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The province is deeply interlaced by tidal rivers and is dominated by the Northern Neck Peninsula, the Middle Peninsula, and the Virginia Peninsula—all west of Chesapeake Bay.

It has one of the longest continuous histories among the American states, dating from the settlement of Jamestown in the early 17th century.

Although during the American Civil War (1861–65) Richmond served as the capital of the Confederacy and Virginian Robert E.

Lee and other generals led Confederate forces, the state developed in the 20th century into a bridge state between the North and the South.

C., which lies across the Potomac River to the north.

Other areas of the state retain the tinge of conservatism developed over centuries of agricultural life and through aristocratic traditions that made the term synonymous with gentility and refinement.