How Did Virginia Become a State?

Virginia became a state on June 25, 1788, by ratifying the United States Constitution, written primarily by Virginian James Madison. Virginia was the 10th state to ratify.

Virginia was one of the original colonies and was the first part of the new world that was settled successfully by the English. In 1607, Jamestown was founded. The state also was instrumental in the success of the American Revolution from 1775 to 1783 as many prominent men related to the war effort lived in the state during this time.

Virginia was also the birthplace of many of the U.S. presidents including James Madison, James Monroe, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Zachary Taylor, Woodrow Wilson, John Tyler and William Henry Harrison. In fact, Jefferson insisted that the first American law school be built in 1779 in Virginia at the College of William and Mary. The state also houses one of the most prestigious military cemeteries, the Arlington National Cemetery.

Despite its early entry into statehood, Virginia has had many border changes throughout the years. Nine counties were taken away in 1792 and given to Kentucky when Kentucky became a state. Then in 1863, some of the western parts of Virginia became the state of West Virginia.