Driver's Fabulous Fourth Grade

Smile it's contagious.

Virginia Studies 10 (VS10) Notes

VS10a Virginia State Government

The Virginia State Government is made up of three parts called branches. Each branch has a different function, or purpose. These three branches of state government make sure that Virginia laws agree with the state constitution.

The Legislative Branch

The General Assembly is the legislative branch of Virginia’s government. This branch of government makes state laws. It is divided into two parts: the Senate and the House of Delegates. The Senate has 40 members called senators and the presiding officer is the Lieutenant Governor. Senators are elected to serve for four years. The House of Delegates has 100 members called delegates who are elected to serve for two years. The presiding officer is the Speaker.

The Executive Branch

The governor heads the executive branch of the state government and makes sure that state laws are carried out. The governor also is responsible for signing all new laws. He or she is elected for a four-year term.

The Judicial Branch

The judicial branch is Virginia’s court system. The courts decide cases about people accused of breaking the law and whether or not a law agrees with Virginia’s constitution. The highest officials in the judicial branch include justices and judges.

VS10b Virginia’s Major Industries and Products

Virginia has five geographic regions. Each region has its own products and industries.

The Coastal Plain

The Coastal Plain region of Virginia has several main industries. They include shipbuilding, tourism, and federal military bases. The area around Hampton Roads is the center of Virginia’s shipbuilding industry. Ships from freighters to submarines are built there. The tourist industry is one of the most important industries in the state. Every year thousands of tourists visit our beaches, theme parks, and historical sites. Our federal military bases hire more people in Virginia than any other industry. The major product of the Coastal Plain is seafood and peanuts.

The Piedmont

The Piedmont region of Virginia has several main industries. They include technology, federal and state government offices, farming, and horse industries. Many companies specializing in computers are located in this region. Federal and state government offices can be found in the northern part of this region as well as in the state capital of Richmond. Farmland dominates this region. Tobacco does well in the iron-rich soil. The major products of the Piedmont region include tobacco products (cigarettes and pipe tobacco) and information technology (computers).

The Blue Ridge Mountains

The main industry in the Blue Ridge Mountains region is the recreation industry and farming. The mountains of this region offer miles of trails and numerous campgrounds. The main product of this region is apples. Apples from this region are shipped all over the country.

Valley and Ridge

The main industry of the Valley and Ridge region is farming. Its main products are apples and poultry. The soil in this region is good for growing fruit trees. Like the mountain region, the apples of this region are shipped all over the United States. Poultry, such as chickens and turkeys, is an important farm product in the Shenandoah Valley. Most of the chicken you eat is raised in this region. Also produced here are dairy products and beef.

Appalachian Plateau

The main industry of the Appalachian Plateau is coal mining and its main product is coal. Coal is one of Virginia’s most valuable resources. Its most important use is in making electricity. Virginia’s coal is used to make electricity around the world. Thousands of Virginians find work in coal mines and on the railroads that transport the coal.

VS 10c Virginia’s Economy Today

Advances in transportation, communications, agriculture, and technology impact our economy today. Highways, railroads, ports, and air transportation makes up Virginia’s transportation system as raw materials are transported to factories and finished products to markets across the country. Virginia continues to produce and export agricultural and manufactured products, which includes tobacco, poultry, coal, and ships. Virginia’s industries produce goods and services that are used throughout the United States.

Virginia is also known for its communications and technology industries. Because of the many government agencies and military installations, many federal workers live and work in Virginia. Of course, tourism plays a major part in Virginia’s economy. People come to enjoy many different types of recreation.

All of these advances have led to an increase in the number of people and businesses that have chosen to move to Virginia. Increased migration has led to more economic development and prosperity. As a result, Virginia plays a major role in the nation’s economy today.