are parts of the regions and do not form self-governing municipalities, but are rather governed by military offices, which are subordinate to the Ministry of Defense. † Brdy Military Area was abandoned by the Army in 2015 and converted into Landscape park, with its area being incorporated either into existing municipalities or municipalities newly established from the existing settlements.
The other four Military Areas were reduced in size in 2015 too. The decisions on whether the settlements join existing municipalities or form new ones are decided in plebiscites. Since Germany has no administrative level comparable to the townships of other countries, the vast majority of the country, close to 99%, is organized in municipalities consisting of multiple settlements which are not considered to be unincorporated; because these settlements lack a council of their own, there is an Ortsvorsteher / Ortsvorsteherin appointed by the municipal council, except in the smallest villages. In 2000, the number of unincorporated areas in Germany, called gemeindefreie Gebiete or singular gemeindefreies Gebiet, was 295 with a total area of 4,890.33 km² and around 1.4% of its territory. However
Protected areas of the United States
The protected areas of the United States are managed by an array of different federal, state and local level authorities and receive varying levels of protection. Some areas are managed as wilderness, while others are operated with acceptable commercial exploitation; as of 2015, the 25,800 protected areas covered 1,294,476 km2, or 14 percent of the land area of the United States. This is one-tenth of the protected land area of the world; the U. S. had a total of 787 National Marine Protected Areas, covering an additional 1,271,408 km2, or 12 percent of the total marine area of the United States. Some areas are managed in concert between levels of government; the Father Marquette National Memorial is an example of a federal park operated by a state park system, while Kal-Haven Trail is an example of a state park operated by county-level government. As of 2007, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, the U. S. had a total of 6,770 terrestrial nationally designated protected areas. Federal level protected areas are managed by a variety of agencies, most of which are a part of the National Park Service, a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior.
They are considered the crown jewels of the protected areas. Other areas are managed by the United States Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service; the United States Army Corps of Engineers is claimed to provide 30 percent of the recreational opportunities on federal lands through lakes and waterways that they manage. The highest levels of protection, as described by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, are Level I and Level II; the United States maintains 12 percent of the Level II lands in the world. These lands had a total area of 210,000 sq mi. A confusing system for naming protected areas results in some types being used by more than one agency. For instance, both the National Park Service and the U. S. Forest Service operate areas designated National National Recreation Areas; the National Park Service, the U. S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management operate areas called National Monuments. National Wilderness Areas are designated within other protected areas, managed by various agencies and sometimes wilderness areas span areas managed by multiple agencies.
There are existing federal designations of historic or landmark status that may support preservation via tax incentives, but that do not convey any protection, including a listing on the National Register of Historic Places or a designation as a National Historic Landmark. States and local zoning bodies may not choose to protect these; the state of Colorado, for example, is clear that it does not set any limits on owners of NRHP properties. Federal protected area designations National Park System National Parks National Preserves National Seashores National Lakeshores National Forest National Forests National Grasslands National Conservation Lands National Monuments National Conservation Areas Wilderness Areas Wilderness Study Areas National Wild and Scenic Rivers National Scenic Trails National Historic Trails Cooperative Management and Protection Areas Forest Reserves Outstanding Natural Areas National Marine Sanctuaries National Recreation Areas National Estuarine Research Reserves National Trails System National Wild and Scenic Rivers System National Wilderness Preservation System National Wildlife Refuge System International protected area designations UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in the USA Every state has a system of state parks.
State parks vary from urban parks to large parks that are on a par with national parks. Some state parks, like Adirondack Park, are similar to the national parks of England and Wales, with numerous towns inside the borders of the park. About half the area of the park, some 3,000,000 acres, is state-owned and preserved as "forever wild" by the Forest Preserve of New York. Wood-Tikchik State Park in Alaska is the largest state park by the amount of contiguous protected land. S. National Parks, with some 1,600,000 acres, making it larger than the state of Delaware. Many states operate game and recreation areas. Lists of state parks in the United States: Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming List of U.
S. state and tribal wilderness areas Various counties, metropolitan authorities, regional parks, soil conservation districts and other units manage a variety of local level parks. Some of these are little more than picnic playgrounds. South Mountain Park in Phoenix, for example, is called the largest city park in the United States. Protected areas of American Samoa Protected areas of California Protected areas of Colorado Protected areas of Georgia Protected areas of Illinois Protected areas of Kentucky Protected areas of Michigan Protected areas of Ohio National Landscape Conservation System National Park Service National Wild and S
Carson City, Nevada
Carson City is an independent city and capital of the US state of Nevada, named after the mountain man Kit Carson. As of the 2010 census, the population was 55,274; the majority of the town's population lives in Eagle Valley, on the eastern edge of the Carson Range, a branch of the Sierra Nevada, about 30 miles south of Reno. The town began as a stopover for California-bound emigrants, but developed into a city with the Comstock Lode, a silver strike in the mountains to the northeast; the city has served as Nevada's capital since statehood in 1864. Before 1969, Carson City was the county seat of Ormsby County; the county was abolished that year, its territory merged with Carson City to form the Consolidated Municipality of Carson City. With the consolidation, the city limits extend west across the Sierra Nevada to the California state line in the middle of Lake Tahoe. Like other independent cities in the United States, it is treated as a county-equivalent for census purposes; the Washoe people have inhabited surrounding areas for about 6,000 years.
The first European Americans to arrive in what is now known as Eagle Valley were John C. Frémont and his exploration party in January 1843. Fremont named the river flowing through the valley Carson River in honor of Kit Carson, the mountain man and scout he had hired for his expedition. Settlers named the area Washoe in reference to the indigenous people. By 1851 the Eagle Station ranch along the Carson River was a trading post and stopover for travelers on the California Trail's Carson Branch which ran through Eagle Valley; the valley and trading post received their name from a bald eagle, hunted and killed by one of the early settlers and was featured on a wall inside the post. As the area was part of the Utah Territory, it was governed from Salt Lake City, where the territorial government was headquartered. Early settlers bristled at the control by Mormon-influenced officials and desired the creation of the Nevada territory. A vigilante group of influential settlers, headed by Abraham Curry, sought a site for a capital city for the envisioned territory.
In 1858, Abraham Curry thereafter renamed the settlement Carson City. As Curry and several other partners had Eagle Valley surveyed for development. Curry decided Carson City would someday serve as the capital city and left a 10-acre plot in the center of town for a capitol building. After gold and silver were discovered in 1859 on nearby Comstock Lode, Carson City's population began to grow. Curry built the Warm Springs Hotel a mile to the east of the city center; when territorial governor James W. Nye traveled to Nevada, he chose Carson City as the territorial capital, influenced by Carson City lawyer William Stewart, who escorted him from San Francisco to Nevada; as such, Carson City bested American Flat. Curry loaned the Warm Springs Hotel to the territorial Legislature as a meeting hall; the Legislature named Carson City to be the seat of Ormsby County and selected the hotel as the territorial prison with Curry serving as its first warden. Today the property is still part of the state prison.
When Nevada became a state in 1864 during the American Civil War, Carson City was confirmed as Nevada's permanent capital. Carson City's development was no longer dependent on the mining industry and instead became a thriving commercial center; the Virginia and Truckee Railroad was built between Carson City. A log flume was built from the Sierra Nevadas into Carson City; the current capitol building was constructed from 1870 to 1871. The United States Mint operated the Carson City Mint between the years 1870 and 1893, which struck gold and silver coins. People came from China during that time; some of them taught school. By 1880 a thousand Chinese people, "one for every five Caucasians", lived in Carson City. Carson City's population and transportation traffic decreased when the Central Pacific Railroad built a line through Donner Pass, too far to the north to benefit Carson City; the city was revitalized with the mining booms in Tonopah and Goldfield. The US federal building was completed in 1890.
These developments could not prevent the city's population from dropping to just over 1,500 people by 1930. Carson City resigned itself to small city status, advertising itself as "America's smallest capital"; the city grew after World War II. As early as the late 1940s, discussions began about merging Carson City. By this time, the county was little more than a few hamlets to the west. However, the effort did not pay off until 1966; the required constitutional amendment was passed in 1968. On April 1, 1969, Ormsby County and Carson City merged as the Consolidated Municipality of Carson City. With this consolidation, Carson City absorbed former town sites such as Empire City, which had grown up in the 1860s as a milling center along the Carson River and current U. S. Route 50. Carson City could now advertise itself as one of America's largest state capitals with its 146 square miles of city limits. In 1991, the city adopted a downtown master plan, specifying no building within 500 feet of the capitol would surpass it in height.
This plan prohibited future high-rise development in the center of downtown. The Ormsby House is the tallest building in downtown Carson City, at a height of 117 feet; the structure was completed in 1972. Carson City
Virginia the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States located between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" due to its status as the first English colonial possession established in mainland North America and "Mother of Presidents" because eight U. S. presidents were born there, more than any other state. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna; the capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond. The Commonwealth's estimated population as of 2018 is over 8.5 million. The area's history begins with several indigenous groups, including the Powhatan. In 1607 the London Company established the Colony of Virginia as the first permanent New World English colony. Slave labor and the land acquired from displaced Native American tribes each played a significant role in the colony's early politics and plantation economy.
Virginia was one of the 13 Colonies in the American Revolution. In the American Civil War, Virginia's Secession Convention resolved to join the Confederacy, Virginia's First Wheeling Convention resolved to remain in the Union. Although the Commonwealth was under one-party rule for nearly a century following Reconstruction, both major national parties are competitive in modern Virginia; the Virginia General Assembly is the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World. The state government was ranked most effective by the Pew Center on the States in both 2005 and 2008, it is unique in how it treats cities and counties manages local roads, prohibits its governors from serving consecutive terms. Virginia's economy has many sectors: agriculture in the Shenandoah Valley. S. Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency. Virginia has a total area of 42,774.2 square miles, including 3,180.13 square miles of water, making it the 35th-largest state by area. Virginia is bordered by Maryland and Washington, D.
C. to the north and east. Virginia's boundary with Maryland and Washington, D. C. extends to the low-water mark of the south shore of the Potomac River. The southern border is defined as the 36° 30′ parallel north, though surveyor error led to deviations of as much as three arcminutes; the border with Tennessee was not settled until 1893, when their dispute was brought to the U. S. Supreme Court; the Chesapeake Bay separates the contiguous portion of the Commonwealth from the two-county peninsula of Virginia's Eastern Shore. The bay was formed from the drowned river valleys of the James River. Many of Virginia's rivers flow into the Chesapeake Bay, including the Potomac, Rappahannock and James, which create three peninsulas in the bay; the Tidewater is a coastal plain between the fall line. It includes major estuaries of Chesapeake Bay; the Piedmont is a series of sedimentary and igneous rock-based foothills east of the mountains which were formed in the Mesozoic era. The region, known for its heavy clay soil, includes the Southwest Mountains around Charlottesville.
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the Appalachian Mountains with the highest points in the state, the tallest being Mount Rogers at 5,729 feet. The Ridge and Valley region includes the Great Appalachian Valley; the region includes Massanutten Mountain. The Cumberland Plateau and the Cumberland Mountains are in the southwest corner of Virginia, south of the Allegheny Plateau. In this region, rivers flow northwest, into the Ohio River basin; the Virginia Seismic Zone has not had a history of regular earthquake activity. Earthquakes are above 4.5 in magnitude, because Virginia is located away from the edges of the North American Plate. The largest earthquake, at an estimated 5.9 magnitude, was in 1897 near Blacksburg. A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck central Virginia on August 2011, near Mineral. The earthquake was felt as far away as Toronto and Florida. 35 million years ago, a bolide impacted. The resulting Chesapeake Bay impact crater may explain what earthquakes and subsidence the region does experience.
Coal mining takes place in the three mountainous regions at 45 distinct coal beds near Mesozoic basins. Over 64 million tons of other non-fuel resources, such as slate, sand, or gravel, were mined in Virginia in 2018; the state's carbonate rock is filled with more than 4,000 caves, ten of which are open for tourism, including the popular Luray Caverns and Skyline Caverns. The climate of Virginia is humid subtropical and becomes warmer and more humid farther south and east. Seasonal extremes vary from average lows of 26 °F in January to average highs of 86 °F in July; the Atlantic Ocean has a strong effect on southeastern coastal areas of the state. Influenced by the Gulf Stream, coastal weather is subject to hurricanes, most pronouncedly near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. In spite of its position adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean the coastal areas have a significant continental influence with quite large temperature differences between summ