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The Piedmont Region

   Investigate the Piedmont Region of Virginia.  Print this graphic organizer to record your findings.  Use this page and your textbook to help you.

    The western edge of the Tidewater Region is formed by the Fall Line.  The Fall Line is a line of small waterfalls and rapids. 

FallLineforWeb.jpg (23613 bytes)     Rapids are places in rivers or streams where the water flows very quickly and roughly.  The Fall Line is formed by these rivers and streams flowing from the older, harder rocks on the western side to the softer rocks on the eastern side.

    The land to the west of the Fall Line is called the Piedmont Region.  Piedmont is a French word meaning "foot of the mountains". 


   The land of the Piedmont Region is higher than the land of the Tidewater Region.

   Richmond, the capital of Virginia is located in the Piedmont Region.  It is a trade center on the James River.

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    If you travel west on any of the rivers in the Tidewater Region, you will come to the waterfalls and rapids of the Fall Line. Several important cities in Virginia grew up along the Fall Line.  Early towns in the Tidewater Region were built on waterways.  As people moved west, they also settled on waterways.  The Fall Line cities of Alexandria, Fredericksburg, Richmond and Petersburg are all found on rivers.

    Oceangoing ships could come up the rivers as far as the Fall Line.  Because of the goods that these ships carried back and forth, cities along the Fall Line became major transportation centers.  Many small towns grew into large cities.

    Richmond began as a small trading town at the Fall Line on the James River.  The town of Richmond grew slowly at first.  When it became the capital of Virginia in 1780, it expanded rapidly.

Click for a larger view.   Let's take a Virtual Field Trip to the Capitol.

    The Piedmont Region to the west of the Fall Line is a plateau.  A plateau is a large, raised, level piece of land.  The Piedmont Plateau is Virginia's largest natural region.  It has an elevation of about 850 feet. The Piedmont Plateau continues inland to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

    Much of the land of the Piedmont has beautiful rolling hills and valleys.  Rivers and streams that cut across the Piedmont Plateau have helped to form those hills and valleys.  It includes grassy meadows that are good for grazing.  Many farmers raise crops in this region.  Forests are also found in the Piedmont. 


Places of Interest in the Piedmont Region

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

Edgar Allen Poe Museum

Manassas National Battlefield Park

State Capitol at Richmond

Virginia Museum of Natural History

Fairy Stone State Park

Monticello (home of Thomas Jefferson)

Red Hill (last home of Patrick Henry)

Montipelier (home of James and Dolley Madison)

Mount Vernon (home of George Washington)


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