The Commonwealth of Virginia is located along the Atlantic coast. It was home to the first English settlement in North America and was named after Queen Elizabeth I of England (the Virgin Queen). The state produced key figures of the American Revolution such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe. Virginia later hosted several decisive battles during the American Civil War. Prior to the Civil War, Virginia’s economy relied heavily on tobacco. After the war, the economy diversified with the introduction of livestock and grain. Later, manufacturing became increasingly important with chemicals, food, and textiles among the top products. Today, Virginia’s leading industries are in the service sector. Some of this growth has come from the expansion of federal offices in Washington D.C.’s Northern Virginia suburbs.

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