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Norfolk developed in the late-seventeenth century as a "Half Moone" fort was constructed and 50 acres (200,000 m In 1691, a final county subdivision took place when Lower Norfolk County split to form Norfolk County (included in present-day cities of Norfolk, Chesapeake, and parts of Portsmouth) and Princess Anne County (present-day City of Virginia Beach). In 1730, a tobacco inspection site was located here.
According to the Tobacco Inspection Act, the inspection was "At Norfolk Town, upon the fort land, in the County of Norfolk; and Kemp's Landing, in Princess Anne, under one inspection."In 1736 George II granted it a royal charter as a borough.
In part because of its merchants' numerous trading ties with other parts of the British Empire, Norfolk served as a strong base of Loyalist support during the early part of the American Revolution.
After fleeing the colonial capital of Williamsburg, Lord Dunmore, the Royal Governor of Virginia, tried to reestablish control of the colony from Norfolk.
By 1775, Norfolk developed into what contemporary observers argued was the most prosperous city in Virginia.
It was an important port for exporting goods to the British Isles and beyond.
Many moved west into the Piedmont, or further into Kentucky and Tennessee.
Such migration also followed the exhaustion of soil due to tobacco cultivation in the Tidewater, where it had been the primary commodity crop for generations.
This area of Virginia became known as the place of entrepreneurs, including men of the Virginia Company of London.
It is one of nine cities and seven counties that constitute the Hampton Roads metro area, officially known as the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA.
The city is bordered to the west by the Elizabeth River and to the north by the Chesapeake Bay.
It also shares land borders with the independent cities of Chesapeake to its south and Virginia Beach to its east.
Norfolk is one of the oldest cities in Hampton Roads, and is considered to be the historic, urban, financial, and cultural center of the region.