West Virginia Overview

West Virginia Overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, West Virginia is the northeastern state of the United States; It borders Ohio and Pennsylvania to the north, Maryland to the northeast, Virginia to the east and south, and Kentucky and Ohio to the west. The Potomac River shapes the northeast border of West Virginia; the waterways of the Tug Fork and Big Shandy establish almost the entire southwestern boundary, and the Ohio River does the same for the western and northwestern boundaries. According to CountryAAH.com, West Virginia main cities are Charleston (the capital), Huntington, Wheeling, Parkersburg and Morganton.


Archaeological remains show that the Adena culture (c. 1000-100 BC) flourished along the Ohio and Kanawha rivers, and that West Virginia was occupied by Aboriginal peoples in the mid-17th century. The state territory became the scene of wars when the Shawnee of neighboring Ohio tried to stop the advance of the white settlers.

East and West Virginia could have settled their differences amicably, as it seemed they were doing in the 1850s, had it not been for the outbreak of the American Civil War.. The unionists opposed the separation of Virginia and, before their military conquests in June and July 1861, the separatist leaders organized first the so-called restored government of Virginia (whose headquarters was in Wheeling), followed, later, by a state government independent, which entered the Union as West Virginia on June 20, 1863.

The bituminous coal industry — which lies under roughly two-thirds of the state — has shaped West Virginia’s history since the 1870s. The development of mining unions and the resistance of mine owners to their demands led to sporadic fierce fighting. between 1912 and 1954. Later, West Virginia tended to diversify its economy.

Territory and resources

West Virginia has an area of ​​62,755 km². The altitude of the territory varies from 73 m, along the Potomac River, to 1,482 m at the top of the Spruce Knob.

The entire western part of the state lies on folded sedimentary rocks. Two are the physiographic regions of West Virginia: the Valley and Ridge region and the Allegheny Mountains. In the first, to the east, the limestone rocks are strongly folded, creating narrow and jagged mountain ranges. The Allegheny Mountains straddle the eastern edge of the Appalachian system. The main rivers are the Ohio, the Monongahela and the Kanawha.

West Virginia has a humid continental climate. Summer storms sometimes cause severe flooding. About three-quarters of West Virginia is covered with forests. Dominant tree species are beech, tree tulip, the maple sugar, the chestnut, the red oak, the white oak, the hemlock, the hickory, the Virginia pine and pitch pine.

In terms of fauna, large mammals include the white-tailed or Virginia deer and the American black bear, and among the smallest, the red and gray fox, the badger, the raccoon, the cottontail rabbit, the gray squirrel and the American marmot.

Mining is focused on the extraction of bituminous coal. The state has remained in the top two or three for the nation’s annual coal production since the early 1900s. Besides coal, other important minerals are oil and natural gas. Due to its rugged topography, West Virginia does not have significant agricultural production. The most prominent agricultural products are: cattle (veal), poultry and turkey breeding, dairy products, and the cultivation of apples, corn and hay; the production of eggs, the raising of pigs and sheep, as well as the cultivation of oats, wheat, tobacco, peaches (peach trees), cherry trees and mulberry trees are equally important. Wood from second-growth oak, yellow poplar, beech, and other hardwoods are exploited in large quantities.

The most prominent manufacturing industries are primary metals (especially iron, steel,and aluminum), glass, ceramics, industrial machinery, printing materials, wood products, processed foods, electronic equipment, textiles, and clothing.

The chief executive is a governor popularly elected for a period of four years and who cannot serve more than two consecutive terms. At the national level, West Virginia sends two senators and three representatives to the United States Congress.


West Virginia is one of the poorest states in the United States. Due to its strongly unionized political tradition, it was traditionally associated with the Democratic Party , which is why it was mostly represented by Democratic senators, governors and representatives, such as Robert Byrd , who died in June 2010 , the doyen of the Democratic Senate faction and senator with the longest term in office to date . Representatives in the United States Senate until 2014 were Jay Rockefeller and former Governor Joe Manchin . At the midterm elections in November 2014, Rockefeller’s Senate seat fell to the Republican Shelley Moore Capito . This means that West Virginia will be represented by a woman for the first time and again by a Republican senator in 55 years. The Democrat Manchin was re-elected in 2018 and is thus elected to the Senate until 2024 ..  In presidential elections , West Virginia was also considered to belong to the Democratic camp until 2000; it was one of only six states to vote for Jimmy Carter and against Ronald Reagan in 1980 . However, the state, the inhabitants of which, in addition to the economically political left, also largely represented a conservative position in socio-political matters and evangelicals ,are close to free churches, have always voted for the candidate of the Republican Party in presidential elections since 2000 and can therefore now be counted among the Red States.

In the 2016 US presidential election , 67.9% of West Virginia voters voted for Republican candidate Donald Trump. This was the highest proportion nationwide.

West Virginia Overview

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