1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Virginia

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

See also Virginia on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

15058291922 Encyclopædia Britannica — VirginiaWilliam Kenneth Boyd

VIRGINIA (see 28.117).—The pop. in 1920 was 2,309,187; an increase since 1910 of 247,575, or 12%, as against an increase for the decade 1900-10 of 207,428, or 11.2%. Negroes numbered 690,017, as compared with 671,096 in 1910. The urban pop. (in places having more than 2,500 inhabitants) was in 1920 29.2% and in 1910 23.1% of the whole.

The pop. of the principal cities and its increase were:—

1920 1910  Percentage 

 Richmond  171,667   127,628  34.5 
 Norfolk 115,777  67,452  71.6 
 Portsmouth 54,387  33,190  63.9 
 Roanoke 50,842  34,874  45.8 
 Newport News  35,596  20,205  76.2 
 Petersburg 31,012  24,127  28.5 
 Lynchburg 30,070  29,494  2.0 
 Danville 21,539  19,020  13.2 
 Alexandria 18,060  15,329  17.8 

The great increase in Newport News, Norfolk and Portsmouth was largely due to industries related to the World War.

Agriculture.—In 1920 Virginia ranked as twenty-third state in value of agricultural products, $187,038,000 as compared with {100,531,000 in 1908. The production of the staple crops was:—

1920 1909

 Corn (bus.) 50,100,000  38,295,141 
 Wheat (bus.) 11,425,000  8,076,989 
 Oats (bus.) 4,818,000  2,284,495 
 Rye (bus.) 864,000  438,345 
 Barley (bus.) 405,000  253,649 
 Buckwheat (bus.)  540,000  332,222 
 Tobacco (lb.)  177,390,000   132,979,390 
 Hay (tons) 1,235,000  823,383 
 Peanuts (bus.) 4,416,000  4,284,340 
 Potatoes (bus.) 13,608,000  8,770,778 
 Cotton (bales) 19,000  10,480 

An important element was the increased activity of the State Department of Agriculture. In addition to seed testing and the inspection of fertilizers a division of markets was established and plants were opened to supply lime to farmers at cost. Fruit crops in 1920 were large, the production of apples being 15,210,000 bus., peaches 1,470,000 and pears 296,000.

Minerals.—The mining and quarrying industry in 1919 showed a considerable increase since 1909 in the number of enterprises, a slight increase in the capital invested, and a large increase in the value of products. But there was a decrease in the number of individual mines and quarries and a slight decrease in the number of persons engaged in the industry. The statistics were:—

1919 1909  Per cent 

 Enterprises 202  150  34.7 
 Mines and quarries  216  244  -11.5 
 Persons engaged 15,537  15,960  -2.7 
 Wage earners 14,547  15,257  -4.7 
 Capital  $57,035,775   $55,992,693  1.9 
 Value of products 29,363,449  8,795,646  233.8 

Virginia in 1920 was the leading state in the production of iron pyrites and soapstpne, third in the production of lime and manganese, and sixth in mineral waters. The figures for mining and mineral water industries in 1919 were as follows:—

 Estabs.  Capital Product

 Coal 109   $48,978,261 
 9,111,454  tons
308,000  tons
13,665  tons
1,745,105  gal.
143,427  tons (1918) 
1,313,439  tons
26,700  tons
 Iron 14  895,555 
 Manganese 47  2,489,400 
 Mineral waters 18  848,283 
 Pyrites 2,550,854 
 Soapstone 617,887 
 Millstones, and sand and gravel  522,152 
 Slate .. 3,654,000 
 Miscellaneous ores .. 1,587,491 
 Lime .. ..

Manufactures.—Manufacturing industries made less progress than agriculture between 1910 and 1920. The following statistics for 1919 are the preliminary figures of the 14th Census; those for 1909 from the 13th Census:—

1919 1909

 Establishments 5,603  5,685 
 Capital invested  $464,517,000   $216,392,000 
 Materials 372,041,000  155,320,000 
 Value of products 641,810,000  219,794,000 
 Value added by manufacture  269,769,000  108,719,000 
 Wage earners (average) 119,368  105,676 

Government.—Between 1910 and 1920 10 amendments to the state constitution were adopted. Local government was the subject of four amendments. In 1910 the state constitution was amended to permit the re-election of county treasurers and commissioners of revenue, and in 1912 another amendment permitted the re-election of city treasurers and commissioners of revenue. In 1912 the Legislature was empowered to classify cities according to population and to provide forms of city and town government, but cities with over 50,000 pop. were permitted to have special forms of government. Under this amendment the Legislature provided for general charters under the commission, or manager, form, but in 1920 another amendment was ratified which permitted Legislature to provide special forms of government for any city on condition that the sections of the constitution regarding franchises, changes in city boundaries, public debts and the assessment of property were not violated. In 1920 another amendment removed the requirement of residence within the municipality as qualification for appointment to office in a city government when technical training was requisite. In 1920, also, the construction of roads was made a proper subject for state debt, and other amendments bearing on education were adopted.

Finance.—The valuation of property assessed for taxation in 1910 was $756,194,480; in 1920 it was $1,459,762,653. In 1910 the public debt was $24,956,959; in 1919 it was $23,561,823. In 1910 the state's income and disbursements combined were $11,333,490; in 1920 they were $18,442,324. The long-standing controversy between Virginia and West Virginia concerning the division of the state debt as it existed in 1860 was finally settled in 1915 by the Supreme Court of the United States. The amount to be assumed by the state of West Virginia was fixed at $12,393,929 (see West Virginia). Between 1910 and 1920 notable reforms were made in taxation and financial administration. A special tax commission was appointed in 1910 to recommend measures for the segregation of property for taxation. In 1912 the commission recommended the establishment of a permanent tax commission with power to investigate and to submit plans. A second special commission was then appointed; in 1915 a majority report recommended a revision of assessments

under a permanent tax commission, and a minority report favoured immediate measures for segregation. The minority report was adopted, and the tax laws were revised as follows: the state levy on on real estate and tangible property was restricted to educational purposes, and state and local levies on intangible property were apportioned at 65¢ and 30¢ per $100 respectively; a permanent tax board was created consisting of the governor, the auditor, and the chairman of the State Corporation Commission, with power to employ assistants, whose duties are to collect information relating to taxation, to make recommendations to the Legislature, and to supervise the work of local tax boards. In 1918 local governments were denied the right to levy income taxes, and in the same year a special tax of eight cents per $100 was levied, four-eighths of which was to be applied to state elementary schools, three-eighths to the construction of roads, and one-eighth to the eradication of tuberculosis. In 1919 an additional tax of seven cents was levied for roads. In 1916 a commission on efficiency was constituted to recommend more efficient methods of state and local financial administration, and in response to its recommendations a state budget law was enacted in 1918 which gave the governor large powers over appropriations from the state treasury.

Education.—The school revenue, which in 1910 was $4,407,853, amounted in 1920 to $13,791,864, the expenditure per capita of attendance increasing from $14.77 to $39.48 and the length of the school term from 140 to 147 days. In this period the number of state high schools of all grades increased from 360 to 394. In 1912 an additional state normal school for the training of teachers was established at Radford. In 1918 a general property tax was added to the existing sources of school revenue which yielded approximately $660,000. In 1918 school attendance of all children between the ages of 8 and 12 for 16 weeks was required. Teachers' pensions have been provided for, and the pensions disbursed in 1920 amounted to $10,000. In 1918 the Legislature provided for an Educational Commission to make a survey of the educational laws and conditions and to make recommendations for reform and improvements. Its report was made in 1920, and in accord with its recommendations the Legislature in that year submitted for ratification the following amendments to the constitution: legalizing the membership of women on school boards, removing the limitation on county and district school tax rates and all limitation on the Legislature in enacting compulsory attendance laws, and giving the Legislature the power to fix the duties of the State Board of Education. Among statutes enacted in 1920 looking to the improvement of the school system were laws encouraging a nine months' term in rural communities, making the school age 7 to 20 years, provision for a school census, encouragement of rural high schools, conferring on the state superintendent the right to nominate candidates for positions as teachers, provision for physical education and medical inspection, and placing the state institutions of higher education on an all-year basis of operation.

History.—In 1912 the work of children under 12 years of age in coal mines was prohibited and the 10-hour day for children in factories was extended to workshops and mercantile establishments, with the exception of packing and fruit industries between July 1 and Nov. 1, mercantile establishments in towns of less than 2,000 pop., and Saturday work in mercantile establishments. In 1918 the mimimum age for employment was raised to 16 years. In 1914 the commitment of insane criminals to asylums by judicial investigation and order before trial for the crime committed was provided for, and in 1916 the State Board of Charities and Correction was required to register all the feeble-minded in the state, to take measures for their commitment to asylums, and to instruct parents in the care of feeble-minded children; it was also authorized to supervise private institutions for the feeble-minded. Two institutions for the feeble-minded are supported by the state, one for white patients near Lynchburg and one for negroes near Petersburg. In 1916 the office of public defender for cities of 50,000 or more pop., with the duty of defending the poor in lawsuits, and state compensation was authorized for attorneys appointed by courts to that duty. In 1918 a Mothers' Pension law was enacted which allowed city and county governments to make payments to widows with children under 16 years of age. In the same year the principle of the uniform Family Desertion Acts was adopted, and an Industrial Commission was provided to administer a workmen's compensation system.

Three sanatoria for the treatment of tuberculosis have been established, the Catawba Sanatorium in Roanoke county (1909), Blue Ridge Sanatorium near Charlottesville (1920), and Piedmont Sanatorium for negro patients near Burkville (1918). In 1918 a state orthopaedic hospital was established at Richmond. In 1914 the Virginia Home and Industrial School for Girls, a private institution, became the property of the state, and since then three other reformatories have been taken over. In 1919 the State Prison Board was reorganized and reforms in prison management were adopted, notably better medical care of prisoners, investigation of their mental condition, provision for recreation, and elementary and industrial education. In 1914 a State Forestry Commission was established. In 1916 the State Board of Health was given control over all water supplies which might endanger public health. A state art commission was constituted in the same year.

In the World War Virginia supplied 81,140 men to the army, navy and marine corps and subscribed $263,948,400 to the Liberty and Victory loans.

In every state and national election between 1910 and 1920 the Democratic party had a majority. In 1909 William Hodges Mann (Dem.) was elected governor, his term being from 1910-4; he was succeeded by Henry Carter Stuart (Dem. 1914-8, and in 1917 Westmoreland Davis (Dem.) was elected, his term of service beginning in 1918. (W. K. B.)