Virginia , officially 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. 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; Virginia Beach is the most populous city, and Fairfax County is the most populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth's estimated population is over 8.54million.
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 English colony in the New World. Virginia's state nickname, the Old Dominion, is a reference to this status. 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 while the First Wheeling Convention resolved to remain in the Union, leading to a split that created West Virginia. Although the Commonwealth was under one-party rule for nearly a century following Reconstruction, both major national parties are competitive in modern Virginia.
The Gunpowder Incident
(or Gunpowder Affair
) was a conflict early in the American Revolutionary War
between Lord Dunmore
, the Royal Governor of the Colony of Virginia
, and militia
led by Patrick Henry
On the night of April 20, 1775, well before news of the Battles of Lexington and Concord on the prior day had reached Virginia, Lord Dunmore ordered the removal of the gunpowder from the magazine (pictured) in Williamsburg, Virginia, which stored it for the militia. Royal marines went to loaded fifteen half barrels of powder into the governor's wagon, and began transporting it to the Royal Navy ship Magdalen in the James River.
The act was discovered by townsfolk while underway, and they sounded an alarm. Local militia rallied to the scene, and riders spread word of the incident across the colony. Patrick Henry led a small militia force toward Williamsburg to force return of the gunpowder to the colony's control, arguing that it was owned by the colony and not the Crown. The matter was resolved without conflict when a payment of £330 was made to Henry. Fearing for his personal safety after the incident, Dunmore later retreated to a naval vessel, ending of royal control of the colony.
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- Capital: Richmond, Virginia
- Total area: 110,862 sq.mi
- Highest elevation: 5,729 ft (Mount Rogers)
- Population (2010 census) 8,001,024
- Date Virginia joined the united States: June 25, 1788
- Governor: Ralph Northam (D)
- Lieutenant Governor: Justin Fairfax (D)
- Attorney General: Mark Herring (D)
- Senators: Tim Kaine (D), Mark Warner (D)
- Representatives: Rob Wittman (R-1st), Elaine Luria (D-2nd), Bobby Scott (D-3rd), Donald McEachin (D-4th), Denver Riggleman (R-5th), Ben Cline (R-6th), Abigail Spanberger (D-7th), Don Beyer (D-8th), Morgan Griffith (R-9th), Jennifer Wexton (D-10th), Gerry Connolly (D-11th)
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