Maryland Facts and History

Abbreviated as MD, Maryland is one of the thirteen original states of the North American Confederation, the 7th in area (31,926 sq km) among the nine of the South Atlantic to which it belongs (the 41st among the states of the Union). The borders of the state fit capriciously into the land as far as western Virginia, so as to embrace, beyond the flat area of ​​the two peninsulas that stretch between the mouths of the Potomac and Delaware, a small strip of the Cumberland plateau (Dans Mountains), a fairly wide strip of the Appalachians (South Mountains; Sugarloaf m. 1390) and one even wider than the foothills interposed between them and the coast. The topography is very varied, but on the whole, modest hilly undulations prevail and, near the wide estuaries of the rivers, a coastal plain partly invaded by lagoons and marshes,

Except in the latter area, which is not very suitable for settlement, the climate is healthy everywhere; its characters can be summarized in those of Baltimore, on the Chesapeake Bay: average annual temperature 12 °, 8 °; January 0, 8; July 25th, 2; average annual rainfall 1100 mm., mainly concentrated in the winter season. The mild winter is alternated with sudden changes in temperature; and not infrequently the Chesapeake Bay freezes in its innermost part.

The original woodland has been greatly reduced to make room for crops; the forests, which are still preserved in the western part of the state, cover only 32% of the territory (44% in 1890). Agriculture is the main resource and takes up about another third of the total area. Tobacco, which was one of the bases and is still widely cultivated, has been replaced by cereals: the production of wheat in 1930 marked 4.1 mil. of hectoliters (3.43 in 1931), 2.75 million that of corn (7.32 in 1931): vegetables and fruit are also very widespread, especially in the plain area near the coast. The breeding is flourishing, so for the cattle (486 thousand heads), as for the pigs and horses (161 thousand heads); and fishing is equally important;

The development of industries was facilitated by the abundance of fossil Larbon (2.6 million tons in 1929; 2.2 in 1930) and by the lack of communications, favored by the deep and safe bays, by an appropriate river network and from numerous railroads that put Maryland on frequent and rap; of contacts with the major centers of the Atlantic region (2320 km.; the canals measure over 300). Of the industries, all in great progress, the most prosperous are those of clothing (Baltimore), those of tobacco and canning, metallurgy; in assembly 32 thousand enterprises with a mastery of more than 130 thousand workers (for / 3 in Baltimore).

The population grew from 687 thousand to 1,631,526 inhabitants (51 per sq. Km), between 1860 and 1930 (by 12.5% ​​from 1920 to 1930). Those born abroad represent just 5.8%; the most numerous colonies are the German (19.9%) and the Russian (19.8%); there are also many Italians: 10,872, that is 11.4%, in the last census. The urban population exceeds the rural (59.8%); the percentage of Negroes is strong: 276,379, or 16.9% of the total. No center beyond Baltimore (which can be said to constitute the true vital nucleus of the state) deserves the name of a great city: Cumberland barely reaches 38,000 residents and less than 13,000 Annapolis, the capital, where the Union’s naval school is.


In 1632 Charles I granted a “Charter” to Giorgio Calvert, first lord Baltimore (v.), As “absolute lord and owner” (and the charter was repeated in favor of his eldest son Cecilio, his father having died two months later later) of the territory of the colony of Maryland in full ownership, with the right to delegate a Palatine Count to the government of the colony. The first settlers arrived in March 1634, about two hundred in number, under the direction of Leonardo Calvert, brother of Cecilio. The colony was troubled by the intrigues of a certain William Claybourne, a settler of Kent Island, in the Chesapeake Bay, and his followers. Expelled in 1635, the Claybourne went to England, but in 1638 the commission found him wrong. He returned to America, and in 1645 with the aid of the Puritans managed to drive out Calvert. In 1652 a parliamentary commission drove out the Protestant governor Stone and took possession of the colony. The governor returned in 1654 with an army, but the Puritans remained victors. They revoked the Acts of Tolerance and abolished all freedom of thought.

The religious question remained alive. Maryland, called Terra Mariae not so much in honor of the Virgin as in honor of Charles I’s wife Enrichetta Maria (Catholic sovereign), was to serve as a refuge for Catholics, but not only for them. In fact, the Tolerance Act of 1649 allows Maryland to boast of being the first state in the modern world to have enjoyed even limited freedom of thought and belief. Limited, because it concerned only those who believed in the doctrine of the Trinity. Jews and unitarians were not admitted to full political rights until 1826.

Later the colony was threatened by the attempted forays to the north and east by the Quakers of William Penn, who in 1682 managed to wrest the territory of Delaware from the colony (see below).

The history of the colony is largely the history of the struggle between the owners and the crown on the one hand and the electors on the other, over a greater or lesser extent of suffrage. In 1656 the Protestant insurrection of Josiah Pendall took place. In 1688, the governor was slow to proclaim the accession of William and Mary to the throne, the Protestant opposition succeeded in overthrowing the government of the owners and four years later the government of the new kings established a royal government for the colony: the Church Anglican was declared a state church, mass forbidden, parliamentary government reinvigorated, and the capital transported from Baltimore to Annapolis. Meanwhile the owners, who despite being dispossessed had continued to receive the rents (“quit-rents”), they abandoned the Catholic religion and thus in 1715 were able to take back the reins of power, and shortly afterwards the Catholics were excluded from the electorate. There were numerous fights between the owners and the people. Thus, during the great Franco-English war for the domination of the continent, the divergence of opinion between the two chambers, which naturally represented these two sides, prevented the participation of Maryland in aid of England. In 1762, Maryland’s refusal, along with Pennsylvania, to pay parliamentary taxes aroused the ire of the king, who publicly and severely blamed the colony; and in 1768 Maryland challenged Hillsborough and espoused the cause of Massachusetts. In 1774 political rights were returned to Catholics, and the Council decided to reject parliamentary taxes. In January 1776 the convention forbade its delegates to Congress from tolerating any disregard of royal power. Again in June, it expressed its desire to remain faithful, but expelled the governor, on the 21st of the month he voted, among the last delegates, his independence, and decided to sign the “Articles of Confederation” only when the colonies that had the right they had renounced territories in the west in favor of the Union: a step full of results for the future of the country. Maryland ratified the charter on April 28, 1788, and in April 1790 ceded 60 square miles for the formation of a federal capital in the “District of Columbia”.

Meanwhile, the Maryland territory had also been diminished by the awarding of the Delaware territory to William Penn (1682-85). The issue arose from vague or poorly expressed concessions, which assigned the same territory to the two colonies. Maryland’s northern border was to be the 40th N parallel; after long disputes this question was also settled, when in 1763 the two famous English mathematicians Carlo Mason and Geremia Dixon, established the line of 30 ° 43′26 ″, 3 N. as the northern border of the state, a line that later assumed, under the name of “Mason and Dixon’s Line” (v.) world importance as a division between the slave states of the south and the free states of the north.

The effect of the long government of the owners was felt in the statute adopted in 1776, an eminently aristocratic statute, with strong limitations of wealth for the electors and for the qualification to hold political offices. At first this tendency only intensified; in 1802 even the Negroes were deprived of suffrage. Many counties with a negligible population were equally represented as counties many times larger. Finally in 1851 an attempt was made to rectify this abuse; but the statute of that year was still the result of a compromise. During this period, the southern part of the state was mostly slaveholders. During the Civil War, as was to be expected given this constitution, Maryland held an uncertain stance. Broadly opposed to secession from the union, he also opposed coercion against secessionist states. The western part was faithful to the union, the southern part to the south; but the great part of the territory remained forcibly under the domination de facto of the federal government. To get to Washington and save the capital, federal troops had to cross Maryland. The Massachusetts 6th Regiment was attacked by the mob and thus the first blood of the civil war was shed, precisely on April 19, the anniversary of the first clash of the revolution in Lexington. The only major battle that took place in Maryland was that of Antietam, September 16-17, 1862.

The internal division of the state has continued to this day. The Democratic party, it is true, enjoys a slight prevalence, but in 1895 the state elected a Republican governor, and in 1896 it gave the majority to presidential candidate McKinley.

Maryland is perhaps the only region that has taken on an Italian motto: “Fatti males, parole femine”, generally misinterpreted by citizens as meaning “suaviter in modo, fortiter in re”.

Maryland Facts and History


Annapolis is a city of the USA (36,603 residents In 2007), and capital of Maryland, south of Baltimore, at the coast of the bay of Chesapeake. It has a decent port. Canning industry (fish), mechanics (shipbuilding) and electronics. Founded in 1649 by a company of Puritans from Virginia, it has had various names: the current one was given to it in 1694 in honor of Queen Anne. It is home to the Federal Naval Academy, founded in 1845.

Convention of A. Congress held by the delegates of the five states of the United States: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia, from 11 to 14 September 1786. Gathered to regularize mutual commercial relations, by voting on the address drawn up by A. Hamilton, he laid the foundations of the Federal Constitution of 1787.


City of the United States. Founded (1729) by decision of the provincial government of Maryland, of which it was to constitute the new commercial port in addition to Annapolis, it derived its name from GC lord Baltimore. In 1814 he stood out for his heroic resistance to the blockade and naval bombardment by the British; during the Secession war (1861-65) it remained with the feds, but the Catholic majority of the population held for the southerners. Catholicism promoted a liberal literary culture, and also found a heterodox expression in so-called Americanism, condemned (1899) with a letter from Pope Leo XIII addressed to the Archbishop of Baltimore.


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