History of Virginia

History of Virginia 1520 – 1899

1520
  • 1520s-1646

    American Indians

    The American Indians first encountered European settlers. Warfare between American Indians and European settlers almost led to the extinction of the Powhatan tribe.

  • 1619

    Slavery

    The first African slaves arrived in Jamestown.

  • 1660s-1670s

    Slave Codes Enacted

    Interracial marriages were banned. A mother’s enslaved status was inherited by her children and enslaved people are not allowed to own property, bear arms, or travel without permission.

  • 1669

    Slavery

    Virginia voted to banish any white person who marries a Black, mulatto, or Native American. Virginia became the first colony to declare that it is not a crime to kill an unruly enslaved person.

  • 1758

    Black Churches

    The African Baptist (or Bluestone Church) was founded on the William Byrd plantation, becoming the first known Black church in North America.

  • 1782

    Emancipation Act

    Virginia’s Emancipation Act increased the number of emancipated African Americans by the thousands.

  • 1820-1860

    Underground Railroad

    Many enslaved persons escaped through the Underground Railroad.

  • 1831

    Free Blacks

    Nat Turner, an enslaved preacher, led a revolt against slaveholders.

  • 1850

    Fugitive Slave Act

    The Act rewarded individuals who captured slaves escaping to freedom.

  • 1863

    Emancipation Proclamation

    The Emancipation Proclamation stated that those held as slaves in rebellious states were to be declared free.

  • 1865

    Bureau of Refugees Freemen and Abandoned Lands

    The Bureau was established and provided assistance to former slaves and poor whites in the southern states and the District of Columbia.

  • 1866

    Vagrancy Act

    The Act Providing for the Punishment of Vagrants forced individuals who appeared to be unemployed or homeless into employment for up to three months. If the individuals left their employment, they were forced to work without payment while wearing chains. The law targeted recently freed African Americans who were searching for work and their families. The Act remained law until 1904.

  • 1874-1975

    Separate but Equal

    Virginia passed laws that mandated “separate but equal” status for people of color which remained until 1975.

  • 1950

    Residential Segregation

    Residential segregation was removed from the Code of Virginia.

  • 1951

    Education

    Black students demanded that they receive education that was equal to white students. The NAACP filed a case in the Supreme Court which became known as Brown v. Board of Education.

  • 1952

    Black teachers were paid one-half, then two thirds, and finally the same salaries as whites.

  • 1958

    Schools

    Under court order, several schools that were about to integrate were closed. The Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals overturned the school closing law. A federal court issued a verdict against the school closing law based on the “equal protection” clause in the 14th amendment.

  • 1959

    Education

    Tuition grants from the state and tax credits from the county allowed for the funding of private schools to educate white children as a way to resist school integration. In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed Virginia’s tuition grants for private education.

  • 1966

    Education

    The U.S. Supreme Court banned literacy tests which were used to determine voter qualification in elections. Virginia removed the literacy tests.

  • 1972

    Housing

    Virginia’s Fair Housing Law was passed.

  • 1974

    Housing

    Congress amended the Developmental Act of 1937 to include the creation of tenant-based housing programs, known as Section 8. In 1976, the Virginia Housing Developmental Authority started financing and administering the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program.

  • 1980

    Housing

    The Virginia Housing Developmental Authority became the first Housing Agency in the U.S. to encourage landlords to upgrade apartments and rent them to low-income families.

  • 1987

    Health

    The Community Health Improvement Plan of Virginia was established.

  • 1987

    Housing

    The Virginia Housing Developmental Authority began implementing the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program.

  • 1990s

    Native Americans

    Six Native American tribes (Chickahominy Tribe, Chickahominy- Eastern Division Tribe, Monacan Nation, Nansemond Tribe, and the Upper Mattaponi Tribe) pursued federal recognition through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. To date, the Pamunkey and Mattaponi Reservations are the only reservations left in Virginia. They are two of the oldest reservations in the nation.

  • 2001

    Education

    Inclusive Schools Week began as an annual event to celebrate the progress that schools have made in providing support and quality education to an increasingly diverse population.

  • 2016

    Native Americans

    The Pamunkey Tribe became the first Virginian tribe to achieve federal recognition.

  • 2016-2017

    Immigrant Communities

    Anti-immigrant bills, including anti-sanctuary and anti-refugee legislation were defeated. A motion was filed for a temporary restraining order on the enforcement of the President’s travel ban as it applied to visa and green card holders arriving at Dulles International Airport.

  • 2017

    The Commonwealth Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion was created that will identify policy changes to combat intolerance, expand opportunity for all, and make Virginia a more open and inclusive to people from every walk of life.


 

Sources

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  • “History – Archived.” CHIP of Virginia. n.d. Web.
  • “Senate Joint Resoultion NO.427.” LIS Virginia. N.p., 20 Feb. 2017. Web. < https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+ful+SJ427+pdf>.
  • “Virginia Fair Housing Law.” law.lis.virginia.gov. Commonwealth of Virginia, n.d. Web.
  • “Commonwealth Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.” Commonwealth of Virginia – Governor Terry McAuliffe. N.d. Web.
  • McAuliffe, Terence R., Governor. “Executive Order Number Sixty Nine (2017).” (n.d.): n. pag. Establishing the Commonwealth Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, 2017. Web.
  • “Section 8 Tenant-Based Housing Assistance: A Look Back After 30 Years. www.huduser.gov. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Mar.2000
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  • “History – Setting National Precedents in Enforcement.” Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia, Inc. N.p., n.d. Web.
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  • “Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, 1862.” National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. Web.
  • “Records of the Field Offices for the State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872.” (n.d.): n. pag. National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration. Web.
  • “The Emancipation Proclamation.” National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. Web.
  • “Underground Railroad in Washington D.C.” (n.d.): n. pag. National Park Service. National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. Web. <https://www.nps.gov/linc/planyourvisit/upload/underground-railroad-in-washington-dc.pdf>.
  • “Slavery and the Underground Railroad at the Eppes Plantations, Petersburg National Battlefield.” National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, n.d. Web.
  • “Timeline: Before 1700.” National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, n.d. Web.
  • “Nat Turner’s Rebellion.” PBS. Public Broadcasting Service, n.d. Web.
  • Thomas, William G. “Virginia’s “Massive Resistance to School Desegregation.” Virginia Center for Digital History. University of Virginia, n.d. Web.
  • “Slavery Takes Root in Colonial Virginia.” Digital History. University of Houston, n.d. Web.
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  • “Report from the Task Force on Diversifying Virginia’s Educator Pipeline.” education.virginia.gov/initiatives. Secretary of Education, Aug. 2017. Web.
  • Virginia Department of Education. “Virginia’s First People Past & Present: History.” Virginia Department of Education. Commonwealth of Virginia, n.d. Web.
  • “First People: The Early Indians of Virginia.” Virginia Department of Historic Resources. N.p., n.d. Web.
  • “Civil Rights Movements in Virginia: Massive Resistance.” Virginia Museum of History & Culture. Virginia Historical Society., n.d. Web.
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  • “Civil Rights Movements in Virginia: The Green Decision of 1968.” Virginia Museum of History & Culture. Virginia Historical Society., n.d. Web.
  • “Civil Rights Movements in Virginia: Voting Rights.” Virginia Museum of History & Culture. Virginia Historical Society., n.d. Web.
  • “Civil Rights Movements in Virginia: W. E. B. Du Bois and the NAACP.” Virginia Museum of History & Culture. Virginia Historical Society., n.d. Web.
  • Wynes, C. (1967). The Evolution of Jim Crow Laws in Twentieth Century Virginia. Phylon (1960-), 28(4), 416-425. doi:10.2307/274293