Gouverneur Morris I was an American statesman, a Founding Father of the United States, a signatory to the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution. He wrote the Preamble to the United States Constitution and has been called the "Penman of the Constitution." In an era when most Americans thought of themselves as citizens of their respective states, Morris advanced the idea of being a citizen of a single union of states. He represented New York in the United States Senate from 1800 to 1803. Morris was born into a wealthy landowning family in New York City. After attending Columbia College, he studied law under Judge William Smith and earned admission to the bar, he was elected to the New York Provincial Congress before serving in the Continental Congress. After losing re-election to Congress, he moved to Philadelphia and became the assistant superintendent of finance of the United States, he represented Pennsylvania at the 1787 Philadelphia Convention, where he advocated a strong central government.
He served on the committee. After the ratification of the Constitution, Morris served as Minister Plenipotentiary to France, he criticized the execution of Marie Antoinette. Morris returned to the United States in 1798 and won election to the Senate in 1800, affiliating with the Federalist Party, he lost re-election in 1803. After leaving the Senate, he served as chairman of the Erie Canal Commission. Morris was born in New York City on January 30, 1752, the son of Lewis Morris, Jr. and his second wife, Sarah Gouverneur. Morris' first name derived from his mother's surname. According to Abigail Adams, Morris' first name was pronounced "governeer". Morris' half-brother Lewis Morris was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Another half-brother, Staats Long Morris, was a loyalist and major-general in the British army during the American Revolution, his nephew, Lewis Richard Morris, served in the Vermont legislature and in the United States Congress. His grandnephew was William M. Meredith, United States Secretary of the Treasury under 12th U.
S. President Zachary Taylor. Morris' father, Lewis Morris, was a wealthy landowner and judge, thus allowing Morris, a gifted scholar, to enroll at King's College, now Columbia University in New York City, at age 12, he graduated in 1768 and received a Master's degree in 1771. He studied law with Judge William Smith and attained admission to the bar in 1775. On May 8, 1775, Morris was elected to represent his family household in southern Westchester County, in the New York Provincial Congress; as a member of the congress, he, along with most of his fellow delegates, concentrated on turning the colony into an independent state. However, his advocacy of independence brought him into conflict with his family, as well as with his mentor, William Smith, who had abandoned the patriot cause when it pressed toward independence. Morris was a member of the New York State Assembly in 1777–78. After the Battle of Long Island in August 1776, the British seized New York City, his mother, a loyalist, gave his family's estate, located across the Harlem River from Manhattan, to the British for military use.
Morris was appointed as a delegate to the Continental Congress and took his seat in Congress on 28 January 1778. He was selected to a committee in charge of coordinating reforms of the military with George Washington. After witnessing the army encamped at Valley Forge, he was so appalled by the conditions of the troops that he became the spokesman for the Continental Army in congress and subsequently helped enact substantial reforms in its training and financing, he signed the Articles of Confederation in 1778. In 1778, when the Conway Cabal was at its peak, some members of the Continental Congress attempted a no-confidence vote against George Washington. If it had succeeded George Washington would have been court-martialed and dismissed as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. At that time, Gouverneur Morris cast the decisive tie-breaking vote in favor of keeping George Washington as Commander-in-Chief. In 1779, he was defeated for re-election to Congress because his advocacy of a strong central government was at odds with the decentralist views prevalent in New York.
Defeated in his home state, he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to work as a lawyer and merchant. In 1780, Morris had a carriage accident in Philadelphia, his left leg was amputated below the knee. Despite an automatic exemption from military duty because of his handicap and his service in the legislature, he joined a special "briefs" club for the protection of New York City, a forerunner of the modern New York Guard. In Philadelphia, he was appointed assistant superintendent of finance of the United States, serving under Robert Morris, he was selected as a Pennsylvania delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. During the Convention, he was a friend and ally of George Washington and others who favored a strong central government. Morris was elected to serve on a committee of five who drafted the final language of the proposed constitution. Catherine Drinker Bowen, in Miracle at Philadelphia, called Morris the committee's "amanuensis," meaning that it was his pen, responsible for most of the draft, as well as its final polished form.
It is said by some that Morris was "an aristocrat to the core," who believed that "there never was, nor will be a civilized Society without an Aristocracy". It is alleged that he thought that common people were incapable of self-government because he feared that the poor would sell their vo
Annapolis is the capital of the U. S. state of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Anne Arundel County. Situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, 25 miles south of Baltimore and about 30 miles east of Washington, D. C. Annapolis is part of the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area, its population was measured at 38,394 by the 2010 census. This city served as the seat of the Confederation Congress and temporary national capital of the United States in 1783–1784. At that time, General George Washington came before the body convened in the new Maryland State House and resigned his commission as commander of the Continental Army. A month the Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris of 1783, ending the American Revolutionary War, with Great Britain recognizing the independence of the United States; the city and state capitol was the site of the 1786 Annapolis Convention, which issued a call to the states to send delegates for the Constitutional Convention to be held the following year in Philadelphia.
Over 220 years the Annapolis Peace Conference, was held in 2007. Annapolis is the home of St. John's College, founded 1696. A settlement in the Province of Maryland named "Providence" was founded on the north shore of the Severn River on the middle Western Shore of the Chesapeake Bay in 1649 by Puritan exiles from the Province/Dominion of Virginia led by third Proprietary Governor William Stone; the settlers moved to a better-protected harbor on the south shore. The settlement on the south shore was named "Town at Proctor's," "Town at the Severn," and "Anne Arundel's Towne". In 1654, after the Third English Civil War, Parliamentary forces assumed control of the Maryland colony and Stone went into exile further south across the Potomac River in Virginia. Per orders from Charles Calvert, fifth Lord Baltimore, Stone returned the following spring at the head of a Cavalier royalist force, loyal to the King of England. On March 25, 1655, in what is known as the Battle of the Severn, Stone was defeated, taken prisoner, replaced by Lt. Gen. Josias Fendall as fifth Proprietary Governor.
Fendall governed Maryland during the latter half of the Commonwealth period in England. In 1660, he was replaced by Phillip Calvert as fifth/sixth Governor of Maryland, after the restoration of Charles II as King in England. In 1694, soon after the overthrow of the Catholic government of second Royal Governor Thomas Lawrence third Royal Governor Francis Nicholson, moved the capital of the royal colony, the Province of Maryland, to Anne Arundel's Towne and renamed the town Annapolis after Princess Anne of Denmark and Norway, soon to be the Queen Anne of Great Britain. Annapolis was incorporated as a city in 1708.17th-century Annapolis was little more than a village, but it grew for most of the 18th century until the American Revolutionary War as a political and administrative capital, a port of entry, a major center of the Atlantic slave trade. The Maryland Gazette, which became an important weekly journal, was founded there by Jonas Green in 1745. Water trades such as oyster-packing and sailmaking became the city's chief industries.
Annapolis is home to a large number of recreational boats that have replaced the seafood industry in the city. Dr. Alexander Hamilton was a Scottish-born writer who lived and worked in Annapolis. Leo Lemay says his 1744 travel diary Gentleman's Progress: The Itinerarium of Dr. Alexander Hamilton is "the best single portrait of men and manners, of rural and urban life, of the wide range of society and scenery in colonial America." Annapolis became the temporary capital of the United States after the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783. Congress was in session in the state house from November 26, 1783 to June 3, 1784, it was in Annapolis on December 23, 1783, that General Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. For the 1783 Congress, the Governor of Maryland commissioned John Shaw, a local cabinet maker, to create an American flag; the flag is different from other designs of the time. The blue field extends over the entire height of the hoist. Shaw created two versions of the flag: one which started with a red stripe and another that started with a white one.
In 1786, delegates from all states of the Union were invited to meet in Annapolis to consider measures for the better regulation of commerce. Delegates from only five states—New York, Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware—actually attended the convention, known afterward as the "Annapolis Convention." Without proceeding to the business for which they had met, the delegates passed a resolution calling for another convention to meet at Philadelphia in the following year to amend the Articles of Confederation. The Philadelphia convention drafted and approved the Constitution of the United States, still in force. On April 24, 1861, the midshipmen of the Naval Academy relocated their base in Annapolis and were temporarily housed in Newport, Rhode Island until October 1865. In 1861, the first of three camps that were built for holding paroled soldiers was created on the campus of St. John's College; the second location of Camp Parole would
United States Army Center of Military History
The United States Army Center of Military History is a directorate within TRADOC. The Institute of Heraldry remains within the Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army; the center is responsible for the appropriate use of history and military records throughout the United States Army. Traditionally, this mission has meant recording the official history of the army in both peace and war, while advising the army staff on historical matters. CMH is the flagship organization leading the Army Historical Program. CMH is behind the National Museum of the U. S. Army, under construction at Fort Belvoir and projected to open in 2020; the center traces its lineage back to historians under the Secretary of War who compiled the Official Records of the Rebellion, an extensive history of the American Civil War begun in 1874. A similar work on World War I was prepared by the Historical Section of the Army War College; the modern organization of the army's historical efforts dates from the creation of the General Staff historical branch in July 1943 and the subsequent gathering of a team of historians, translators and cartographers to record the official history of World War II.
They began publication of the United States Army in World War II series, which numbers 78 volumes, in 1946. Since the Center has produced detailed series on the Army's role in the Korean and Vietnam Wars and has begun a series on the U. S. Army in the Cold War; these works are supplemented by other publications on a mix of topics. Since its formation, the center has provided historical support to the Army Secretariat and Staff, contributing background information for decision making, staff actions, command information programs, public statements by army officials, it has expanded its role in the areas of military history education, the management of the army's museum system, the introduction of automated data-retrieval systems. The center's work with army schools ensures that the study of history is a part of the training of officers and noncommissioned officers. Much of this educational work is performed in army museums. Under the direction of the chief of military history and his principal adviser, the army's chief historian, CMH's staff is involved in some 50 major writing projects.
Many of these efforts involve new research that ranges from traditional studies in operational and administrative history to the examination of such areas as procurement and the global war on terror. Those works under way and projected are described in the Army Historical Program, an annual report to the Chief of Staff on the Army's historical activities. All center publications are listed in the catalog Publications of the United States Army Center of Military History, which explains how to access them. In addition, army historians maintain the organizational history of army units, allowing the center to provide units of the Regular Army, the Army National Guard, the Army Reserve with certificates of their lineage and honors and other historical material concerning their organizations; the center determines the official designations for army units and works with the army staff during force reorganizations to preserve units with significant histories, as well as unit properties and related historical artifacts.
CMH serves as a clearinghouse for the oral history programs in the army at all levels of command. It conducts and preserves its own oral history collections, including those from the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, the many recent contingency operations. In addition, the center's end-of-tour interviews within the Army Secretariat and Staff provide a basis for its annual histories of the Department of the Army; as tangible representations of the service's mission, military artifacts and art enhance the soldier's understanding of the profession of arms. CMH manages a system of more than 120 army museums and their holdings, encompassing some 450,000 artifacts and 15,000 works of military art; the Center provides professional museum training, staff assistance visits, teams of combat artists such as those deployed under the Vietnam Combat Artists Program, general museum support throughout the army. Current projects include the establishment of a National Museum of the United States Army at Fort Belvoir, a complementary Army Heritage and Educational Center at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.
The Chief of Military History is responsible for ensuring the appropriate use of military history in the teaching of strategy, tactics and administration. This mission includes a requirement that military leaders at all levels be aware of the value of history in advancing military professionalism. To that end, the center holds workshop. In this effort, the chief of military history is assisted by a historical advisory committee that includes leading academic historians and representatives of the army school system. Staff rides enable military leaders to retrace the course of a battle on the ground, deepening their understanding of the recurring fundamentals of military operations; as one of the army's major teaching devices, staff rides are dependent on a careful knowledge of military history. Center historians lead rides directed by the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff and attended by senior members of the army Staff, it administers the army's Command History Program, to provide historical support to army organizations worldwide.
In addition, since the first Persia
George Washington was an American political leader, military general and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He led Patriot forces to victory in the nation's War of Independence, he presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which established the new federal government, he has been called the "Father of His Country" for his manifold leadership in the formative days of the new nation. Washington received his initial military training and command with the Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War, he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses and was named a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he was appointed Commanding General of the nation's Continental Army. Washington allied with France, in the defeat of the British at Yorktown. Once victory for the United States was in hand in 1783, Washington resigned his commission. Washington played a key role in the adoption and ratification of the Constitution and was elected president by the Electoral College in the first two elections.
He implemented a strong, well-financed national government while remaining impartial in a fierce rivalry between cabinet members Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. During the French Revolution, he proclaimed a policy of neutrality while sanctioning the Jay Treaty, he set enduring precedents for the office of president, including the title "President of the United States", his Farewell Address is regarded as a pre-eminent statement on republicanism. Washington utilized slave labor and trading African American slaves, but he became troubled with the institution of slavery and freed them in his 1799 will, he was a member of the Anglican Church and the Freemasons, he urged tolerance for all religions in his roles as general and president. Upon his death, he was eulogized as "first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen." He has been memorialized by monuments, geographical locations and currency, many scholars and polls rank him among the top American presidents. Washington's great-grandfather John Washington immigrated in 1656 from Sulgrave, England to the British Colony of Virginia where he accumulated 5,000 acres of land, including Little Hunting Creek on the Potomac River.
George Washington was born February 22, 1732 at Popes Creek in Westmoreland County and was the first of six children of Augustine and Mary Ball Washington. His father was a justice of the peace and a prominent public figure who had three additional children from his first marriage to Jane Butler; the family moved to Little Hunting Creek to Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, Virginia. When Augustine died in 1743, Washington inherited ten slaves. Washington did not have the formal education that his older brothers received at Appleby Grammar School in England, but he did learn mathematics and surveying, he was talented in draftsmanship and map-making. By early adulthood, he was writing with "considerable force" and "precision."Washington visited Mount Vernon and Belvoir, the plantation that belonged to Lawrence's father-in-law William Fairfax, which fueled ambition for the lifestyle of the planter aristocracy. Fairfax became Washington's patron and surrogate father, Washington spent a month in 1748 with a team surveying Fairfax's Shenandoah Valley property.
He received a surveyor's license the following year from the College of Mary. He resigned from the job in 1750 and had bought 1,500 acres in the Valley, he owned 2,315 acres by 1752. In 1751, Washington made his only trip abroad when he accompanied Lawrence to Barbados, hoping that the climate would cure his brother's tuberculosis. Washington contracted smallpox during that trip, which immunized him but left his face scarred. Lawrence died in 1752, Washington leased Mount Vernon from his widow. Lawrence's service as adjutant general of the Virginia militia inspired Washington to seek a commission, Virginia's Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie appointed him as a major in December 1752 and as commander of one of the four militia districts; the British and French were competing for control of the Ohio Valley at the time, the British building forts along the Ohio River and the French doing between Lake Erie and the Ohio River. In October 1753, Dinwiddie appointed Washington as a special envoy to demand that the French vacate territory which the British had claimed.
Dinwiddie appointed him to make peace with the Iroquois Confederacy and to gather intelligence about the French forces. Washington met with Half-King Tanacharison and other Iroquois chiefs at Logstown to secure their promise of support against the French, his party reached the Ohio River in November, they were intercepted by a French patrol and escorted to Fort Le Boeuf where Washington was received in a friendly manner. He delivered the British demand to vacate to French commander Saint-Pierre, but the French refused to leave. Saint-Pierre gave Washington his official answer in a sealed envelope after a few days' delay, he gave Washington's party food and extra winter clothing for the trip back to Virginia. Washington completed the precarious mission in 77 days in difficult winter conditions and achieved a measure of distinction when his report was published in Virginia and London. In February 1754, Dinwiddie promoted Washington to lieutenant colonel and second-in-command of the 300-strong Virginia R
George Washington in the French and Indian War
George Washington's military experience began in the French and Indian War with a commission as a major in the militia of the British Province of Virginia. In 1753 Washington was sent as an ambassador from the British crown to the French officials and Indians as far north as present-day Erie, Pennsylvania; the following year he led another expedition to the area to assist in the construction of a fort at present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Before reaching that point, he and some of his men, ambushed a French scouting party, its leader was killed. This peacetime act of aggression is seen as one of the first military steps leading to the global Seven Years' War; the French responded by attacking fortifications Washington erected following the ambush, forcing his surrender. Released on parole and his troops returned to Virginia. In 1755 he participated as a volunteer aide in the ill-fated expedition of General Edward Braddock, where he distinguished himself in the retreat following the climactic Battle of Monongahela.
He served from 1755 until 1758 as colonel and commander of the Virginia Regiment, directing the provincial defenses against French and Indian raids and building the regiment into one of the best-trained provincial militias of the time. He led the regiment as part of the 1758 expedition of General John Forbes that drove the French from Fort Duquesne, during which he and some of his companies were involved in a friendly fire incident. Unable to get a commission in the British Army, Washington resigned from the provincial militia and took up the life of a Virginia plantation owner. Washington gained valuable military skills during the war, acquiring tactical and logistical military experience, he acquired important political skills in his dealings with the British military establishment and the provincial government. His military exploits, although they included some notable failures, made his military reputation in the colonies such that he became a natural selection as the commander in chief of the Continental Army following the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in 1775.
His successes in military and political spheres during that conflict led to his election as the first President of the United States of America. Born into a well-to-do Virginia family in Bridges Creek near Fredericksburg in 1732, Washington was schooled locally until the age of 15, his father's sudden death occurred. This eliminated the possibility of schooling in England, his mother rejected attempts to place him in the Royal Navy. Thanks to the connection by marriage of his half-brother Lawrence to the wealthy Fairfax family, Washington was appointed surveyor of Culpeper County in 1749. Washington's brother had purchased an interest in the Ohio Company, a land acquisition and settlement company whose objective was the settlement of Virginia's frontier areas, including the Ohio Country, territory north and west of the Ohio River, its investors included Virginia's Royal Governor, Robert Dinwiddie, who appointed Washington a major in the provincial militia in February 1753. The Ohio Country was occupied by a variety of Indian tribes that were nominally under the suzerainty of the Iroquois Confederacy based in what is now northwestern New York.
The area was the subject of several conflicting claims by British and French colonies. The British provinces of Virginia and Pennsylvania both claimed the area, traders from Pennsylvania had been trading with the Indians at least since the early 1740s. In 1752, representatives of the Ohio Company reached an agreement with the local Indian leaders allowing the construction of a fort and a small settlement at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, for the establishment of some settlements south of the Ohio River; the French were alarmed by these developments, in 1753 began the construction of a series of fortifications in the uppermost headwaters of the Ohio River, intending to extend the line of forts downriver and deny British traders and settlers access to the territory. When news of this reached Virginia, Governor Dinwiddie sought advice from the British government in London, he received orders to send a messenger to the French, reiterating British claims and demanding that they stop construction of their forts and quit the territory.
Governor Dinwiddie chose Major Washington 21 years old, for the trek into the Ohio Country to assess the French military situation, to deliver the British demands. He was a good choice despite his youth because he was familiar with the frontier from survey work, had good health, both government and Ohio Company leaders trusted Washington. Although he had no frontier warfare experience, neither did most other Virginians. Washington departed from Williamsburg at the end of October 1753. In Fredericksburg he picked up Jacob Van Braam, a family friend who spoke French, before heading into the Virginia highlands. There he was joined by Christopher Gist, an Ohio Company agent, familiar with the territory, a few backwoodsmen to assist with expedition logistics; when the expedition arrived at the site of the proposed fort, Washington noted that the site was well chosen, having "the entire Command of the Monongahela". The expedition proceeded on to Logstown, a large Indian settlement a short way down the Ohio River.
After parleying with the Indians, the Mingo "Half King" Tanacharison and three of his men agreed to accompany the British expedition to meet with the French. Washington learned that many of the Ohio tribes were as unhappy about the British plans for settli
Constitutional Convention (United States)
The Constitutional Convention took place from May 25 to September 17, 1787, in the old Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia. Although the Convention was intended to revise the league of states and first system of government under the Articles of Confederation, the intention from the outset of many of its proponents, chief among them James Madison of Virginia and Alexander Hamilton of New York, was to create a new government rather than fix the existing one; the delegates elected George Washington of Virginia, former commanding general of the Continental Army in the late American Revolutionary War and proponent of a stronger national government, to preside over the Convention. The result of the Convention was the creation of the Constitution of the United States, placing the Convention among the most significant events in American history. At the time, the convention was not referred to as a "Constitutional" convention, nor did most of the delegates arrive intending to draft a new constitution.
Many assumed that the purpose of the convention was to discuss and draft improvements to the existing Articles of Confederation, would have not agreed to participate otherwise. Once the Convention began, most of the delegates – though not all – came to agree in general terms that the goal would be a new system of government, not a revised version of the Articles of Confederation. Several broad outlines were proposed and debated, most notably James Madison's Virginia Plan and William Paterson's New Jersey Plan; the Virginia Plan was selected as the basis for the new government, but several issues delayed further progress and put the success of the Convention in doubt. The most contentious disputes revolved around composition and election of the upper legislative house in the future bicameral Congress, to be known as the Senate, how "proportional representation" was to be defined, whether to divide the executive power between three persons or invest the power into a single chief executive to be called the President, how to elect the President, how long his term was to be and whether he could run for reelection, what offenses should be impeachable, the nature of a fugitive slave clause, whether to allow the abolition of the slave trade, whether judges should be chosen by the legislature or executive.
Most of the time during the Convention was spent on deciding these issues. Progress was slow until mid-July, when the Connecticut Compromise resolved enough lingering arguments for a draft written by the Committee of Detail to gain acceptance. Though more modifications and compromises were made over the following weeks, most of the rough draft remained in place and can be found in the finished version of the Constitution. After several more issues were resolved, the Committee on Style produced the final version in early September, it was voted on by the delegates, inscribed on parchment with engraving for printing, signed by thirty-nine of fifty-five delegates on September 17, 1787. The completed proposed Constitution was released to the public to begin the debate and ratification process. Before the Constitution was drafted, the nearly 4 million inhabitants of the 13 newly independent states were governed under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, created by the Second Continental Congress, first proposed in 1776, adopted by the Second Continental Congress in 1778 and only unanimously ratified by the Original Thirteen States by 1781.
It soon became evident to nearly all that the chronically underfunded Confederation government, as organized, was inadequate for managing the various conflicts that arose among the states. As the Articles of Confederation could only be amended by unanimous vote of the states, any state had effective veto power over any proposed change. In addition, the Articles gave the weak federal government no taxing power: it was wholly dependent on the states for its money, had no power to force delinquent states to pay. Once the immediate task of winning the American Revolutionary War of 1775 to 1783 had passed, the states began to look to their own interests, disputes arose; these included a dispute between Maryland and Virginia over the Potomac River and opposition to Rhode Island's imposing taxes on all traffic passing through it on the post road. James Madison suggested that state governments should appoint commissioners "to take into consideration the trade of the United States. Another impetus for the convention was Shays' Rebellion of 1786-1787.
A political conflict between Boston merchants and rural farmers over issues including tax debts had broken out into an open rebellion. This rebellion was led by a former Revolutionary War captain, Daniel Shays, a small farmer with tax debts, who had never received payment for his service in the Continental Army; the rebellion took months for Massachusetts to put down and some desired a federal army that would be able to put down such insurrections. These and other issues worried many of the Founders that the Union as it existed up to that point was in danger of breaking apart, being subject to the persuasion of foreign powers. In September 1786, at the Annapolis Convention, delegates from five states called f
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