Virginia was the first American colony, dating back to 1584.
For many years it was the largest colony and later the largest state in population.
In the 1600s and 1700s Virginia consisted of huge amounts of land to the west, extending all the way to the Mississippi River.
This territory was later divided into the states of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Virginia is one of four states that call themselves commonwealths. The others are Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Massachusetts.