Virginia has perhaps 15,000 years of unwritten history, to be deciphered through archeology. Since the arrival of Europeans, we have documented how various groups of people jockeyed for political and economic advantage. The style of government in Virginia today and the boundaries of the state have been shaped by 400 years of competition for power and control.
A different political culture could have evolved in Virginia, and perhaps altered the development of the Federal government. It was not predestined that Virginia would end up as a representative democracy, with a vibrant two-party system competing in peaceful elections.
Through most of Virginia's existence, the democratic process for selecting public officials has been limited. We have zigged and zagged to this point. Understanding those turning points illuminates how we ended up here, and perhaps hints at where we are headed next.