Virginia

From Conservapedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Virginia
Capital Richmond
Nickname The Old Dominion State
Official Language English
Governor Bob McDonnell, R
Senator Jim Webb, D
(202) 224-4024
Contact
Senator Mark Warner, D
(202) 224-2023
Contact
Ratification of Constitution/or statehood June 25, 1788 (10th)
Flag of Virginia Motto: "Sic Semper Tyrannis" (Thus Always to Tyrants)

Virginia (Officially The Commonwealth of Virginia) is one of the fifty United States. Named in honor of Queen Elizabeth I of England, Virginia was also nicknamed the Old Dominion by King Charles II because it remained loyal to the crown during the English Civil War and throughout Oliver Cromwell's years. Virginia was the first colony in Colonial America in the 1600s and was a leader in the American Revolution.

Contents

Politics

In partisan terms, the two parties compete furiously for the legislature and the governorship. In presidential elections Virginia was reliably Republican from 1968 until 2004, but in 2008 Obama won, thanks to the growing liberal strength in the Washington suburbs.

Va-gov.jpg

The 2009 election for governor was a referendum on the Obama administration. Republican Bob McDonnell, Virginia's former attorney general, defeated Democrat State Senator Creigh Deeds. Since 1977, the political party that has won the presidency has, in every case, lost the Virginia governorship in the next election.

McDonnell explained that, "The business community was the first to recoil" from policies such as "card check" -- legislation to allow union organization by signing cards instead of by a secret ballot -- and cap-and-trade environmental policies. "But health care now dwarfs previous concerns -- handing over the best medical system in the world to the federal government. It affects everyone." Conservatives, he contends, are more activated than at any time since 1993. A young McDonnell campaign worker exuded confidence, boasting, "We have the enthusiasm Obama's people had last time."[1]

The Virginia Senate has 22 Democrats and 18 Republicans. The House of Delegates, however, consists of 59 Republicans, 39 Democrats, and two Independents who caucus with Republicans.

Elected Officials

Federal

Statewide

Geological Regions of Virginia

Virginia is commonly divided into five geological regions, Tidewater, Piedmont, Blue Ridge, Valley and Ridge and the Appalachia Plateau. There are no formal lines marking these regions and any political boundaries, such as county or city boundaries are coincidental. However, these regions have identifiable geology which differentiates them.

Fall Line

The Fall Line is so named because it marks a line where many waterfalls occur in Virginia Rivers. Below the Fall Line most rivers, such as the James and Potomac and Rappahannok, are broad, deep and gentle, but above the Fall Line the rivers are rockier and swifter. Below the Fall Line rivers are navigable by ocean-going vessels. Above the Fall Line canoes and flat boats are the only means to navigate most rivers.

Because of this the C&O Canal (Chesapeake and Ohio Canal) was constructed above the Fall Line. The goal was to unite the Chesapeake Bay with the Ohio River system the way the Erie Canal had opened up the Great Lakes below Niagara. Many important Virginia cities such as Alexandria, Richmond and Petersburg are just below the Fall Line.

Tidewater

The Tidewater or "Coastal Plain" of Virginia is bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Fall Line.

The Tidewater Region was the first region of Virginia to be settled by Europeans, and is home to many of the oldest English settlements in North America, such as Jamestown. The dominant geographical feature of the region is the Chesapeake Bay. Rivers in the region rise and fall with the tides because they flow into the Chesapeake or other salt-water bays. Major ports such as Norfolk or Newport News are found in the region as are historical port cities such as the tobacco ports of Alexandria and Yorktown are found on the Coastal Plain. The British surrender at Yorktown was considered a tipping point in the Revolutionary War.

Eastern Shore

The Eastern Shore of Virginia is that part of Virginia situated on the Delmarva Peninsula between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The region is fairly undeveloped due to the remoteness imposed by the bay and ocean, but many fishers, farmers and chicken farms are found here. These region is geographically part of the Tidewater region and its connected to the mainland by way of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. [2]

Piedmont

Above the Fall Line are the foothills of the Appalachian and the region whose name means "foot mountain". The Piedmont is rockier and higher than the coastal plain of the Tidewater. The Piedmont was settled by English pioneers in the earliest days of colonial America and later by African slaves who worked the plantations of the region. Tobacco and corn are still an important part of the Piedmont economy. Scenic and historic cities such as Charlottesville and Lynchburg are two important Piedmont cities. The famed Appomattox courthouse is in the Piedmont.

Blue Ridge

The Blue Ridge is a range of mountains rise up above the Piedmont and mark the point where the Appalachian Mountains rise up above the Piedmont. The Shenandoah National Park and the Skyline Drive are Blue Ridge tourist destinations. Apples orchards are common in this region, but the industry is not as vibrant as it was historically. White House Foods, a major apple juicer and product packager, draws many of its apples from this region. Cities are uncommon, perhaps unknown in this region, but "mountain people" inhabited much of the highlands before they were converted to parks. Mountain people, sometimes called hillbillies, rednecks, or or other liberal slurs for reverse discrimination, had a unique culture devoted to life in the highland. [3][4]

Valley and Ridge

Beyond the Blue Ridge is the Valley and Ridge Region. Perhaps the most famous part of the Valley and Ridge Region west of the Blue Ridge is the Shenandoah Valley. Stonewall Jackson's Valley campaign was fought throughout this region. Cities in this region developed in proximity to the early railroad system, and this figured into the strategy of the War Between the States. Manassas, Harrisonburg and Roanoke are important cities in this region.

Appalachian Plateau

The southwest corner of Virginia between West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee makes up Virginia's Appalachian Plateau. The region is similar geographically to West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky with rugged terrain not well-suited to the development of large cities like the westernmost metropolitan area, Roanoke, though some parts of the region, such as the Grundy area, have major educational facilities which attracts many out of state residents (i.e., the Appalachian School of Law). The Coal industry is an important industry and way of life in this part of Virginia. Also, this region is one of the leading producers of natural gas due to large methane deposits found within deep (underground) mines. The region is also known for its national parks (i.e. the Breaks Interstate Park, which is on the VA/KY border.)

Regions, Counties and Cities

Virginia has evolved into several different cultural regions which have very divergent economic interests, lifestyle goals and ways of life. Northern Virginia is one of the wealthiest, best educated and most developed parts of the United States and thus the entire world. Traffic congestion is a common problem and the Metro (subway system) aids commuters into and out of Washington D.C., Arlington and Alexandria. High technology industries and U.S. government jobs are leading employers in this region. Southwestern Virginia is mountainous with coal mining and few other industries. The Virginia Beach/Norfolk Region is home to several major military installations and ship-building foundries. Central Virginia is dominated by mid-sized cities with disproportionate political strength such as Richmond. The Chesapeake Bay separates the Eastern Shore of Virgina from the rest of Virgina. The Eastern Shore is the Virginia portion of the Delmarva Peninsula and is sparsely populated, flat, and sandy.

Virginia is organized into a system of counties and independent cities. Towns are incorporated in counties, and towns have the power to levy taxes in addition to those imposed by the county. Arlington is organized as a county, but it is completely urbanized, and there are no towns in the county limits, so for all practical purposes, Arlington is a city.

Cities & Towns

  • Alexandria
  • Abingdon
  • Bedford
  • Bridgewater
  • Chesapeake
  • Danville
  • Fairfax City
  • Falls Church
  • Fredericksburg
  • Galax
  • Grundy
  • Hampton
  • Hampton Roads Region
  • Lebanon
  • Lynchburg
  • Manassas
  • Norfolk
  • Petersburg
  • Richmond
  • Roanoke
  • Staunton
  • Tangiers Island
  • Virginia Beach
  • Williamsburg
  • Winchester

Counties

  • Accomack
  • Albemarle
  • Alleghany
  • Amelia
  • Amherst
  • Appomattox
  • Arlington
  • Augusta
  • Bath
  • Bedford
  • Bland
  • Botetourt
  • Brunswick
  • Buchanan
  • Buckingham
  • Campbell
  • Caroline
  • Carroll
  • Charles City
  • Charlotte
  • Chesterfield
  • Clarke
  • Craig
  • Culpeper
  • Cumberland
  • Dickenson
  • Dinwiddie
  • Essex
  • Fairfax
  • Fauquier
  • Floyd
  • Fluvanna
  • Franklin
  • Frederick
  • Giles
  • Gloucester
  • Goochland
  • Grayson
  • Greene
  • Greensville
  • Halifax
  • Hanover
  • Henrico
  • Henry
  • Highland
  • Isle of Wight
  • James City
  • King and Queen
  • King George
  • King William
  • Lancaster
  • Lee
  • Loudoun
  • Louisa
  • Lunenburg
  • Madison
  • Mathews
  • Mecklenburg
  • Middlesex
  • Montgomery
  • Nelson
  • New Kent
  • Northampton
  • Northumberland
  • Nottoway
  • Orange
  • Page
  • Patrick
  • Pittsylvania
  • Powhatan
  • Prince Edward
  • Prince George
  • Prince William
  • Pulaski
  • Rappahannock
  • Richmond
  • Roanoke
  • Rockbridge
  • Rockingham
  • Russell
  • Scott
  • Shenandoah
  • Smyth
  • Southampton
  • Spotsylvania
  • Stafford
  • Surry
  • Sussex
  • Tazewell
  • Warren
  • Washington
  • Westmoreland
  • Wise
  • Wythe
  • York

*Information obtained from VA state site.

Flag, Seal and Official Symbols & Emblems

The unofficial motto and tourist marketing slogan of the Commonwealth is Virginia is for Lovers but the official State Motto is Sic Semper Tyrannis, a Latin phrase meaning "Thus Always to Tyrants". [5]

The front of the Great Seal of Virginia (called the obverse) features the Roman goddess Virtus standing over a defeated opponent. Virtus wears a blue tunic exposing her left breast. One arm rests on a spear, the other carries a sheathed sword. This goddess stands in a triumphant victor's with one foot on the chest of a fallen tyrant, whose crown lies at Virtus' feet. Sic Semper Tyrannis arches at the bottom the image and "Virginia" symmetrically arches above Virtus. [6] The reverse (or back side) of the Seal features the Latin word Perseverando (Persevering) and a depiction of three robed Roman goddesses figures who represent Libertas, Ceres and Aeternitas. Ceres the goddess of agriculture holds a horn of plenty with other symbols of agricultural bounty. In the center of the reverse, Libertas, the goddess of liberty, holds a wand at the top of the wand hangs a Phrygian Cap, also known as a Liberty Cap. To the right of Libertas is Aeternitas or "Eternity" holding a orb representing Virginia's authority. [7]

Virginia's flag features the Great Seal of the Commonwealth on white center over a field of royal blue. Many web images depict a light blue flag, but the actual flag is a rich purplish blue. The General Assembly adopted an official flag salute in 1954:

I salute the flag of Virginia, with reverence and patriotic devotion to the ‘Mother of States and Statesmen,’ which it represents—the ‘Old Dominion,’ where liberty and independence were born.[8]

The cardinal and the dogwood petal are among Virginia's most well-known emblems, but Virginia's has many emblems:

  • State Bat: Virginia Big Eared Bat (an endangered species)
  • State Beverage: Milk
  • State Bird: Northern cardinal
  • State Boat: Chesapeake Bay Deadrise
  • State Dog: American Foxhound
  • State Dance: Square Dance (Virginia Reel)
  • State Fish: Brook Trout
  • State Flower (and tree): American Dogwood
  • State Fossil: Chesapeten Jeffersonius
  • State Insect: Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly
  • State Shell: Oyster Shell [9]

Transportation

Virginia is well served by the Interstate Highway System including at least two of the busiest highways on the Eastern Coast of the US, I-81 and I-95. Interstate 81, which moves through the city of Bristol, TN/VA is popular with tractor-trailers and some travelers, while 95 is a popular tourist highway. The famed Beltway (I-495) surrounds Washington DC by looping through Northern Virginia. Richmond is served by I-95 and a beltway looping off I-64. Rail lines are not as busy as they were historically, but important coal lines still make their way through the Valley and Ridge Region of Virginia. Amtrak lines Richmond and Alexandria to the cities in the Eastern US. Dulles International is one of the busiest airports in the US and the Northern Virginia area is also served by Ronald Reagan National Airport. Norfolk Virginia is one of the largest ports on the East Coast. The Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal Virginia is linked by rail line to Norfolk.

History

See History of Virginia

The History of Virginia began with the settlement of the geographic region now known as the Commonwealth of Virginia in the U.S. thousands of years ago by Native Americans. Permanent European settlement began with English settlers at Jamestown in 1607. Tobacco emerged as a profitable export crop, and the Virginia Colony became the richest and largest British colonies in North America. The year 2007 marked the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement at Jamestown.

As one of the original 13 United States which won their independence from Great Britain during the American Revolution, Virginia produced more national leaders than any state, including four of the first five presidents (Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe). The new state gave up its western lands to form Kentucky and Ohio. During the first half of the 19th century, Virginia grew less rapidly than industrial states to the north, or cotton states to the south. The state exported young people and slaves to form plantations and farms to the west and south.

Virginia was a slave state but refused to join the cotton states in the new Confederacy until Lincoln called for troops to invade the Confederacy. Then it seceded and Richmond became the new Confederate capital. After many decades of sectional hostility in 1861 West Virginia broke away as a separate state and joined the Union.

With the Yankees intent on capturing Richmond, Virginia became the main battlefield of the war, which it lost in 1865 as its greatest general, Robert E. Lee, surrendered.

Reconstruction brought the liberation of the state's slaves, and proved less contentious than elsewhere in the South. Virginia was poor after 1865, though the new popularity of cigarettes boosted its tobacco industry. After 1940, prosperity returned. World War II gave the state a major naval and industrial economic base. Desegregation of schools and the integration of African Americans in many other aspects of the society were major issues from the 1950s to the 1970s and the changes did not come without considerable efforts. However, in 1989 Douglas Wilder became the first elected black governor anywhere in the country. By the 1980s the suburban fringes of Washington D.C. known as Northern Virginia saw the greatest growth and prosperity, a trend which was also seen in the Hampton Roads region.

Politically, the state was a stronghold of conservative Democrats for most of the 20th century, with a new strength shown by conservative Republicans in the final decade. In the early 21st century, funding for transportation needs emerged as the most controversial single issue.

In partisan terms, the two parties compete furiously for the legislature and the governorship. In presidential elections Virginia was reliably Republican from 1968 until 2004, but in 2008 Obama won, thanks to the growing liberal strength in the Washington suburbs.

Mother of Presidents

Virginia is often called the Mother of Presidents or Birthplace of Presidents because eight U.S. Presidents have been born in there. Four of the first five presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe, were Virginians. The remaining Presidents from Virginia are William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson. Many of their Virginia homes such as Jefferson's Monticello and Washington's Mount Vernon are popular tourist destinations.[10]

Virginia is perhaps the only state in the U.S. to have been the birthplace of four presidents of a foreign nation, Liberian presidents Joseph Jenkins Roberts, James Spriggs Payne, Anthony W. Gardiner, and Sam Houston, first president of the Republic of Texas. [11]

See also

References

  1. Michael Gerson, "A Virginia Model For a GOP Comeback?" '"Washington Post Aug. 28, 2009
  2. http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761554210/Delmarva_Peninsula.html
  3. Memories of a Lewis Mountain Man by John W. Stoneberger published by Potomac Appalachian Trail Club
  4. http://www.patc.net/store/PC320.htm
  5. http://www.state.va.us/cmsportal2/facts_and_history_4096/facts_4104/trivia_facts.html
  6. http://www.netstate.com/states/symb/seals/va_seal.htm
  7. http://legis.state.va.us/cap_class/4-5/4_5_emb_symb.html#Emblems
  8. http://legis.state.va.us/cap_class/4-5/4_5_emb_symb.html#Emblems
  9. http://legis.state.va.us/cap_class/4-5/4_5_emb_symb.html#Emblems
  10. http://www.virginia.org/site/features.asp?featureID=94
  11. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/sam-houston-born


http://www.virginia.gov/cmsportal3/

Personal tools