History of West Virginia

West Virginia (West Virginia) was part of the Virginia colony that was ceded to the Virginia Company in 1606. However, it remained unexplored until 1669 when John Lederer ventured into the Blue Ridge. A little later, in 1671, Thomas Batts and Robert Fallam explored the region in search of fur animals. Both France and Great Britain claimed this territory. The former organized an expedition led by La Salle, in 1681, and the latter, the expedition of Batts and Fallam. The conflicts between the two nations that later resulted in the Indian Wars ended with the Treaty of Paris (1763),

The first settlements in West Virginia appear to have been founded in the Ohio Valley between 1727 and 1730, when some German settlers from the Pennsylvania colony settled in New Mecklenburg, (now Shepherdstown), in search of greater religious freedom. These settlers were followed by others, Irish, Scots and Germans. There were serious problems between the Indian tribes and the settlers, for this King George III forbade the construction of settlements, unless after the approval of the Indian tribes. In 1768 treaties for land transfer were signed with the Cherokee and Iroquois, so the settlers continued the occupation of the fertile lands between the Allegheny Mountains and the Ohio Valley.

The Allegheny Mountains barrier isolated the settlers of these lands from the colony’s administrative center in the coastal city of Williamsburg. Therefore, in 1776, when the declaration of independence took place, the colonists of West Virginia asked for a government of their own. However, when Virginia became a member of the United States, West Virginia was still part of it. The differences between the two territories that now form Virginia and West Virginia increased due to the different economic activities.

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While Virginia was an aristocratic state, dependent on the slave system, West Virginia was inhabited by poorly represented peasants in the legislative chamber. Thus, resentment grew in West Virginia, which was reflected in the lack of investment in transportation, new industries and educational institutions. These facts explain why at the outbreak of the Civil War (1860-1865), the majority of West Virginia citizens did not support secession and chose to support Union troops. To corroborate this disagreement with the Richmond government, they created the state of Kanawha (‘the place of white stone or salt’), and sent volunteers to fight for the Union. And in 1862, they approved a constitution and asked for admission to the United States, which was granted in 1863. After the war Virginia asked West Virginia to recreate the old state, but it was decided to continue as an independent state. This decision, however, initiated a lawsuit between the two entities as Virginia wanted West Virginia to assume some of the debt that the state of Virginia had incurred prior to the secession. The Supreme Court of the United States in 1915 agreed with Virginia and so West Virginia had to return more than $ 23 million to Virginia until 1939.

After the Civil War, West Virginia based its economy on the exploitation of salt mines, forestry activities and, above all, coal mining. In 1815, natural gas was discovered which was used as fuel for some salt industries in the Kanawha Valley. The coal mines, although discovered in 1742, were not exploited until the final expansion of the railway. The large deposits of this solid fuel made both the state and most of its workers dependent on mining. Thus, when coal lost interest as a major source of energy after World War II, the state of West Virginia suffered a severe economic crisis that forced the United States Congress to approve special development plans for the area, where there was a shortage of infrastructure. The oil crisis, which began in 1973, supposed a small recovery of the state’s mining industry. Today, the state authorities base their economic plans on the creation and diversification of the industrial fabric and, above all, on the promotion of West Virginia as a tourist destination, thanks to the beauty of its few natural spaces.

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Charleston capital of West Virginia

Charleston, largest city and capital of the state of West Virginia (West Virginia). Charleston is located in the central western part of the state, at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha rivers. Its main economic activities are related to the extraction and distribution of raw materials such as coal, oil, natural gas and wood, as well as the manufacture of glass products, chemicals and metals. The most important tourist sites are the University of Charleston (1888) formerly called Morris Harvey College, Coonskin Park, Sunrise, (the restored building now houses a planetarium and an art museum), the State Capitol, designed from architect Cass Gilbert and completed in 1932, and the Cultural Center located in the Campidoglio complex, in which there is a theater and the state museum. In 1788, Colonel George Clendenin had a border detachment built, called Fort Lee. Later, Scottish, Irish and German immigrants settled in the vicinity of this fort. The community was originally called Charles Town, in honor of Clendenin’s father, but in 1818 the name was changed to the current Charleston. During the US Civil War, the city was occupied by Union forces after the Battle of Charleston (November 13, 1862). It became the state capital from 1870 until 1875 and permanently,

West Virginia State Flag

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