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Virginia, also known by its official name, the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state located in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic areas of the United States. Both the geology and climate of the Commonwealth are influenced by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, both of which are important sources of habitat for a significant portion of the state's flora and wildlife. Richmond is the name of the city that serves as the capital of the Commonwealth; Virginia Beach is the most populated city, and Fairfax County is the most populous governmental unit. In the year 2020, the population of the Commonwealth was estimated to be over 8.65 million, with 36 percent of that number residing in the metropolitan region that encompasses Baltimore and Washington.

The history of the region began with various indigenous people, one of which is known as the Powhatan. The London Company founded the Colony of Virginia in 1607 as the first permanent English colony in the New World. This colony was located in the state of Virginia. The position of Virginia as a "Old Dominion" is reflected in the state's popular moniker. Slave labour and land purchased from relocated native tribes powered the burgeoning economics of the plantation economy, but they also sparked disputes both inside and outside of the colony. During the American Revolution, Virginia was one of the original Thirteen Colonies, and it was the site of many of the conflicts that ultimately led to the United States independence. During the American Civil War, the state of Virginia was divided when the state government in Richmond joined the Confederacy. Many of the counties in the state's northwestern region, however, wanted to remain loyal to the Union, and these counties eventually helped form the state of West Virginia in 1863. Despite the fact that the Commonwealth was governed by a single party for over a century after the end of the Reconstruction period, both of the main political parties are competitive in contemporary Virginia.

The Virginia General Assembly serves as the state legislature for the Commonwealth of Virginia. It was first convened in July 1619, which makes it the oldest continuously operating legislature in all of North America. It consists of a Senate with 40 members and a House of Delegates with 100 members in total. The state government is unusual in that it oversees local roadways, treats cities and counties with equal respect, and does not let governors to serve more than two consecutive terms in office. There are many different industries that contribute to Virginia's economy, including agriculture in the Shenandoah Valley, high technology and federal agencies in Northern Virginia (including the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency), and military facilities in Hampton Roads, which is the location of the region's primary seaport.