1764 to 1824
From British Colony to American State
British taxation–introduced to pay for a British military presence in America–was unexpected and resented by Virginia gentry, who began to view British policy as a plot against their liberty. They played leading roles in the Continental Congresses that debated independence, the fighting of the American Revolution, and the conception and implementation of a new government. Virginia also provided four of the new nation’s first five presidents. Virginia leaders advocated equality for all but never considered extending it to women and African Americans.