Why West Virginia left Virginia?
Sectional differences as early as 1775 led West Virginians to want independence from Virginia. They wanted to form Westsylvania but were denied. West Virginians felt that the plantation owners of Virginia controlled everything and ignored their needs. The Civil War gave them that opportunity. Since most living in West Virginia did not have slaves, they did not feel they needed to fight to defend slavery.
During the civil war, Virginia was a part of the Confederate states of America. Part of Virginia (West Virginia) remained loyal to the Union, so it broke off of Virginia and formed its own state.