Virginia

 

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Virginia: 37.431573, -78.656894

At the time of its first European contacts, Virginia may have been home to about 50,000 native Americans who were mostly subject to one man, Wahunsenacawh, of the Powhatan tribe. His daughter Pocahontas married John Rolfe in 1616, the settler who introduced a strain of tobacco that was to become the cash crop of Virginia. After the failure of the first English settlement of Roanoke founded by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1585, colonisation moved forward with the establishment of Jamestown and the Colony of Virginia in 1607 and the native population soon dwindled. The Virginia General Assembly was soon established in 1619 and is the oldest continuous law-making body in the Western Hemisphere. Virginia was admitted as a state in 1788 and provided four of the first five U.S. presidents including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Virginia is situated between Maryland and Washington, D.C. to the north and east, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, North Carolina and Tennessee to the south and Kentucky to the west. Although not an especially large state, it has widely varying geography divided into five regions: the Tidewater or coastal areas, the Piedmont plateau between the coast and the mountains, the Blue Ridge Mountains forming the eastern edge of the Appalachians, the Ridge and Valley within the Appalachians and the Cumberland Plateau. To add to the many natural attractions, the massive mouth of the Chesapeake Bay separates a small piece of Virginia from the rest of the state. Virginia’s capital is Richmond and its most populous city is Virginia Beach.

Virginia is one of the wealthiest states in the Union, with over four million government workers and one-third of its jobs in the service sector. Much of the civil service work is based in Northern Virginia bordering Washington, D.C. and home to numerous federal agencies including the Pentagon, Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. Geological Survey. It has the highest concentration of technology workers of any state, centred on the Dulles Technology Corridor, and its traditional exports of coal and tobacco were surpassed by computer chips as the highest-grossing export in 2006. In 2013, Virginia had one of the highest average Internet speeds in the world and 70% of the nation’s Internet traffic passed through its data centres. Remarkably though, agriculture still remains the largest single industry in the state, with over thirty percent of its land used to grow crops such as tomatoes, soy, peanuts, hay and tobacco.

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