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Jamestown, the very first permanent settlement in the New World was founded in Virginia in 1607. Numerous attempts at setting up industries in the colony failed, but in 1612, John Rolfe started planting tobacco and developed a method so that it could be exported. Tobacco quickly became the main industry in Virginia. On June 25, 1788, Virginia was admitted as the 10th state of the Union.
Virginia delayed the decision to cede from the Union in 1860, hoping for a compromise that would prevent war. But, in 1861, when the Civil War began Virginia joined with the Confederate States of America. Some counties remained loyal to the Union and established their own government and in 1863, became the state of West Virginia.
The service sector accounts for one-third of the total jobs in Virginia today. In 1999, the service sector generated as much revenue as the states retail and manufacturing industries combined. The largest component of the industry is business services, which includes both computer and data processing.
Virginia has a varied manufacturing industry that includes food processing, chemicals, transportation equipment, textiles and furniture. The state has a large dairy industry and produces tobacco and numerous vegetables. And, it ranks in the top ten coal producing states in the nation.
However, the states number one industry is government employment. Virginia is home to the Pentagon, the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters and numerous military bases. Other large employers include IBM and ExxonMobil. The northern region of the state has attracted so many technology companies, that it has became known as the "Silicon Valley of the East".
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