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The independent city of Portsmouth located within the commonwealth of Virginia, is situated on the western banks of the Elizabeth River, opposite to the important naval city of Norfolk.
The city's location immediately on the banks of the Elizabeth River gives it access to immense water area and has thus, given rise to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. This naval base, located at Portsmouth, is the center where all ships that ply from Norfolk are built and repaired. Civilization arrived in Portsmouth after the British colonial rulers decided to build a shipbuilding yard in the region with a plantation nearby so as to start community life. The region around the plantation developed into a full-fledged town in the year 1752, when wealthy ship-owner William Crawford, founded it.
However, the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth were originally part of the same administration but, several reasons led to the breaking apart of both cities into separate entities in 1858. The naval yard of Portsmouth gained its present name of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, after the historical event of the American Civil War, when it was captured by Confederate forces. The city of Portsmouth served as the county seat of Norfolk County until 1963 but the formation of Chesapeake transferred the county capital to the new city. The stagnant economy of Portsmouth city received a boost during the beginning of the 21st century when the arrival of newer industries led to development in the downtown area of Portsmouth. To serve this growing economy, the government of Virginia, is funding for the simultaneous development of infrastructure in the region.