West Virginia Facts and History

Abbreviated as WV on abbreviationfinder.org, West Virginia is one of the states of the South Atlantic (United States); it is bordered by very irregular and partly natural limits with Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Kentucky. The territory includes different morphological areas, namely the Ohio Valley region, with a variable height between 150 and 300 m., Very fertile for agriculture, crossed by navigable waterways, rich in centers, among the most populous of the state (in total about 21,000 sq. km.); the Cumberland plateau with a height ranging between 300 and 600 m., which extends parallel to the previous one from Pennsylvania to the Tug Valley, covering an area of ​​almost 17,000 sq km. and finally, to the east, the region of Allegani, very mountainous, characteristic for the parallelism of the valleys and chains, which reaches almost 1500 m at its highest point, with an average altitude between 600 and 1200 m. The climate is strongly influenced by the altitude conditions and has an essentially continental character. Hydrographically, the state belongs in the north-eastern section to the Potomac basin (Atlantic Ocean) and in the remainder to that of Ohio (Mississippi-Gulf of Mexico). The population of West Virginia has increased significantly: 58,173 residents in 1790; 302,313 in 1850; 958,800 in 1900; 1,729,205 in 1930, living in 55 counties, of which 4 exceed 100 residents per sq. km. In all, only 10 cities have more than 10,000 inhabitants. with Huntington’s maximum (75,572) over Ohio; at the northern end, on the same river, is the large steel center of Wheeling (61,659 inhabitants). The population is predominantly made up of Whites (93.3%); little element black (6.6%) and other color (0.1%). Out of 100 Whites, only 3.2 were born abroad (51,260 individuals, especially Italians, 12,088; Poles, 5545; British, 3282; Germans, 3129; Hungarians, 3683, etc.).

According to countryaah.com, West Virginia has considerable agricultural value: the number of farms was 93,000 in 1900; 82,641 in 1930, covering an area equal to 57.3% of the total area of ​​the state. The main productions concern cereals, vegetables, potatoes, fruit, but above all tobacco. The most productive counties in this regard are those of Cabell, Lincoln, Mason and Putnam in the west section, crossed by the Kanawha River. In 1935 the livestock patrimony was 100,000 horses; 530,000 cattle (of which 270,000 dairy); 552,000 sheep; 207,000 pigs. Overall, 21% of the population over the age of 10 were employed in the various agricultural activities of the country in 1930.

The climate and morphological conditions have greatly favored the development of the forest, covering an area of ​​almost 37,000 sq. Km, widespread above all in the eastern and southern counties (oaks, poplars, white pine, etc.): therefore the industry of the timber.

But it is to the mines that West Virginia owes its greatest importance: in 1929 as many as 106,300 people were employed in this activity, of which 99,000 in the extraction of fossil coal; in this respect the state occupies the 2nd place in the Union, after Pennsylvania. Production rose from 64 million tons per year in the period 1911-1915 to 124 million in 1926-1930, to drop to 87 million in the years 1931-1934. The coal deposits extend over 43,000 sq km. affecting almost all the counties. Most of the coal production is exported. The production of oil and natural gas is also notable. About 1/5 of the active population is employed in the mining industries. Large industry was 33,000 strong in 1899; of 64,000 in 1909; of 85,300 in 1929; of 68,000 in 1933. The iron and steel industries emerge (iron and steel) with 13,000 workers; mechanical and railway ones (10,000 workers); glass (11,000), wood (8000), terracotta (5700), chemical industries (2000), etc.

The fundamental district is that of Wheeling (22,417 workers) which is completed in neighboring Ohio, bringing the total number of employees to 46,000 in the Wheeling Industrial Area (mainly iron and steel production).

The state has excellent waterways, a good railway network, which rises from 566 km. in 1860 to 6400 in 1933; the number of motor vehicles is also noteworthy (5144 in 1913; 227,000 in 1933).


Until 1669 the western territory of Virginia was perhaps completely unknown. Several Indian tribes claimed rights over it, against which the English colonists fought a bloody battle at Point Pleasant in 1774. The society that settled here was very different from that of eastern Virginia: the English dominance was less; slavery did not prevail. Until the middle of the century. XIX West Virginia formed a single state with Eastern Virginia. But in the 1861 convention, only 9 of the 46 West Virginia delegates voted for secession, and soon after May 13, a 25-county assembly was held in Wheeling, and a second on June 11, which declared the vote null and void. secession and formed a state government later recognized in Washington on the 19th of the month. Virginia thus had two simultaneous governments. The convention decided on August 20 to hold elections on October 24 to get his action passed and to create a new state. On May 3, 1862, the new statute was ratified. On December 31, the new state was admitted into the Union, with the pact that it would include in the constitution a clause for the gradual abolition of slavery; having done this, the state was formally admitted on June 19, 1863. The republican party dominated it until 1872; after, for twenty years, the Democrats, but the development of the industry brought about a change and later the state often had a republican majority. In 1907 the state of Virginia, which as early as 1866 had tried to remove two counties from the new state.

West Virginia Facts and History

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