The Commonwealth of Virginia (IPA: /vɝːˈdʒɪ.njə/) is a Southeastern state historically considered part of the Southern region of the United States of America. Named after Queen Elizabeth I of England, who was known as the Virgin Queen, this commonwealth was one of the thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution. Virginia was the first part of the Americas to be continuously inhabited by British colonists from its founding as a European colony up to the American Revolution. It included area explored by the 1584 expedition of Sir Walter Raleigh along the coast of North America, and at one time it also included Bermuda (or Virgineola). The London Virginia Company became incorporated as a joint stock company by a proprietary charter drawn up on April 10, 1606. The charter granted lands stretching from approximately the 34th parallel (North Carolina) north to approximately the 45th parallel (New York) and from the Atlantic Ocean westward. The Third Charter of 1612 extended its boundaries far enough across the Atlantic to incorporate Bermuda, which the company had possessed since 1609. The capital is Richmond and the most populous city is Virginia Beach. Due to the nature of independent cities in Virginia, the most populous local jurisdiction is Fairfax County in Northern Virginia. Independent cities and counties function in the same manner, and according to the US Census Bureau independent cities are considered county-equivalent.
Virginia is known as the "Mother of Presidents", because it is the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson), a number exceeded by no other state. Most of the United States' early presidents were from the state. Virginia has also been known as the "Mother of States" (sometimes "Mother of States and Statesmen") because portions of the original Colony subsequently became Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia as well as some portions of Ohio. Additionally, most of what is now Wisconsin and Michigan was also briefly claimed by Virginia during the Revolutionary War.