Tags: US State Facts | Virginia History | Jamestown | Old Dominion | American Revolution

Virginia History: 8 Events That Shaped the State

By    |   Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:32 PM

Virginia history includes being one of the 13 original colonies, the first permanently settled region by the English. The Jamestown, Va. colony was founded in 1607 along the James River, and the state was the birthplace of eight U.S. Presidents, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

Known as "Old Dominion," Virginia played a key role in the American Revolution and U.S. Civil War, among other historical moments. Here are eight events that shaped the state:

1. Dunmore's War, a 1774 fight between the Virginia colony and Native Americans of the Ohio Valley. After seeing increased attacks on settlers, Virginia's Royal Governor, Lord Dunmore, marched to Fort Pitt. He commanded Colonel Andrew Lewis, of the state's southwestern militia, to convene along the Ohio River, says United States History. After Lewis' won at the Battle of Point Pleasant, Dunmore negotiated a peace treaty with the Delaware, Mingo, and Shawnee chiefs that kept them away from an area south of the Ohio River

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2. During the Revolutionary War years, several events took place in the city, including Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death" speech delivered in 1775 at St. John's Church, in Richmond. The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, written by Thomas Jefferson, was also passed in Virginia.

3. Virginia was the site of many skirmishes with the British, including the Battle of the Chesapeake and the Battle of Yorktown both in 1781.

4. Virginia became the 10th state of the Union on June 25, 1788.

5. The War of 1812. While still a young nation, the United States went to war with the U.K. of Great Britain and Ireland, its North American colonies and its American Indian allies. Virginia saw action locally when Britain troops tried to capture Norfolk in 1813 via Craney Island, according to The Society of the War of 1812 Virginia. They also regularly attacked towns and plantations on Chesapeake Bay. The military remained on alert through the signing of the Treaty of Ghent on Christmas Eve 1814.

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6. The city of Richmond became the capital of the Confederate States of America, or the Confederacy, during the U.S. Civil War, as more than half of the battles were fought on Virginia soil. General Robert E. Lee's surrender also took place at Appomattox Courthouse, in Appomattox County, Va., on April 9, 1865.

7.
On Oct. 8, 1869, the state voted to ratify the 14th and 15th Amendments in order to be readmitted to the United States. President Ulysses S. signed the act Jan. 26, 1870, ending the era of Reconstruction in Virginia.

8. The desegregation of Virginia public schools began Feb. 2, 1959, as the state government's resistance began to end. During a period that lasted more than a decade, African Americans earned their way into schools through federal lawsuits that forced the state to comply with the Supreme Court's 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education (Topeka, Kansas), which made the desegregation of public schools the law.

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One of the 13 original colonies, Virginia was the first permanently settled region by the English. The Jamestown, Va. colony was founded in 1607 along the James River, and the state was the birthplace of eight U.S. Presidents, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
Virginia History, Jamestown, Old Dominion, American Revolution
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2015-32-23
Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:32 PM
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