Brief History of Virginia

By | May 19, 2022

Population: 8 096.604 thousand people (2011)
Area: 110785.0 sq. km

In the east of the United States, one of the South Atlantic states is located – Virginia, which is the 10th in a row. According to, its capital is the city of Richmond. The list of major cities in the region includes Virginia Beach, Alexandria, Lynchburg, Norfolk, Newport News, Roanoke, Portsmouth, Hampton.

The eastern part of the state is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Its southern territories pass near Tennessee and North Carolina, in the west – with Kentucky, in the northeast – with the District of Columbia and the state of Maryland. Located in the east of the state, the Delmarva Peninsula is separated from the province by the Chesapeake Bay. Much of eastern Virginia is swampy. The western territories of the state are in close proximity to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, which include the famous Blue Ridge and the Cumberland Plateau.

Among natural reservoirs, the largest are the Shenandoah, Roanoke, Potomac, Rappahanno rivers. Most of the territory is covered with forests. It has hot summers and mild winters due to the humid subtropical climate. In ancient times, the territory of the present state was the homeland of the Indian tribes of Meherrin, Chicahomini, Cherokee, monks, who belonged to three ethnic groups. The largest of these was the Algonquian, as well as the Sioux and the Iroquois.

During the colonization of the lands of North America by England, the region was named Virginia in honor of Queen Elizabeth I, which means virgin. In the first half of the 17th century, the London Company was founded in the province, which financed the first capital of the state, Jamestown, and other settlements that formed in these places.

The state’s subsequent capital city was Richmond in 1780. At the end of June 1788, Virginia became the 10th state of the country. It was she who in the postwar years remained the political center of the country for a long time. The local land is rich in minerals, including sand, stone, coal, and, to a lesser extent, oil and gas. Large military bases of the country are based here. The main industries are – chemical, rubber, tobacco, food. The service sector and tourism, poultry farming, fishing and seafood production are developed.


Population: 140,024 thousand people (2007)
Area: 39.9 sq. km
Founded: 1749
Time zone: UTC-5
Altitude: 12 m
Zip code: 22314

The city of Alexandria lies on the west coast of the Potomac River. It is located in relative proximity to the capital of the country. The cities are separated by only 10 kilometers of the highway. The first settlement on the site of present-day Alexandria was founded by the British at the end of the 17th century. The city itself was formed a little later: in the middle of the 18th century. The purpose of its foundation was the need to create a port city and a transshipment point for navigating the river. See Virginia counties.

The embankment, eastern and southeastern part of Alexandria is occupied by a historical district with many old buildings. Here are located: antique shops and jewelry boutiques, art galleries and art salons, luxurious mansions and houses of famous natives, in particular General Robert Lee. The building of the former torpedo factory is now occupied by the Arts Center with exhibition halls and artists’ workshops.

The oldest residential area in the traditional American style was built in the first quarter of the 20th century. It was originally a suburb of Rosemont, but over time it became part of Alexandria. Its main attraction is Shather’s Hill, a low hill. It is dominated by the George Washington National Memorial. There is an observation deck on the hill, which offers an amazing view of Alexandria.

The city district of Berg is notable for the Market Square. In its place was previously a slave market. The Del Rey area is famous for hosting the annual street festival. During festive events, artists draw tourists and residents of the city. Alexandria is famous for its numerous parks, museums and recreational areas.


Population: 435.619 thousand people (2006)
Area: 1288.1 sq. km
Founded: 1888
Time zone: UTC-5, summer UTC-4
Altitude: 6 m
Zip code: 23451

On the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, in the southeastern part of the state, lies the city of Virginia Beach. The area it occupies, the Europeans began to develop from the beginning of the 17th century. In those days, the British, who arrived in the southern harbor of the Chesapeake Bay, named the local part of the coast of Cape Henry: in honor of the son of King James I, then sitting on the English throne. The city itself was founded here at the end of the 19th century. It began to actively develop as a resort after the opening of the railway transport and electricity. At the same time, the first hotel under the romantic name “Princess Anna” was built on the coast.

Now modern Virginia Beach is the most prosperous and largest city in the state. Within its boundaries there are three military bases, two universities, many medical, cultural and educational institutions. The city is famous for the longest public beach, well-groomed amusement parks and museums. The most popular is the pirate ship “Lost Pearl” – the original copy of the Spanish galleon.

Brief History of Virginia