Friday, 10 January 2014


Maryland, one of the eastern states of the United States. Maryland is bordered by Pennsylvania on the north, Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Virginia on the south, and West Virginia on the southwest and west. Washington, D.C., the national capital, is an enclave along the Virginia border. The Potomac River forms most of Maryland’s western boundary and Chesapeake Bay deeply indents the eastern part of the state. Annapolis is the state capital and Baltimore is the largest city.
The Maryland colony was founded in 1634 and was named for the wife of English King Charles I, Queen Henrietta Maria. Colonial Maryland attracted many settlers and, as its economy prospered, so did its social, political, and cultural life. Maryland entered the Union on April 28, 1788, as the 7th of the original 13 states.
During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Maryland and its residents were involved in many of the events relating to the attainment of independence by the United States and to the early struggles of the young republic. During the Civil War (1861-1865), Maryland, a border state, became part of the great battleground between North and South, but the state itself stayed within the Union. During the first half of the 20th century the economic development of Maryland was marked by a shift in emphasis from farming to manufacturing. The state is now primarily an industrial state. Despite this shift, agriculture is still carried on throughout most of the state.
Maryland has no official nickname. However, the most commonly accepted name, and also one of the oldest, is the Old Line State. This nickname honors the memory of Maryland’s regiments of the line, which fought with distinction in the American Revolution (1775-1783).
Maryland ranks 42nd among the states in size, with a total area of 32,134 sq km (12,407 sq mi), including 1,761 sq km (680 sq mi) of inland water. Also included is 4,773 sq km (1,843 sq mi) of Chesapeake Bay that is considered part of the state. Maryland has a maximum width from east to west, of 385 km (240 mi) and varies north to south from 3 km (2 mi) at its narrowest to 200 km (125 mi) on its eastern extreme. Chesapeake Bay, a large inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, divides the state into two sections. The section east of the bay, known as the Eastern Shore, occupies part of the Delmarva Peninsula. Maryland’s mean elevation is about 110 m (350 ft).
A Natural Regions
Maryland can be divided into five natural regions, or physiographic provinces, each of which forms a small portion of five of the principal natural regions of the eastern United States. Maryland’s natural regions are, from east to west, the Atlantic Coastal Plain, the Piedmont, the Blue Ridge province, the Ridge and Valley province, and the Appalachian Plateaus (locally called the Allegheny Plateau). The Atlantic Coastal Plain is a subdivision of the Coastal Plain. The other four natural regions are subdivisions of the larger Appalachian Region, or Appalachian Highland. However, the Piedmont is sometimes considered a separate region that is a transitional zone between the Appalachian Region and the Coastal Plain. The boundary between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the Piedmont is known as the fall line, the zone where rivers pass from the more ancient and harder rock of the upland to the more easily eroded sands, clays, and shales of the Coastal Plain. Rather than a clear, single line, the zone is actually a series of offset lines. In Maryland the fall line roughly follows an imaginary line linking the cities of Wilmington, Delaware, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. Rapids and waterfalls occur in, at, or near the point where rivers cross the fall line.
The Atlantic Coastal Plain lies south and east of the fall line in Maryland. East of Chesapeake Bay, on the Eastern Shore, the plain is extremely flat and often swampy. Nowhere does the land rise to more than 30 m (100 ft) above sea level. West of the bay much of the land is flat, but there are gently rolling hills that rise to elevations of between 90 and 120 m (300 and 400 ft). The region in Maryland is primarily one of farmlands and small rural communities, except for the urbanized areas centered on Baltimore and Washington, D.C., in the west, and Salisbury and Ocean City in the east.
The Piedmont is a rolling upland area of fertile valleys and low rolling hills that rises gradually westward. Two prominent ridges, Parrs Ridge and Dug Hill Ridge, extend across the Piedmont in a northeast to southwest direction. Dug Hill Ridge rises to about 370 m (about 1,200 ft) above sea level on the Maryland-Pennsylvania state line. The Piedmont valleys are noted for their prosperous dairy farms.
The Blue Ridge province in Maryland is a mountainous region less than 30 km (20 mi) wide. It is split into two prongs by the fertile Middletown Valley. The eastern prong is a ridge 60 km (37 mi) long known as Catoctin Mountain, which rises to about 580 m (1,900 ft) above sea level. The western prong is South Mountain, which reaches a maximum elevation at Quirauk Mountain, in Virginia, just south of the Maryland line. The entire Blue Ridge province in Maryland is sometimes referred to as South Mountain.
The Ridge and Valley province in Maryland consists of the broad Hagerstown Valley, which is part of the Great Appalachian Valley, in the east and a series of parallel forested ridges and deep narrow valleys in the west. The ridges generally trend in northeast-to-southwest directions and reach maximum elevations of about 600 m (about 2,000 ft). Hagerstown Valley, up to about 30 km (about 20 mi) wide, is a fertile farming area.
The Appalachian Plateaus in Maryland cover the westernmost section of the state, where they are represented by a section of the rugged and mountainous Allegheny Plateau. The eastern edge of the plateau is marked by the great escarpment of the Allegheny Mountains that is known locally as Dans Mountain. Backbone Mountain, a ridge in the Allegheny Mountains, rises to 1,024 m (3,360 ft) above sea level in the extreme west and is the highest point in the state. Backbone Mountain also divides the Potomac River drainage system from the westward-flowing Ohio River system. The Appalachian Plateaus region is a sparsely populated, picturesque area of forested mountains and steep-sided river valleys. The chief economic activities include farming, manufacturing, and tourism. Coal mining, once important, is on the wane.
B Rivers and Lakes
Nearly all of Maryland is drained by rivers that flow into either Chesapeake Bay or directly into the Atlantic Ocean. A small area in the extreme western part of the state is drained by the Youghiogheny River, which flows into the Ohio River, a tributary of the Mississippi River.
Major rivers are the Potomac River, on whose banks lies Washington, D.C., and the Patapsco River, whose estuary forms the harbor of Baltimore. The Potomac, which is formed by the junction of the Shenandoah and the North Branch of the Potomac River in the Allegheny Mountains in West Virginia, flows generally eastward and then southeastward. With one of its headstreams, the North Branch, it forms the entire southern border of Maryland. However, because the state line actually follows the south bank of the river for much of its length, most of the Potomac lies within Maryland. Where the river crosses the fall line, about 25 km (about 15 mi) northwest of Washington, D.C., are the Great Falls of the Potomac. The Patapsco River rises in the Piedmont and flows eastward to enter Chesapeake Bay.
The lowermost section of the Susquehanna River is located in Maryland, where the river enters the head of Chesapeake Bay at Havre de Grace. The largest freshwater contibutor to the bay, the Susquehanna is fed by rivers rising as far away as upstate New York. The Elk, Choptank, Nanticoke, Chester, Pocomoke, and other rivers enter the bay from the Eastern Shore. The Severn and Patuxent rivers flow into the bay on the west.
Maryland has no large natural lakes. The largest body of water is a reservoir, Deep Creek Lake, which has a surface area of only 18 sq km (7 sq mi). It lies on the Allegheny Plateau, behind a dam on a tributary of the Youghiogheny River.
C Coastline
The deeply indented shoreline has a length of 5,134 km (3,190 mi), of which only 50 km (31 miles) fronts on the Atlantic Ocean. The most significant coastal feature is Chesapeake Bay. In the bay are many islands and Kent Island is the largest.
The state’s coastline on the Atlantic is characterized by sandy beaches, behind which are extensive salt marshes and shallow lagoons. Offshore lies Assateague Island, a long narrow barrier beach that lies partly in Maryland and partly in Virginia. Barrier islands are naturally unstable as they constantly build in one area while eroding in others. North of Assateague Island, the major resort settlement of Ocean City is built on a barrier island. A major environmental challenge is to try to halt natural erosion to preserve the city.
D Climate
The climate of Maryland is characterized by generally hot humid summers and cool winters. In comparison with the Eastern Shore and other lowland areas, the upland sections in the west have colder and longer winters and cooler and shorter summers.
D1 Temperature
Average July temperatures range from 18°C (about 65° F) in western Maryland to between 24° and 27° C (75° and 80° F) in eastern Maryland. July temperatures in Baltimore average a high of 31° C (87° F) and a low of 19° C (67° F). Daytime temperatures in Maryland are often in the lower 30°s C (upper 80°s F) and occasionally reach the mid-30°s C (upper 90°s F). Summer nighttime temperatures are usually in the lower 20°s C (mid-70°s F).
Average January temperatures range from less than -2°C (28° F) in the west to more than 2°C (35° F) on the Eastern Shore. The January temperatures in Baltimore average highs of 5° C (40° F) and lows of -5° C (23° F). Very cold winter weather, with temperatures in the -20°s C (below 0° F), is common in the western uplands but seldom occurs in the eastern lowlands.
D2 Precipitation
Precipitation (rainfall and snowfall) increases from 970 mm (38 in) a year in eastern Maryland to more than 1,170 mm (46 in) in the western mountains of the state. However, the driest area is in western Maryland, where Hagerstown Valley, hemmed in by mountains, receives less than 910 mm (36 in) of rain a year. Throughout the state most precipitation is in the form of rain. More than half the annual rainfall occurs in the summer months. In the winter, snow is common, but the snowfall is much greater in the mountains than in the lowlands. Hailstorms and thunderstorms occur occasionally in the summer months.
D3 Growing Season
The growing season, or period from the last killing frost in spring to the first killing frost in fall, increases from less than 140 days on the Allegheny Plateau to more than 210 days on the Delmarva Peninsula. The first major frost in fall usually occurs in late September on the plateau and six weeks later on the peninsula. The last major spring frost can be expected in early April on the peninsula and as late as mid-May in the western part of the state.
E Soils
Gray-brown podzolic soils predominate, except in the western mountains, where thin infertile podzols cover most of the slopes. The soils of the Eastern Shore include heavy loams and silt loams in the north and light sandy soils in the south. On the plain west of the bay the soils are also silt loams and sandy soils, but they tend to be comparatively less fertile than the soils of the Eastern Shore.
The soils of the Piedmont valleys are fertile loams and clay loams, which are well suited to agriculture. The soils of the Piedmont hills and of mountain ridges farther west are generally thin. Where they are productive, they are used for pastureland and orchards. In Hagerstown Valley there are fertile silt and clay loams that support good crops of corn and hay.
F Plant Life
In the years of early settlement, most of Maryland was forested. Nearly all the virgin forest has been cut, but second-growth forest covers 41 percent of the state’s land area. Forest cover exceeds three-fifths of the land surface in extreme western Maryland, the far eastern portion of the Eastern Shore, and the southern part of the state.
The most common trees in the forests of Maryland are oaks, maples, hickories, tulip trees, southern pines, and beeches. The black locust, black cherry, and ash are also common in the hardwood forests, and the cottonwood, willow, and sycamore are found along the streams. The white oak, a common hardwood, is the state tree. About four-fifths of Maryland’s forests are hardwood while one-fifth are softwoods, mostly southern pine.
In the mountains of Maryland the hardwoods are intermixed with conifers. On the higher slopes, white pines, red spruces, and hemlocks are sometimes found in almost pure stands. Where hardwoods predominate, the undergrowth includes the dogwood, raspberry, Virginia creeper, sassafras, blackhaw, spicebush, holly, huckleberry, and azalea. The most common wild flowers include the mayapple, mountain laurel, jewelweed, cranesbill, golden aster, goldenrod, and the black-eyed Susan, which is the state flower.
In the forests of the east the loblolly pine and Virginia pine are often dominant. Also occurring in these lowland forests are the sweetgum, blackgum, hackberry, persimmon, sweetbay, and many of the major hardwoods common to the uplands of the west.
The Great Pocomoke Swamp, in eastern Maryland and southern Delaware, contains the northernmost stand of bald cypress in the United States. The vegetation is typical of southern swamps. Southern white cedars are found along the fringes of the swamp.
G Animal Life
All the large mammals found in colonial Maryland have disappeared, with the exception of white-tailed deer and a few black bears in the western mountains. However, small mammals are still common and include the red fox, raccoon, muskrat, otter, mink, woodchuck, cottontail, gray squirrel, chipmunk, opossum, and striped skunk.
The marshes of the Chesapeake Bay area, which lies in the Atlantic Flyway, harbor numerous migratory and resident waterfowl. Among the most common are the canvasback, mallard, black duck, wood duck, scaup duck, red-breasted merganser, Canada goose, great blue heron, great egret, whistling swan, and snow goose. Shorebirds are abundant in the east during summer. Among the great variety of land birds are the robin, blue jay, cardinal, eastern meadowlark, Carolina wren, mockingbird, and species of warblers, vireos, sparrows, thrushes, hawks, and swallows. Bald eagles are found in increasing frequency. The Baltimore oriole is the state bird. Common game birds include the quail, ringnecked pheasant, and mourning dove, found in most areas; the wild turkey and ruffed grouse, found principally in the west; and waterfowl on the Eastern Shore.
Common snakes found in Maryland include the non-venomous hog nosed, green, black, corn, yellow rat, milk, king, and garter snakes. Venomous snakes include the copperhead, cotton-mouthed moccasin, and timber rattle snakes.
Many fish inhabit the waters of Maryland. In the streams can be found black bass, trout, perch, sunfish, and other game fish. Fish in Chesapeake Bay include the striped bass, or rockfish, shad, white perch, menhaden, drum, and alewife, or river herring. Marlins are the main attraction of Maryland’s sport fishing. Other ocean fish are tuna, sea bass, sea trout, and porgy. Shellfish found in Chesapeake Bay include oysters, clams, and blue crabs. The diamondback terrapin, now scarce, is found in the marshes around the bay.
H Conservation
Conservation activities in Maryland include the prevention of soil erosion, the conservation of fish and wildlife, and the preservation of open space. The major federal agencies active in the field of conservation in Maryland are the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Agricultural Research Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service. State conservation programs are administered by numerous state agencies whose activities are coordinated by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Much of the state has escaped severe soil erosion. However, there has been considerable erosion in extensive areas of the Atlantic Coastal Plain and also in the Piedmont, where the continuous cultivation of tobacco for more than three centuries has robbed the soil of its fertility and has left the bare hillsides exposed to the heavy spring and summer rains. Since the 1930s, Maryland farmers have adopted such conservation practices as contour plowing, no-till farming, diversion terracing, grass rotation, and drainage of pasture land.
Water pollution, overfishing, the use of illegal fishing gear, the taking of immature fish and shellfish, and the prevalence of plant and animal pests have increasingly reduced the annual harvest from the waters of Chesapeake Bay. However, efforts are being made by federal and state agencies, as well as by private organizations, to restore the bay’s productivity. The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) joins federal, state and local governments in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania in a cooperative effort to clean up and improve the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. By the mid-1990s the CBP reported significant positive results, but some environmental problems persist. In 1997 repeated microbial infections caused thousands of fish to die in several rivers flowing into Chesapeake Bay. Scientists are investigating the cause of the disease outbreak, but believe that agricultural runoff may be a major source of the problem, along with pollutants from factories, sewage systems, and even lawns.
The preservation of open space around the rapidly expanding metropolitan areas of Baltimore and Washington, D.C., is a growing concern of many federal, state, and municipal agencies. Efforts are being made to prevent suburban development from absorbing the potential recreation sites that are still not in any park system.
In 2006 the state had 17 hazardous waste sites placed on a national priority list for cleanup due to their severity or proximity to people. Progress was being made in efforts to reduce pollution; in the period 1995–2000 the amount of toxic chemicals discharged into the environment was reduced by 14 percent.
Maryland, while small in area, has a highly diversified economy. Originally it was an agricultural colony, with tobacco as its main crop. Farming remained the chief occupation until the late 19th century. In the 1890s manufacturing became a more important source of both jobs and income. Although agriculture is still practiced in most of Maryland, it now provides less than 1 percent of the state’s gross product. Manufacturing, meanwhile, has grown to produce as much income for the state as does retail trade. The services sector, however, provides the largest share of economic activity. Some 3,009,000 people held jobs in Maryland in 2006. Those employed in services, with such jobs as caterers and dry cleaning attendants, were 41 percent of the workforce. Another 19 percent percent worked in wholesale or retail trade; 18 percent in federal, state, or local government, including those in the military; 21 percent in finance, insurance, or real estate; 5 percent in manufacturing; 7 percent in construction; 18 percent in transportation or public utilities; and 2 percent in farming (including agricultural services), forestry, or fishing. Employment in mining was just 0.1 percent. In 2005, 13 percent of Maryland’s workers were unionized.
A Agriculture
Farms occupied 825,559 hectares (2 million acres) in 2005, or more than one-third of Maryland’s total area, in 1997. Crops were raised on 26 percent of the state’s land area.
In 1996 the sale of livestock and livestock products accounted for three-fifths of total farm income in Maryland, with broilers (young chickens used for food) and dairy products as two of the state’s top agricultural commodities. The sale of crops accounted for two-fifths of farm income.
A1 Crops
By value of sales, the principal crops are greenhouse and nursery products, corn, and soybeans. Corn is grown throughout the state, although most of it is produced in the Piedmont region. Most of the corn is sold for cash, but some is used for livestock feed and for seed on the farms where it was grown. Soybeans occupy much cropland, especially on the Eastern Shore. Tobacco is grown in Calvert, Anne Arundel, Prince Georges, Charles, and Saint Marys counties, in southern Maryland, and is one of Maryland’s most valuable cash crops. Its importance to the farm economy, however, is declining. Vegetables are grown on the Eastern Shore, especially in the three southern counties of the area, and to a lesser extent in the Piedmont region. Much of the vegetable harvest is processed in local food-processing plants. The rest is shipped fresh to urban centers.
Other field crops include wheat, barley, oats, and hay. Wheat is grown in the Piedmont region and on the Eastern Shore. Hay, including clover and timothy grass, is grown mainly in the Piedmont region and used primarily as livestock feed. Barley and oats are grown in the Piedmont region and in the valleys farther west. A variety of fruits are grown. Apples, peaches, pears, plums, and cherries are grown in western Maryland. Peaches are also raised on the Eastern Shore, as are strawberries, watermelons and cantaloupes.
A2 Livestock
Poultry farming is a specialized agricultural activity concentrated in the Piedmont counties near Baltimore, but especially on the Eastern Shore. Broilers account for most of the farm income from poultry farming. Eggs are produced for the large, urban markets close by. In addition, some turkeys and full-grown chickens are raised and sold for meat. Dairy farming is concentrated in the Piedmont counties but is also carried on in the western valleys and on the Eastern Shore. Most of the milk is sent to large urban centers. In addition, some beef cattle and hogs are raised in Maryland.
A3 Patterns of Farming
In 2005 there were 12,100 farms in Maryland. Relatively few had income sufficient for their operators to survive by farming alone.
Agricultural practices and farm prosperity vary considerably from place to place within the state. In the western mountains, subsistence farmers, like their counterparts elsewhere in Appalachia, exist on very low income. However, the commercial fruit growers in Hagerstown Valley and other valleys are relatively prosperous. Dairying predominates in the Piedmont region, especially in the counties of the Baltimore metropolitan area. Prosperous farmers specialize in producing milk and eggs for urban markets. In addition, some dairy farmers use surplus milk to feed high-quality calves and hogs, which are sold for meat. In southern Maryland nearly all the commercial farmers, many of whom are tenant farmers, specialize in raising tobacco. On the Eastern Shore much of the annual farm income is derived from the sale of livestock and livestock products. Broilers are raised mainly in the southern counties, while dairy farming tends to predominate in the north.
B Fisheries
The harvesting of shellfish in Chesapeake Bay dominates commercial fishing activities in Maryland. Blue crabs, clams, oysters, and horseshoe crabs are the most valuable shellfish caught in Maryland waters. Since the mid-1960s Maryland has been one of the top-ranking states in the quantity of oysters harvested annually. Large shipments of clams are regularly sent to New England restaurants to be served fried or steamed. The remainder of the commercial fishing catch includes white perch, spiny dogfish, black sea bass, goosefish, croaker, and menhaden, which are taken mainly in the bay, and flounder, which are caught in offshore waters. Catfish and bullheads also contribute significantly to the state’s income. The catch of Maryland’s fisheries in 2004 was valued at $49 million.
C Forestry
Forests cover 41 percent of the state’s land area, but large-scale forestry and lumbering operations typical of some parts of the South have not developed in Maryland. Nearly all of the state’s commercial forest lands are in small privately owned farm woodlots.
D Mining
The most valuable minerals produced in Maryland are crushed stone, portland cement, and sand and gravel. Stone production includes the output of limestone, sandstone, marble, granite, and oystershell. It is used primarily for building construction, highway construction, and the manufacture of cement and concrete. Stone is produced in northern and western Maryland. Sand and gravel, which are also used primarily in construction activities, are produced mainly on the Western Shore. Some peat is still harvested from bogs in Garrett County in far Western Maryland, primarily for sale to home gardeners and farmers. Bituminous coal is mined in Garrett and Allegany counties in western Maryland. Although coal production declined after 1945, it rose sharply in the late 1970s and early 1980s due to increases in demand. In 2006 Maryland produced 4.6 million metric tons of coal.
E Manufacturing
Manufacturing activities are concentrated in and around Baltimore. Other industrial centers include Cumberland, Hagerstown, Frederick, Salisbury, and Cambridge. Established types of manufacturing in Maryland include those for food products, chemicals, printing and publishing, primary metals, industrial machinery, and navigation equipment.
The primary metals industry is concentrated almost entirely in the Baltimore metropolitan area, where steel, tinplate, aluminum, and other metals are produced. In addition, some steel is made in Cumberland, in western Maryland. Metal-processing plants along the shores of Chesapeake Bay and the lower Patapsco River utilize raw materials from distant sources rather than from Maryland mines. Iron ore for the huge steel plant at Sparrows Point, near Baltimore, is imported primarily from Venezuela and Canada. Scrap iron and steel are also used. Tin is imported mainly from Bolivia and Malaysia.
The manufacture of transportation equipment is also carried on mainly in the Baltimore metropolitan area. The shipyards at Sparrows Point and elsewhere in the area constitute one of the principal shipbuilding and ship-repairing centers in the United States. Fishing vessels and other small craft are built and repaired at numerous boatyards in the Chesapeake Bay area. Motor vehicles are assembled in Baltimore and nearby suburbs. Motor vehicle parts and railroad equipment are manufactured in the Baltimore area and in Cumberland. Aircraft are made in Hagerstown, as are heavy-duty trucks.
The production of foodstuffs is the most widely distributed manufacturing activity in Maryland, although much of such activity in the state is accounted for by the Baltimore metropolitan area. There are many small food-processing plants throughout the Atlantic Coastal Plain and Piedmont regions of the state. Food-processing activities include the production of beverages, bakery goods, confections, dairy products, meat products, fruit and vegetable products, and seafood.
The output of chemicals and chemical products, electrical and nonelectrical machinery, search and navigation equipment, tin cans, steel tubing, and numerous other metal products is part of the heavy-industry complex centered on Baltimore. Electrical products manufacturing is represented by firms such as Black and Decker, headquartered in Towson, north of Baltimore.
F Electricity
In 2005 Maryland generated 67 percent of its electricity in thermal plants, primarily fueled by coal or oil. Most of the electric power generated in the hydroelectric station at Conowingo Dam, on the lower Susquehanna River, is used in Pennsylvania. Maryland’s 2 nuclear power plants provide 28 percent of the total electricity output. Most of the power plants are privately owned.
G Transportation
The development of transportation facilities has played a major role in the economic development of Maryland. Baltimore is the chief focus of transportation routes in the state.
G1 Highways
The principal highways linking Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., extend across Maryland in a roughly northeast-to-southwest direction. These heavily traveled routes, all of which pass through Baltimore or around it via a belt highway (route 695), include Interstate Highway 95, of which the section northeast of Baltimore is known as the J. F. Kennedy Memorial Highway, and U.S. Highway 1. The Baltimore-Washington Parkway links Baltimore with the national capital. On the Eastern Shore the chief highways are U.S. highways 50 and 301 and a short section of U.S. Highway 13. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge, opened in 1952, spans the bay near Annapolis. The bridge has not only brought the state together but ended the relative isolation of the lower Eastern Shore. Maryland contains 49,827 km (30,961 mi) of highways, including 774 km (481 mi) of the federal interstate highway system.
G2 Railroads
There are 1,221 km (759 mi) of railroad track in Maryland. The principal lines roughly parallel the state’s chief highways, passing through Baltimore and linking Maryland’s major industrial and urban areas with other cities located along the Eastern Seaboard.
G3 Rapid Transit
A rapid transit system for the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area was extended into Maryland in 1978. A limited system for the Baltimore area was opened in 1983, and extended with a light rail line in 1992.
G4 Airports
Maryland’s largest airport is the Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Some 3 smaller airports are situated throughout the state, mostly private airfields. Much of Maryland is also in the service area of Dulles International and Washington National airports in northern Virginia.
G5 Ports and Inland Waterways
Baltimore, one of the chief ports on the Eastern Seaboard, ranks among the leading U.S. ports in terms of the quantity of imported cargo received annually. Much of this volume is made up of raw materials imported for the Baltimore area’s heavy industrial plants. By comparison, the city has a relatively modest export trade and domestic coastal trade. Primarily a bulk cargo port, Baltimore is not a port of call for most passenger lines. Oceangoing vessels can reach Baltimore by way of the bay. In addition, the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, a toll-free canal stretching 31 km (19 mi) across the Delmarva Peninsula, links Chesapeake Bay with the Delaware River. This route greatly shortens the length of the shipping route from Baltimore to Philadelphia, New York, other U.S. ports farther north, and Europe. Small vessels can navigate some inlets of Chesapeake Bay. The Potomac is navigable by larger vessels as far upstream as Washington, D.C. The port of Baltimore now faces its greatest challenge from the increased competition of Norfolk and Newport News, both in Virginia at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.
H Trade
Baltimore, served by major railroads and numerous shipping lines and trucking companies, is the state’s leading wholesale and retail trade center. The chief trade centers in the western part of the state are Frederick, Hagerstown, and Cumberland. In addition, there are large retailing establishments in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. On the Eastern Shore, Salisbury is the major trade center.
A Population Patterns
According to the 2000 national census, Maryland ranked 19th among the states in population. The state’s population totaled 5,296,486, representing an increase of 10.8 percent over the 1990 census population of 4,781,468. Maryland residents living in urban areas accounted for 86 percent of the state’s total population in 2000. The average population density for the state in 2006 was 222 persons per sq km (575 per sq mi).
Whites constitute 64 percent of the population, blacks 27.9 percent, Asians 4 percent, Native Americans 0.3 percent, and those of mixed heritage or not reporting race 3.8 percent. Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders number 2,303. Hispanics, who may be of any race, are 4.3 percent of the population.
B Principal Cities
Baltimore is by far the largest city, with a 2005 population of 635,815. One of the principal seaports and industrial centers on the Eastern Seaboard, Baltimore also ranks as the chief transportation, commercial, financial, and cultural center of Maryland. Baltimore is part of the vast urbanized area stretching from Washington, D.C., to Boston, Massachusetts, that is sometimes called a megalopolis. The Baltimore metropolitan area comprises the city of Baltimore and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard, and Queen Anne’s counties.
Within the Baltimore metropolitan area are numerous residential and industrial suburbs of the central city. The largest of these is Dundalk, an unincorporated community of 65,800 inhabitants in Baltimore County that ranked as one of the state’s largest communities. Other large unincorporated communities in the Baltimore metropolitan area include Catonsville and Essex. Columbia, in Howard County, is one of the nation’s first completely planned cities.
In the Maryland section of the metropolitan area of Washington, D.C. are Silver Spring, Bethesda, and Wheaton, which are unincorporated residential communities.
Rockville, a center for computer and aerospace research and government offices spreading from nearby Washington, D.C., had a 2005 population of 57,402. Frederick, with a population of 57,907, is primarily a trade and food-processing center in the western part of the Piedmont. Hagerstown is the largest city in western Maryland. In 2005 it had a population of 38,326. Situated in Hagerstown Valley, it serves as an industrial, trade, and transportation center. Cumberland, with a population of 20,915, is the principal commercial, industrial, and transportation center in the westernmost part of the state.
Annapolis has served as the state capital of Maryland since 1694 and is one of the oldest settlements in Maryland. It had a population of 36,300 in 2005.
C Religion
Of Maryland’s present inhabitants, about one-fourth of those professing a religion are Roman Catholics. The largest Protestant denominations are Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, and Presbyterians. About 4 percent of the state’s inhabitants are Jewish.
A Education
In early colonial times, schools in Maryland were private institutions attended primarily by the sons of wealthy landowners. The first publicly supported school in the colony, King William’s School was established at Annapolis in 1696.
In 1826 a state law was enacted providing for public schools throughout the state, and the first of these was opened in 1829 in Baltimore. In 1839 Baltimore also became the site of the first U.S. public high school to be established south of the Mason-Dixon line. An effective statewide system of free public education, however, was created only after the establishment of a state board of education and the appointment of a state superintendent of public instruction in 1864. School attendance is now compulsory in Maryland for children from the ages of 5 to 16. Some 17 percent of the children in the state attend private schools.
In the 2002–2003 school year Maryland spent $10,051 on each student’s education, compared to a national average of $9,299. There were 15.8 students for every teacher, compared to a national average of 15.9. Of those older than 25 years of age in the state, 87 percent had a high school diploma, while the national average was 84 percent.
A1 Higher Education
Maryland’s oldest-existing institution of higher learning and the first college that was established is Washington College. It was established at Chestertown in 1782 and named for George Washington, who headed the list of contributors and served on the governing board. St. John's College in Annapolis, chartered two years later, included the old King William’s School. The college is now known for its nonelective academic program that stresses the study of great works. The renowned Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore was opened in 1876. Among the other noted private colleges are Goucher College in Towson, Hood College in Frederick, and Loyola College in Maryland in Baltimore.
The University of Maryland, College Park is the largest institution of higher learning in Maryland and the flagship of the state-administered University System of Maryland. In addition, there are state colleges and universities in Baltimore, Bowie, Frostburg, Saint Mary’s City, Salisbury, and Towson. Morgan State University in Baltimore has a tradition of serving the black community. All of the Maryland public four-year colleges and universities, except St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Morgan State University, are now part of the University System of Maryland. Annapolis is the home of the United States Naval Academy. Among the various schools of art in the region is the renowned Maryland Institute, College of Art, in Baltimore. In 2004–2005 Maryland had 30 public and 27 private institutions of higher learning.
B Libraries
Maryland is served by numerous public libraries, including the outstanding Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, the leading public library in the state. The libraries are operated by 24 tax-supported library systems, which annually circulate an average of 9.4 books per resident, one of the highest rates in the country. Bookmobiles serve residents in some rural areas. The Maryland State Library in Annapolis, founded in 1827, houses numerous collections of special and general interest. The largest university library in the state is that of Johns Hopkins University. Documents relating to the history of Maryland are housed in the library of the Maryland Historical Society, in Baltimore; in the State Hall of Records, in Annapolis; and in a number of other libraries. Among the noted special collections in the state are the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, the National Agriculture Library, in Beltsville, and the music library at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. In the U.S. Naval Academy’s library are many works dealing with military and naval subjects. Morgan State University library houses a special collection of black writings and documents relating to black history. The Medical and Chirurgical Faculty Library in Baltimore is outstanding in the fields of medicine and surgery.
C Museums
Most of the noted museums in Maryland are situated in Baltimore. Among them are several fine-arts museums, including the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Gallery. The chief historical museum in Maryland is maintained in Baltimore by the Maryland Historical Society. Hagerstown is the seat of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. In Saint Michaels is Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. The U.S. Naval Academy Museum, in Annapolis, houses items relating to naval history.
D Communications
There were 13 daily newspapers published in Maryland in 2002. The first newspaper issued in the state was the Maryland Gazette, established at Annapolis in 1727. A second Maryland Gazette, also published at Annapolis, was founded in 1745. The first newspaper in Baltimore, the Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser, began operations in 1773. In the early decades of the 19th century, Niles’ Weekly Register, published in Baltimore by Hezekiah Niles, was one of the most influential papers in the United States.
Baltimore is the home of the state’s leading daily, the Sun. The Sun dates from 1837. The noted editor and critic H. L. Mencken was associated with the newspaper from 1906 to 1941. Other major Maryland dailies include the Salisbury Daily Times, the Hagerstown Daily Mail and Morning Herald, the Cumberland Times-News, and the Annapolis Capital.
The first radio stations in Maryland, WCAO and WFBR, began broadcasting in Baltimore in 1922. WMAR-TV, the first television station in the state, began operations in 1947 in Baltimore. In 2002 Maryland had 39 AM and 60 FM radio stations and 16 television stations.
E Music and Theater
Early in the 19th century, Baltimore became a leading U.S. theater center, and theatrical activity there flourished for more than 100 years. During the last half of the 19th century, Baltimore also developed as an outstanding music center. The Peabody Conservatory of Music opened in 1868 as the Academy of Music. After 1874 it became the center of musical activity in Maryland, and is now a division of the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University.
Concert and opera seasons are offered by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Opera Company, and the Peabody. The Morris A. Mechanic Theater in Baltimore lends itself to a wide variety of productions. Touring professional theater companies appear regularly in Baltimore, and there are several summer theaters and a growing number of little-theater groups in the state. The Vagabond Players of Baltimore is one of the oldest continuously operated “little theaters” in the United States. Major performing arts centers include the Ballet Theatre of Annapolis, Center Stage in Baltimore, and the Olney Theatre Center for the Arts in Olney.
Maryland offers both residents and visitors a wide variety of recreational facilities, places to visit, and magnificent scenery. Maryland has a diversity of landscape that is no less than that of larger states, ranging from mountains and lakes in the west to ocean beaches in the east. For centuries Marylanders have engaged in a broad range of outdoor activities, which today include fishing, sailing, swimming, hunting, and hiking. Maryland also is noted for the high quality of its lacrosse teams, and a modern form of jousting has been designated as the state sport. Maryland has several well-known Thoroughbred racetracks, including Pimlico, in Baltimore, site of the annual Preakness Stakes; Bowie Race Course, in Bowie; and Laurel Race Course, in Laurel. The Capital Centre, in Landover, is a large indoor sports and entertainment arena. Ocean City, on the Atlantic Ocean, is a popular seaside resort and a noted center for deep-water sport fishing.
A National Parks
The units in Maryland administered by the National Park Service include Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, which is situated in the city of Baltimore and the defense of which inspired the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park includes a section of the historic canal bordering the Potomac River. Hampton National Historic Site, an example of the lavish mansions built in the late 18th century, is situated near Towson, a suburb of Baltimore. In western Maryland are Antietam National Battlefield, site of an important battle during the Civil War (1861-1865) (see Antietam, Battle of), Antietam National Cemetery, and part of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Near Frederick is Monocacy National Battlefield, site of a critical engagement during the Confederates’ last attempt to capture Washington, D.C. In the section of Maryland near Washington, D.C., are located the Clara Barton National Historic Site, home of the founder of the American Red Cross, and parts of National Capital Parks. Near Port Tobacco is the Thomas Stone National Historic Site, home of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Overlooking the Monocacy Valley is Catoctin Mountain Park, situated on a forested ridge forming the eastern ramparts of the Appalachian Mountains. Assateague Island National Seashore lies on Assateague Island, off the Atlantic coast of Maryland and Virginia. See also Clara Barton.
B State Forests
The two largest state forests in Maryland are Savage River State Forest and Green Ridge State Forest. Both of them are situated in the western part of the state. Facilities for camping, hunting, and fishing are available in most of the state forests.
C State Parks
Many of Maryland’s state parks have facilities for camping, picnicking, boating, hiking, and nature studies. The largest, Patapsco State Park, is made up of six recreation areas along the Patapsco River. Wye Oak State Park, on the Eastern Shore, was established to preserve a white oak that was more than 450 years old when it was toppled in a storm in June 2002. Fort Frederick State Park, in western Maryland, contains a restored fort that was originally built in 1756, during the French and Indian War. Washington Monument State Park is on South Mountain in western Maryland. The stone monument honoring George Washington was erected in 1827, the first monument to Washington erected in the country.
D Other Places of Interest
Among the numerous historic cities of interest to visit in Maryland is Annapolis, the state capital, which has been designated as a national historic district. Baltimore, like Annapolis, is also noted for its numerous places of historic interest. The Babe Ruth Birthplace and Baseball Center has exhibits and films about the sports legend. The National Aquarium on the Baltimore waterfront contains 12 major themed exhibits, including marine mammals.
Historic buildings are numerous throughout the state. Of particular interest are the fine old mansions and churches of Annapolis, Frederick, and some of the picturesque communities on the Eastern Shore. In southern Maryland is Saint Marys City, the site of the first settlement in the state, dating from 1634.
E Annual Events
Horse racing is one of the most popular spectator sports in Maryland. Well-known races include the Maryland Hunt Cup, which is a steeplechase held in Baltimore in April, the Preakness Stakes, in Baltimore in May, and the Maryland Million Day, at Laurel in October.
Maryland Day is celebrated in late March in Saint Marys City. In June, at Columbia, a Fine Arts Festival is held. June also marks the Bay Country Music Festival, in Centreville. On June 14, a Flag Day celebration is held at Fort McHenry in Baltimore. The Maryland State Fair opens annually in late August at Timonium. Jousting tournaments, the official state sport, are held in several locations during the summer. Defenders Day is commemorated in September by a mock bombardment of Fort McHenry in the harbor at Baltimore. October is marked by the celebration of Olde Princess Anne Days in Somerset County. In early December is an annual candlelight tour of historic Havre de Grace.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards is the home of Baltimore’s major league professional baseball team. The Washington Bullets basketball team and Washington Capitals hockey team play at Landover. In late 1995 the owner of the Cleveland Browns professional football franchise announced his intention to move the team to Baltimore. The team, renamed the Baltimore Ravens, began to play in Baltimore in 1996 at Memorial Stadium. During the 1998 season the Ravens moved into a new stadium built next to Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Maryland’s present constitution, the state’s fourth, was adopted in 1867. Previous state constitutions had been adopted in 1776, 1851, an 1864. A proposed amendment to the constitution must initially be approved by three-fifths of the membership of each house of the state legislature. To be adopted, the amendment must then be approved by a majority of the electorate voting on it in a general election. Amendments may also be proposed by specific constitutional conventions.
A Executive
The chief executive, the governor, is elected to a four-year term and may serve no more than two terms in succession. The governor has wide appointive powers, which extend to choosing many county, as well as state, administrative officials. The governor may veto proposed legislation, but the state legislature can override his veto by a three-fifths majority vote in each house. Other elected officials in the executive are the lieutenant governor, the attorney general, and the comptroller of the treasury, all of whom serve four-year terms.
B Legislative
The state legislature, officially called the General Assembly, consists of a Senate of 47 members and a House of Delegates of 141 members. All legislators are elected to four-year terms. The general assembly convenes annually in January for 90-day sessions, which can be extended by approval of a supermajority of the legislature. The governor may call special sessions.
C Judicial
The court of appeals is composed of a chief judge and six judges. The court of special appeals is made up of a chief judge and 12 judges. Circuit courts include the circuit court of Baltimore City, known as the supreme bench of Baltimore. Judges of the two appellate courts serve 10-year terms and the circuit court justices serve 15-year terms. Initially they are appointed by the governor. Then, after at least one year’s service, the judges run on a nonpartisan ballot, frequently unopposed, for full terms. The governor appoints the chief judges of the appellate courts and the chief judge of each judicial circuit. Lower state courts include district courts and orphans’ courts.
D Local Government
There are 23 counties in Maryland, of which 15 are governed by boards of county commissioners. The others are administered by county councils. County commissioners and county council members also are elected to four-year terms, as are treasurers, circuit court clerks, registers of wills, state’s attorneys, sheriffs, and surveyors. Most other county administrative officials and board members are appointed either by the governor or by the county government. The city of Baltimore is administratively independent of any county.
Most of the municipalities in Maryland, including Baltimore, have the mayor and council system of municipal government. Many large unincorporated suburban communities in the state are administered directly by the county governments.
E National Representation
Maryland has eight representatives and two senators. It casts ten electoral votes in presidential elections.
A Early Inhabitants
 Pottery, axheads, and burial sites indicate that Native Americans lived on the upper Chesapeake Bay and its surrounding lands for many centuries. At the beginning of historic times in the early 17th century, various peoples were present who spoke languages of the Algonquian group: the Conoy and Patuxent lived on the Western Shore of the bay; and the Choptank, Nanticoke, Assateague, and Pocomoke maintained villages on the Eastern Shore. The Susquehannock, a people who spoke an Iroquoian language, lived near the mouth of the Susquehanna River. They hunted and raided to the south along Chesapeake Bay.
Eventually nearly all of these peoples moved away to escape the pressure of white settlement. Those who remained were scattered or much reduced in population, either as a result of conflicts with white settlers or with other Native Americans or as a result of European diseases, to which they had little resistance. By the end of the 18th century almost no Native Americans remained in Maryland.
B European Exploration and Settlement
Spanish explorers sailed along the Maryland coast in the 16th century. In the early 17th century, fur traders from Virginia colony traded with Native Americans in the area. Under a commercial license issued by Virginia, William Claiborne built the first white settlement in the area in 1631. It was a fur trading post on Kent Island, east of modern-day Annapolis.
In 1632, George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore, induced King Charles I of England to grant him the land north of the Potomac River, which had been part of the grant to Virginia colony. Calvert, a former high adviser to the king and recent convert to Roman Catholicism, wanted to establish a community where fellow Catholics, who were persecuted in England, could worship freely. In addition, he anticipated a financial profit from his colonial enterprise. Calvert died before Charles completed the charter, and the grant went to his son Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore. It included the land from the south bank of the Potomac north to the 40th parallel, as well as all but the tip of the Delmarva Peninsula. Maryland’s western boundary ran from the “fountain” (source) of the Potomac northward until it met the 40th parallel. Cecilius Calvert proceeded to organize an expedition of about 200 settlers under the leadership of his younger brother Leonard Calvert, who was to serve as provincial governor. The settlers reached the province in March 1634, first setting foot on Maryland soil at Saint Clements Island. They established Saint Marys (later Saint Marys City) on the site of a former Native American village—which they bought from its inhabitants—near the mouth of the Saint George’s River (now Saint Marys River).
The settlers cultivated the land previously cleared by the Native Americans, planting corn and tobacco. Their first harvests were good, and they remained at peace with the Native Americans. But they had difficulties of other sorts. Claiborne refused to recognize Lord Baltimore’s jurisdiction over Kent Island, which he claimed was part of Virginia. As a result, petty warfare broke out in 1635 between Claiborne’s and Baltimore’s forces. In 1638 the English Commissioners for Foreign Plantations ruled that Kent Island came under the jurisdiction of Maryland.
Another early conflict occurred between Lord Baltimore and the provincial legislature. Under the terms of the charter, the legislature was restricted to approving legislation proposed by Baltimore. The legislature soon demanded the power to initiate legislation. After resisting its demand, Baltimore yielded on this important point in 1638, when he agreed that laws enacted by the legislature and approved by the governor should be temporarily valid pending his own approval.
B1 Civil Strife
During the 1640s, Maryland was shaken by a succession of conflicts related to the civil strife occurring in England. At that time the king was engaged in a struggle for power with Parliament, the English legislature. Lord Baltimore supported the king, while many Maryland colonists were sympathetic to Parliament, which was controlled by conservative Protestants known as Puritans. Even though complete religious freedom prevailed in the province, Baltimore’s adherence to Catholicism was a cause of unrest among the settlers, a majority of whom were Protestants. The differences between proprietor and settlers tended to make the proprietary authority unstable, and in 1644 Claiborne seized power and drove Governor Calvert into exile in Virginia. In 1646 Calvert reasserted proprietary authority with troops supplied by the governor of Virginia, Sir William Berkeley.
Governor Calvert died in June 1647. The struggle between the king and Parliament had become a civil war in England, and it was by that time apparent that the Parliamentarians would prevail. To gain favor with the strongly anti-Catholic Parliamentarians, as well as to placate the Protestant majority in Maryland, Lord Baltimore appointed a Protestant, William Stone, as governor and named other Protestants to important positions in the government. At the same time he sought to ensure that the religious freedom of the Catholic minority would not be compromised by the Protestant majority. Largely as a result of his prodding, the legislature passed the Act Concerning Religion in 1649, assuring freedom of worship to all who believed in the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. Although limited to Christians and repealed in 1692, this was one of the earliest statutes of religious liberty.
Lord Baltimore’s adroit political maneuvers were of no avail. Parliament appointed commissioners for Maryland, one of whom was his old enemy Claiborne. In 1654 the commission reorganized the provincial government, eliminating the proprietor’s political authority and removing Governor Stone. Subsequently, the Puritan-controlled legislature passed anti-Catholic legislation. Baltimore refused to accept the loss of his authority and doggedly worked in England for its restoration. In March 1655, Stone led a force of 130 soldiers to try to recapture the government, but was thoroughly beaten and most of his force captured. The Puritans executed four of Stone’s lieutenants. Baltimore meanwhile secured the assurance of Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell, who ruled England in the name of Parliament, that he was still the proprietor of Maryland. Finally, in November 1657, he reached an agreement with the Puritan commissioners to restore his former authority over the colony.
During the 1660s and 1670s, proprietary authority was largely unchallenged. However, the Protestant farmers scattered along the shores of Chesapeake Bay resented the province’s Catholic leadership in Saint Marys City. In 1688 English King James II, a Catholic, was succeeded by the Protestant monarchs William and Mary. By an accident of fate the provincial governor delayed in proclaiming the new monarchs, giving new life to the suspicion, long held among Maryland Protestants, that insidious anti-Protestant plots were afoot in the province. The suspicion renewed old grievances. In 1689 Protestant rebels, led by John Coode, overthrew the proprietary government and asked King William to place the colony under royal control. This was accomplished with the arrival of the first royal governor in 1692. In the same year the Church of England was made the official church of the province. The change in regimes also resulted in the shifting of the provincial capital in 1694 from Catholic-dominated Saint Marys City to Protestant-dominated Anne Arundel Town (now Annapolis).
B2 Expanding Economy
By the late 17th century, settlers had spread over much of Maryland, primarily along the rivers and creeks that supplied oceanborne shipping. Tobacco prices encouraged further planting in both Maryland and Virginia. Some of the settlers had large plantations, but most worked smaller tobacco farms averaging 100 hectares (250 acres) in size, sometimes with the help of white indentured servants or black slaves from Africa or the Caribbean. In the 1690s, when slave prices fell and the supply of white servants shrank, planters began using slaves almost exclusively. Maryland and Virginia law at the same time defined black slavery as a lifetime condition.
C The 18th Century
Maryland remained a royal province until 1715. In that year it became a proprietary province again because Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore, had converted to Protestantism.
C1 Expanding Population
Throughout the 17th century newcomers to the Chesapeake area typically underwent a period of months or years during which they fell prey to malaria and other strange diseases. The death rate was extremely high and kept the population down. By the early 18th century, however, more and more Marylanders were native born and had resistance that allowed them to live longer and have larger families. Population grew accordingly, rising from about 25,000 in 1700 to about 130,000 in 1750. By the time of the American Revolution (1775-1783) the population was about 225,000.
Settlement continued to concentrate on the Atlantic Coastal Plain. However, beginning about 1700, English settlers moved west into the Piedmont. By the 1730s, Germans began to move south from Pennsylvania into Frederick County, which until the revolution embraced all of western Maryland. Farmers shipped their crops to Baltimore for sale, and Baltimore, which had been established in 1729, became the main outlet for Maryland’s farm produce.
In 1769 a long-term boundary dispute between Maryland and Pennsylvania was finally resolved when Great Britain (a union of three countries headed by England) officially recognized latitude 39°43’ north, named the Mason-Dixon Line after its British surveyors, as the boundary. Colonies north of the Mason-Dixon Line eventually came to be called the North, and those south of it were the South. Over the next 90 years the regional differences between the North and the South were to grow until they erupted into civil war.
C2 Independence From Britain
Although Marylanders had grievances against British rule, their grievances were fewer and less serious than those of other American colonies. Daniel Dulany the Younger, a Maryland lawyer, presented such powerful arguments against the Stamp Act, imposed on the colonies in 1765, that British statesman William Pitt was influenced to argue in Parliament for its repeal.
From 1715 to the mid-1770s, however, Maryland politics largely turned on conflicts between the lord proprietor and the antiproprietary forces protesting the fees and restrictions imposed by the lord’s regime. In 1770 a statute that established proprietary fees, and also set required contributions to the established Church of England, expired. For several years every attempt to reestablish the fees aroused as much or more resentment than the actions of the British government. Maryland’s movement toward independence from Great Britain thus began as a local dispute over provincial issues. The patriot Charles Carroll of Carrollton, who later became a leader in the American Revolution, first got into political dispute by publishing a series of articles in the Maryland Gazette under the pen name of First Citizen. Carroll used constitutional arguments to rebut the pro-fee position taken by Dulany, the chief proprietary spokesman.
Maryland became involved in continental issues in 1774 when the British blockaded the harbor of Boston, Massachusetts, where patriots had been protesting the tea tax and monopoly. Carroll and other popular leaders, such as Samuel Chase and William Paca, turned complaints about the proprietary regime into public resistance to British control. In October of that year a group of Marylanders staged their own tea tax incident by burning the brigantine Peggy Stewart, which had arrived in Annapolis harbor with 2,000 pounds of tax-paid tea in its cargo.
Of more permanent importance was the establishment in that year of the Maryland provincial convention, consisting of deputies elected from each of the counties. The convention and its executive arm, the council of safety, gradually took over government of the province. The convention sent delegates to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, beginning in 1774, to help coordinate resistance to British oppression.
Despite the increasing popular sentiment against Great Britain, the convention remained cautious and officially opposed independence until colonial troops had been fighting the British for more than a year. Finally, in May 1776, the convention asked Governor Eden to return to England. It then passed a resolution directing the province’s delegates to Congress to support independence. The delegates voted in favor of it in Congress in July 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was adopted. Charles Carroll, Samuel Chase, William Paca, and Thomas Stone signed the document for Maryland.
During the American Revolution, Marylanders distinguished themselves in battle in places far to the north and south. Maryland privateers, or merchant vessels converted to warships, harried British shipping along the coast.
C3 Early Statehood
A convention met in Annapolis in 1776 to draw up a state constitution. In February 1777 the legislature elected Thomas Johnson as the state’s first governor under the new constitution.
In February 1781 Maryland was the last state to authorize its delegates to sign the Articles of Confederation, setting forth a governmental system for the United States. Maryland had hesitated because of its contention that Virginia and other states that had vast land claims in the west should cede these to the federal government. Virginia, which had the largest claim, was the last to cede it and in the meantime tried to make a bargain by offering instead to give land to Revolutionary War veterans. Maryland was adamant, however, and Virginia finally gave up its claim on January 2, 1781.
In September 1786 Annapolis was host to a convention of states for the purpose of discussing uniform regulations for trade and commerce. The moving force behind the convention was patriot James Madison, a Virginia legislator who had experienced the frustration of trying to set navigation rules that Virginia, Maryland, and all other concerned states could agree on for the Potomac River. Madison, along with many others, believed that only the federal government could effectively enforce uniform trade regulations and that the Articles of Confederation were inadequate for that purpose.
Nine states accepted invitations to the convention, but only five—Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware—actually sent delegates. Despite the poor attendance, they agreed that not only commerce but other operations of government under the Articles needed revision. The convention drafted a resolution calling on the states to meet in Philadelphia the next spring to “render the constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union.” The proposal was approved by Congress, and the resulting Philadelphia convention of 1787 drew up the Constitution of the United States. Maryland became the seventh state to ratify the Constitution, on April 28, 1788.
In 1790 Maryland ceded a half-square of land along the Potomac River, amounting to 177 sq km (68 sq mi), for the site of a permanent federal capital. This was called the District of Columbia; the capital, when it became the seat of the federal government in 1800, was named Washington.
C4 Growth of Baltimore
By the late 18th century, wheat—which was grown on the upper Eastern Shore of Maryland, in the Susquehanna River basin in Pennsylvania, and in the lush Piedmont of western Maryland—was creating enormous wealth and encouraging the growth of cities, especially Baltimore and Philadelphia. The markets for wheat and flour, both domestic and foreign, seemed inexhaustible. To sell the vast amounts of wheat produced, Baltimore entrepreneurs built ships, docks, warehouses, and offices; they bought insurance, paid clerks, issued newspaper advertisements, and fought savagely for competitive advantage over merchants in Philadelphia. Baltimore grew swiftly. Millers built mills along the fast-running streams that fed into the harbor. Hotels, taverns, and churches went up. Construction of wagons, barrels, and houses joined ironmaking as basic Baltimore industries.
D The 19th Century
D1 War of 1812
The War of 1812 (1812-1815) broke out between the United States and Britain over the issues of free trade and impressment of seamen. British ships began attacking communities along Chesapeake Bay early in 1813, and in August 1814, a British squadron, joined by recently arrived transports carrying several thousand troops under Major General Robert Ross, set out to capture Washington and Baltimore. The fleet sailed up the Patuxent River and discharged Ross’s troops at Benedict. They proceeded unimpeded to Bladensburg, near Washington. There they routed a U.S. force led by General William H. Winder. They then entered Washington and burned several buildings, including the White House.
Following the burning of Washington, the British returned to their ships on the Patuxent. On September 12, Ross’s troops were landed at North Point, at the mouth of the Patapsco River below Baltimore. As they marched toward the city, the British engaged a smaller force of local militia, which inflicted severe casualties on them and killed General Ross. The militia then retreated toward the city and regrouped with 12,000 troops to face the British. However, the British retired to their ships on September 14 without firing a shot. Meanwhile, on September 13, British warships had attacked Fort McHenry, which guarded the entrance to Baltimore Harbor. Intense bombardment of the fort continued for 25 hours but failed to force it to surrender, and the British withdrew from the harbor on September 14. The entire engagement, observed by Maryland lawyer and poet Francis Scott Key from a flag-of-truce boat in the harbor, was the inspiration for his poem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Set to music, this became the U.S. national anthem in 1931.
D2 Transportation Revolution
Baltimore’s economic growth clearly depended on transportation links with the West. Thus in 1811 the federal government began construction of the National Road westward from Cumberland, Maryland, to Wheeling, Virginia (now in West Virginia), along the Ohio River. The road opened between those two points in 1818, and in 1821 turnpike companies completed links between Baltimore and Cumberland. In July 1828, business interests centered in the city of Washington broke ground for the projected Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal, starting on the Potomac, that was supposed to connect the nation’s capital with the Ohio River. In 1850 the C&O canal reached Cumberland and stopped there. It never reached Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, its original intended terminus, but it was a boon to commerce nevertheless because its western end linked up with the National Road.
At the same time, Baltimore investors began work on a long-distance railroad. This revolutionary approach to moving people and commodities proved to be a complete success despite the obstacle of the Allegheny Mountains in the west. The Baltimore and Ohio, or B&O, Railroad, completed track to Wheeling in 1852; it set an example for the nation and ensured Baltimore’s prominence as a center of trade. By 1860 the city had a population of 212,418, or nearly one-third of the state’s total population of 687,049. From the city’s harbor, vessels carried flour and other products to all parts of the world. Some were the renowned Baltimore clipper schooners, swift sailing vessels that first appeared toward the end of the revolution and were built chiefly in Eastern Shore and Baltimore shipyards. After 1850, Baltimore’s shipyards built fewer sailing ships and concentrated on construction of steam-powered vessels.
D3 The Civil War
 Slavery was one of the most important issues in national politics in the first half of the 19th century. Politicians of the North pressed to end it, both because it was considered immoral and because white labor could not compete with unpaid black labor. Politicians of the South felt that slavery was necessary to their agricultural system and that the North was trying to dominate the country economically. By the 1850s, Southerners saw their power slipping in Congress, and the clamor by Northern abolitionists—those who wanted to end slavery totally and immediately—was at its peak. Many in the South came to believe that secession from the federal Union was the only way to protect “Southern rights,” including the right to own slaves.
In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected president as the candidate of the Republican Party, which opposed the spread of slavery. The state of South Carolina had threatened to secede if the Republicans won, and in December 1860 it did so. Other slavery states followed in quick succession, and in February 1861 they formed a confederacy, the Confederate States of America. The American Civil War began officially on April 12, 1861, when the Confederates bombarded a federal fort in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina.
Maryland had ties to both North and South. Some Marylanders, particularly the state’s 14,000 slaveholders, favored secession. Many more opposed it but also opposed the use of armed force to return seceded states to the Union. In Baltimore on April 19, 1861, a pro-Confederacy mob attacked Massachusetts troops as they made their way between rail stations, shedding the first blood of the war and causing outrage in the loyal states. President Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus, thus allowing him to detain Confederate sympathizers without a court hearing, and by mid-May Union Army soldiers occupied Federal Hill in Baltimore. Baltimore remained occupied throughout the war. Realizing the strategic importance of keeping Maryland in the Union, the Lincoln Administration employed force as necessary to discourage secessionism. In the 1861 election for governor, the military took measures, including the arrest of many pro-Confederacy politicians, to guarantee the election of a pro-Union candidate. A constitutional convention in 1864 abolished slavery, making Maryland the first state to do so on its own.
Eventually more than 50,000 Marylanders fought for the Union and about 22,000 volunteered for the Confederacy. Three major battles took place on Maryland soil. On September 14, 1862, at South Mountain, The Union Army under General George McClellan met Confederate troops led by General Robert E. Lee and drove them back several miles toward Sharpsburg. On September 17, these forces clashed again in the Battle of Antietam (Southerners call it the Battle of Sharpsburg), the war’s bloodiest single day. More than 18,000 soldiers were wounded, 4,700 killed, and 3,000 missing in action. The failure of this foray by Lee north of the Potomac forestalled European intervention on the South’s behalf. It also gave Lincoln the victory he needed to provide a favorable atmosphere for his Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves in rebel-held areas, which he announced five days after the battle. It became effective on January 1, 1863. On July 9, 1864, an advance on Washington by Confederate troops was delayed by a small Union force at the Battle of the Monocacy, enabling Union forces to fortify the national capital.
D4 The Late 19th Century
After the Civil War, black Marylanders found the path toward equality obstructed and disappointing. In the countryside, whites vandalized some freedmen’s schools. Many former slaves moved to Baltimore in search of better lives. There they joined a vibrant community made up largely of blacks who had been free for generations. When the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted black men the right to vote in 1870, Maryland was not one of the states that ratified the measure. Black Baltimoreans nonetheless paraded proudly through the city.
D5 The Economy and Politics
The state’s economy grew unevenly in the late 19th century. The B&O remained an important link to the Midwest, and C&O barges continued to bring large quantities of western Maryland coal to the Tidewater area. Baltimore lost its prominence in flour milling to places closer to the new Western wheat belt, but the city flourished as a center for clothing, canning, fertilizer, steel, banking, and coastal shipping. Women and children played important roles in some of this work, especially in canning and clothing. Agriculture on the Eastern Shore converted to vegetable and fruit growing (or truck farming) and eventually to poultry. On the Western Shore, farmers in the southern counties continued to rely on tobacco; in the Piedmont, farm families looked increasingly to the markets of Baltimore and Washington. Until the supply sharply dropped in the 1890s, oystering boomed in Chesapeake Bay. It also produced armed conflicts as Marylanders and Virginians fought over the remaining oyster beds. Violence on a larger scale erupted in 1877, when B&O workers attempted to strike against the railroad and were put down by militia.
Meanwhile railroad and shipping interests heavily influenced the state’s Democratic Party, which, under the leadership of U.S. Senator Arthur Pue Gorman and Baltimore political broker I. Freeman Rasin, dominated politics, welcomed former Confederates, and developed into a highly efficient political machine—an organization to control party offices and appointments to government jobs. In statewide elections Republicans, calling for reform, often ran a close second.
D6 Institutional Reforms and Improvements
As elsewhere in the United States, changing attitudes toward politics and the role of the state in daily affairs produced in Maryland an impulse toward reform and improvement as the 19th century ended. The University of Maryland Medical School pioneered in adopting the French clinical method of teaching and took special interest in the care of mothers and newborn infants. At the Johns Hopkins Hospital (opened in 1889) and School of Medicine (1893), researchers made strides in formulating the germ theory of disease and finding effective ways to treat tuberculosis. Such efforts led to improvements in obstetric care, new public health measures, and fresh attitudes toward housing and caring for the poor, the sick, and the disabled.
Johns Hopkins University, founded in 1876, led the way in graduate education. Its faculty members also campaigned for better management of the oyster beds in particular and for more rational public policies generally. Educators succeeded in strengthening and standardizing teacher training. In Baltimore, Henrietta Szold developed model programs for the care and education of immigrant children. Enoch Pratt, a Baltimore merchant, sponsored the first citywide system of free libraries, which opened in 1886.
In 1894 the legislature restricted child labor and set standards for pure milk; in 1896 it adopted the secret ballot; and in 1902 it passed the country’s first workers’ compensation law. The Maryland Bar Association formed in 1895 and called for revised laws and professionalism among judges. Women in favor of good government formed a state federation in 1899 and five years later organized a women’s suffrage association.
E The 20th Century
E1 World Wars and Depression
The entry of the United States into World War I in 1917 had immediate and far-reaching impact on Maryland. Increases in the government workforce in Washington, D.C., spurred suburban growth—housing, commercial development, and roadbuilding—in neighboring Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. The U.S. War Department and Navy Department took over large expanses of land for training camps and weapons testing grounds. Shipbuilding, munitions, uniforms, and other military production gave Baltimore’s economy a strong boost. During the war H.L. Mencken, the Baltimore journalist, literary critic, and magazine editor, stopped writing his weekly opinion column, so strong were his pro-German sympathies. After the war Mencken resumed his place as a critic at large, becoming a figure of national prominence.
During the unprecedented four administrations of Democratic Governor Albert C. Ritchie (1920-1935), Maryland made changes in the structure and budgeting of state government and spent large sums to improve the road system. Ritchie campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1924 and 1932. The Maryland economy largely continued strong during the 1920s. Its diversity helped somewhat to cushion the blows resulting from the stock market crash of October 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression, the economic hardtimes of the 1930s. Nonetheless, the depression made a deep mark on nearly everyone. A Peoples Unemployment League formed in Baltimore in 1933; three years later a labor strike in Cumberland led to riots.
Even before the United States entered World War II (1939-1945), the war purchases of Britain and some of the other Allied Powers meant increased business for Maryland industries like the Glenn L. Martin Company aircraft plant near Baltimore. After the United States joined the Allies, war mobilization moved the state’s economy into high gear. From April 1940 to November 1943 the labor force in Baltimore gained 215,000 jobs while losing 55,000 people to military service. Shipbuilding and repair workers, many of them newly arrived in Baltimore, labored around the clock. The time they took to build a Liberty ship fell from 244 to 30 days. The black percentage of the Maryland workforce climbed from 7 percent to 17 percent. Women worked in both light and heavy industry, drove buses, tested weapons, and made explosives. Doctors and nurses from University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins medical schools formed hospital units. A combined Maryland-Virginia National Guard force, the 29th Division of the U.S. Army, was in the bloody fighting at Omaha Beach when the Allies made their great amphibious assault on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
When the Allies won the war in the summer of 1945, most Marylanders wanted to return to normal life. Most women war workers returned to domestic life. Couples got married and started families. Easier home mortgage loans for veterans allowed many families in Baltimore row houses or Washington, D.C., apartments to buy houses outside the city. More families could afford automobiles. Politicians on the local level, in almost every community, scrambled to build new schools and roads.
A number of factors kept the Maryland economy robust for many years. First was the work of demobilization—the return of military personnel to civilian life—and the pent-up demand for consumer goods—which had been in short supply during the war. Then defense spending continued during the Cold War, a period of hostility between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
E2 The Civil Rights Movement
Maryland law established racial segregation in public accommodations in 1904 (which both whites and blacks often ignored), but citizens of the state three times rejected referendums that called for black voters to be disfranchised (denied voting rights). The second oldest chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which was long the country’s most prominent minority rights organization, was formed in Baltimore in 1913.
After World War II, black Marylanders were among those making renewed calls for racial justice. Lillie Carroll Jackson led the active Baltimore chapter of the NAACP. Attorney Thurgood Marshall, a Baltimorean who led the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, helped to mount a concerted legal challenge to racial segregation in schools. In 1954, in the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education, he succeeded in getting the Supreme Court of the United States to decide that separate black schools were inherently unequal. Later, he sat on that same Court himself as its first black member.
Baltimore had begun to desegregate its high schools before the Brown decision required it to do so. Yet school integration did not move swiftly in eastern and southern Maryland, and it produced resistance among many whites. White emigration to the suburbs of Washington and Baltimore accelerated.
During the 1960s, Marylanders generally opened access to schools, public facilities, and housing to all citizens without regard to color. But uneven success, continuing poverty, and the growing militancy of the civil rights movement also polarized some communities. Race riots broke out in Cambridge in 1963 and 1964, and the National Guard was called in to restore order. In April 1968, after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., rioting occurred in parts of Baltimore. In the short run, the Baltimore riots offered Governor Spiro T. Agnew an excuse to attack the city’s black leadership. In the long run, the discord brought moderates of both races together to find ways to expand opportunities in the private sector of the economy and strengthen institutions that could work out grievances and foster stability.
E3 Late 20th Century Economy
Maryland grew in population rapidly in the Cold War years, particularly around Washington and Baltimore, from almost 2 million in 1950 to almost 5 million in 1980. Land in farming dropped from about two-thirds of total land area in 1950 to far less than one-half thirty years later. Columbia, the planned (and deliberately integrated) community that opened between Baltimore and Washington in the mid-1960s, was the work of developer James W. Rouse, who throughout his career promoted public housing for the poor and designed unusual, people-oriented shopping centers. Rouse received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, in 1995 for his contributions to the field of urban planning.
The state’s economy in the 1960s and 1970s gradually began to shift in response to global trends and changing patterns of transportation. The port of Baltimore faced strong competition from Newport News, Virginia. The demand for western Maryland’s bituminous coal fell because it produced more air pollution than other types of coal. Gradually the state’s economy shifted from heavy to light industry—from shipbuilding and steelmaking in Baltimore to the “smokeless” high-technology firms that first congregated along the Interstate 270 corridor in Montgomery County. Jobs in service industries that offered low wages increased. So did tourism, notably in Baltimore’s refurbished downtown.
E4 Political Trends
Although the majority of the state’s voters were registered as Democrats, the state nonetheless put Republicans in office in the 1960s and 1970s. Maryland politics was broad based. In the late 1970s, the Maryland congressional delegation had a higher proportion of women than that of any other state, and the legislature had one of the highest ratios of black and female membership in the nation.
The openness of Maryland politics helped the state weather the occasional embarrassing scandals. Governor Agnew, later twice elected vice president under President Richard M. Nixon, pleaded no contest to corruption charges and resigned in disgrace in October 1973. Four years later a sitting governor, Marvin Mandel, was sentenced to federal prison for mail fraud. Following these events, anticorruption measures were passed under the reform administration of Governor Harry R. Hughes.
In the early 1990s taxation and government expense were among the major political issues. Marylanders were split about evenly by geographic region. Liberals and moderates prevailed in three localities: heavily black, financially strapped Baltimore; Prince George’s County, containing many federal workers and black suburbanites; and well-to-do Montgomery County, with its own federal employees. Conservative-to-moderate voters prevailed in other parts of the state, which are predominantly white, suspicious of government, and culturally conservative. Democrat Parris Glendening was elected governor in 1994 on the strength of the Baltimore black vote and Prince George’s federal worker vote; his Republican opponent carried 19 of the state’s 23 counties. He was reelected in 1998.
F The 21st Century
At the beginning of the 21st century, Maryland voters were becoming increasingly conservative. In 2002 voters elected the state’s first Republican governor since 1966 when United States representative Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., defeated two-term Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. As governor, Ehrlich proposed legalizing slot machines to help offset the state’s budget shortfall. But the controversial initiative failed in the state legislature. Voters elected a Democrat, Baltimore mayor Martin O’Malley, as governor in 2006.
The history section of this article was contributed by Robert J. Brugger. The remainder of the article was contributed by James E. DiLisio.

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