Maryland

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Maryland

Maryland (mâr´ələnd), one of the Middle Atlantic states of the United States. It is bounded by Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean (E), the District of Columbia (S), Virginia and West Virginia (S, W), and Pennsylvania (N).

Facts and Figures

Area, 10,577 sq mi (27,394 sq km). Pop. (2000) 5,296,468, a 10.8% increase since the 1990 census. Capital, Annapolis. Largest city, Baltimore. Statehood, Apr. 28, 1788 (7th of the original 13 states to ratify the Constitution). Highest pt., Backbone Mt., 3,360 ft (1,025 m); lowest pt., sea level. Nickname, Old Line State. Motto,Fatti Maschii, Parole Femine [Manly Deeds, Womanly Words]. State bird, Baltimore oriole. State flower, black-eyed Susan. State tree, white oak. Abbr., Md.; MD

Geography

A seaboard state, E Maryland is divided by Chesapeake Bay, which runs almost to the northern border; thus the region of Maryland called the Eastern Shore is separated from the main part of the state and is dominated by the bay. For the most part, the erratic course of the Potomac River separates the main part of Maryland from Virginia (to the south) and the long, narrow western handle from West Virginia (to the south and west). The District of Columbia cuts a rectangular indentation into the state just below the falls of the Potomac.

The main part of the state is divided by the fall line, which runs between the upper end of Chesapeake Bay and Washington, D.C.; to the north and west is the rolling Piedmont, rising to the Blue Ridge and to the Pennsylvania hills. The heavily indented shores of Chesapeake Bay fringe the land with bays and estuaries, which helped in the development of a farm economy relying on water transport. Flourishing in the mild winters and hot summers of the coastal plains are typically southern trees, such as the loblolly pine and the magnolia, while the cooler uplands have woods of black and white oak and beech. Maryland has nearly 3 million acres (l.2 million hectares) of forest land.

Annapolis, with its well-preserved Colonial architecture and 18th-century waterfront, is the capital; it is also the site of the U.S. Naval Academy. Baltimore, with a large percentage of the state's population, is the dominant metropolis. Tourists are attracted to the Antietam National Battlefield and the National Cemetery at Sharpsburg (see National Parks and Monuments, table); the Fort McHenry National Monument, near Baltimore's inner harbor; and the historic towns of Frederick and St. Marys City. Racing enthusiasts attend the annual Preakness and Pimlico Cup horse races in Baltimore. There are several military establishments, including Fort George G. Meade and Andrews Air Force Base. The National Institutes of Health in Bethesda is a government establishment. The 12,000-acre (4,856-hectare) National Agricultural Research Center is located at Beltsville.

Economy

Although the fishing industry is declining, the catch of fish and shellfish, chiefly from Chesapeake Bay, yielded an income of over $67 million in 1998, and the state's annual catch of crabs is the largest in the nation. The coastal marshes abound in wildfowl. Stone, coal, and iron, mined chiefly in the west of Maryland, are much less significant than in the 19th cent.

Leading manufactures include electrical and electronic machinery, primary metals, food products, missiles, transportation equipment, and chemicals. Shipping (Baltimore is a major U.S. port), tourism (especially along Chesapeake Bay), biotechnology and information technology, and printing and publishing are also big industries. Service industries, finance, insurance, and real estate are all important. Many Marylanders work for the federal government, either in offices in Maryland or in neighboring Washington, D.C.

Although manufacturing well exceeds agriculture as a source of income, Maryland's farms yield various greenhouse items, corn, hay, tobacco, soybeans, and other crops. Income from livestock (especially broiler chickens) and livestock products, especially dairy goods, is almost twice that from crops. Maryland is also famous for breeding horses.

Government, Politics, and Higher Education

Maryland is governed under a constitution adopted in 1867. The general assembly consists of 47 senators and 141 delegates, all elected for four-year terms. The governor, also elected for a four-year term, may succeed him- or herself once. The state elects two U.S. senators and eight representatives. It has 10 electoral votes. Democrats traditionally dominate state government; William D. Schaefer was elected governor in 1986 and 1990, Parris Glendening in 1994 and 1998. In 2002, however, a Republican, Robert Ehrlich, Jr., was elected to the office. Ehrlich was defeated (2006) for reelection by Democrat Martin O'Malley; he defeated Ehrlich again in 2010.

Maryland's medical, educational, and cultural institutions greatly benefited from philanthropic gifts in the late 19th cent. from Johns Hopkins, George Peabody, and Enoch Pratt. Institutions of higher learning in the state include Goucher College and Towson Univ., at Towson; the Johns Hopkins Univ., the Univ. of Baltimore, and the Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore, at Baltimore; St. John's College, at Annapolis; the Univ. of Maryland, at College Park; and the Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore County, at Catonsville (Baltimore County). See also Maryland, University System of.

History

Exploration and Colonization

Giovanni da Verrazano, an Italian navigator in the service of France, probably visited (1524) the Chesapeake region, which was certainly later explored (1574) by Pedro Menéndez Marqués, governor of Spanish Florida. In 1603 the region was visited by an Englishman, Bartholomew Gilbert, and it was charted (1608) by Capt. John Smith.

In 1632, Charles I granted a charter to George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore, yielding him feudal rights to the region between lat. 40°N and the Potomac River. Disagreement over the boundaries of the grant led to a long series of border disputes with Virginia that were not resolved until 1930. The states still dispute the use of the Potomac River. The territory was named Maryland in honor of Henrietta Maria, queen consort of Charles I. Before the great seal was affixed to the charter, George Calvert died, but his son Cecilius Calvert, 2d Baron Baltimore, undertook development of the colony as a haven for his persecuted fellow Catholics and also as a source of income. In 1634 the ships Ark and Dove brought settlers (both Catholic and Protestant) to the Western Shore, and a settlement called St. Mary's (see Saint Marys City) was set up. During the colonial period the Algonquian-speaking Native Americans withdrew from the area gradually and for the most part peacefully, sparing Maryland the conflicts other colonies experienced.

Religious Conflict and Economic Development

Religious conflict was strong in ensuing years as the Puritans, growing more numerous in the colony and supported by Puritans in England, set out to destroy the religious freedom guaranteed with the founding of the colony. A toleration act (1649) was passed in an attempt to save the Catholic settlers from persecution, but it was repealed (1654) after the Puritans seized control. A brief civil war ensued (1655), from which the Puritans emerged triumphant. Anti-Catholic activity persisted until the 19th cent., when in an unusual reversal of the prevailing pattern many Catholic immigrants came to Baltimore.

In 1694, when the capital was moved from St. Mary's to Annapolis, those were the only towns in the province, but the next century saw the emergence of commercially oriented Baltimore, which by 1800 had a population of more than 30,000 and a flourishing coastal trade. Tobacco became the basis of the economy by 1730. In 1767 the demarcation of the Mason-Dixon Line ended a long-standing boundary dispute with Pennsylvania.

The Revolution and a New Nation

Economic and religious grievances led Maryland to support the growing colonial agitation against England. At the time of the American Revolution most Marylanders were stalwart patriots and vigorous opponents of the British colonial policy. In 1776 Maryland adopted a declaration of rights and a state constitution and sent soldiers and supplies to aid the war for independence; supposedly the high quality of its regular "troops of the line" earned Maryland its nickname, the Old Line State. The U.S. Congress, meeting at Annapolis, ratified the Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War in 1783. A party advocating states' rights, in which Luther Martin was prominent, was unsuccessful in opposing ratification of the Constitution, and in 1791 Maryland and Virginia contributed land and money for the new national capital in the District of Columbia.

Industry, already growing in conjunction with renewed commerce, was furthered by the skills of German immigrants. The War of 1812 was marked for Maryland by the British attack of 1814 on Baltimore and the defense of Fort McHenry, immortalized in Francis Scott Key's "Star-Spangled Banner." After the war the state entered a period of great commercial and industrial expansion. This was accelerated by the building of the National Road, which tapped the rich resources of the West; the opening of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal (1829); and the opening (1830) of the Baltimore & Ohio RR, the first railroad in the United States open for public traffic.

The Coming of the Civil War

Southern ways and sympathies persisted among the plantation owners of Maryland, and as the rift between North and South widened, the state was torn by conflicting interests and the intense internal struggles of the true border state. In 1860 there were 87,000 slaves in Maryland, but industrialists and businessmen had special interests in adhering to the Union, and despite the urgings of Southern sympathizers, made famous in J. R. Randall's song, "Maryland, My Maryland," the state remained in the Union.

At the beginning of the Civil War, President Lincoln suspended habeas corpus and sent troops to Maryland who imprisoned large numbers of secessionists. Nevertheless, Marylanders fought on both sides, and families were often split. General Lee's Army of Northern Virginia invaded Maryland in 1862 and was repulsed by Union forces at Antietam (see Antietam campaign). In 1863, Lee again invaded the North and marched across Maryland on the way to and from Gettysburg. Throughout the war Maryland was the scene of many minor battles and skirmishes.

Industrialization

With the end of the Civil War, industry quickly revived and became a dominant force in Maryland, both economically and politically. Senator Arthur P. Gorman, a Democrat and the president of the Baltimore & Ohio RR, ran the controlling political machine from 1869 to 1895, when two-party government was restored. New railroad lines traversed the state, making it more than ever a crossing point between North and South. Labor troubles hit Maryland with the Panic of 1873, and four years later railroad wage disputes resulted in large-scale rioting in Cumberland and Baltimore. During the 20th cent., however, Maryland became a leader in labor and other reform legislation. The administrations of governors Austin L. Crowthers (1908–12) and Albert C. Ritchie (1920–35) were noted for reform. Ritchie, a Democrat, became nationally known for his efforts to improve the efficiency and economy of state government.

The great influx of people into the state during World War I was repeated and accelerated in World War II as war workers poured into Baltimore, where vital shipbuilding and aircraft plants were in operation. In addition, military and other government employees moved into the area around Washington, D.C.

Growth since World War II

Since World War II, public-works legislation, particularly that concerning roads and other traffic arteries, has brought major changes. The opening of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in 1952 spurred significant industrial expansion on the Eastern Shore; a parallel bridge was opened in 1973. The Patapsco River tunnel under Baltimore harbor was completed in 1957, and the Francis Scott Key Bridge (1977), crosses the Patapsco. Other construction projects have included the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, formerly called Friendship International Airport (1950), south of Baltimore, and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (1954). The state gained a different kind of attention in 1968 when its governor, Spiro T. Agnew was elected vice president.

Maryland experienced tremendous suburban growth in the 1980s, especially in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area. This growth occurred in spite of a decline in government jobs, as service sector employment rose dramatically. Suburban Baltimore grew as well although the city proper lost 6.4% of its population during the 1980s. Baltimore undertook major revitalization projects in the 1980s and the early 1990s, including the construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the new home of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team.

Maryland has become increasingly popular as a vacation area—Ocean City is a popular seashore resort, and both sides of Chesapeake Bay are lined with beaches and small fishing towns. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge has brought the culture of the Eastern Shore, formerly quite distinctive, into a more homogeneous unity with that of the rest of the state; the area, however, is still noted for its unique rural beauty and architecture, strongly reminiscent of the English countryside left behind by early settlers.

Bibliography

See J. T. Scharf, History of Maryland from the Earliest Period to the Present Day (1967); F. V. W. Mason, The Maryland Colony (1969); J. E. Dilisio, Maryland: A Geography (1983); E. L. Meyer, Maryland Lost and Found (1986); V. F. Rollo, Your Maryland (5th rev. ed. 1993); W. S. Dudley, Maritime Maryland: A History (2010).

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