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Maryland (mârˈələnd), 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, largely across the Potomac River (S, W), and Pennsylvania (N).
Facts and Figures
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 Joint Base Andrews. 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.
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;
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.
Exploration and Colonization
Giovanni da Verrazzano, 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.
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. Kathleen Kennedy Thompson was the first female to be elected lieutenant governor, serving from 1995-2003, but no female has yet held the governor's seat. Current governor Republican Larry Hogan (2015-) has pursued moderate policies, and gained national attention for opposing the rise of Donald Trump in the Republican party.
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.
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).
Maryland State Information
Area (sq mi):: 12406.68 (land 9773.82; water 2632.86) Population per square mile: 573.00
Population 2005: 5,600,388 State rank: 0 Population change: 2000-20005 5.70%; 1990-2000 10.80% Population 2000: 5,296,486 (White 62.10%; Black or African American 27.90%; Hispanic or Latino 4.30%; Asian 4.00%; Other 4.10%). Foreign born: 9.80%. Median age: 36.00
Income 2000: per capita $25,614; median household $52,868; Population below poverty level: 8.50% Personal per capita income (2000-2003): $34,257-$37,446
Unemployment (2004): 4.30% Unemployment change (from 2000): 0.70% Median travel time to work: 31.20 minutes Working outside county of residence: 46.50%
List of Maryland counties:
- US National Parks
- Urban Parks
- State Parks
- Parks and Conservation-Related Organizations - US
- National Wildlife Refuges
- National Trails
- National Scenic Byways
a state on the Atlantic coast of the USA, on both shores of Chesapeake Bay. Area, 27, 400 sq km. Population, 3.9 million; urban population, 76.6 percent of the total (1970). The capital is Annapolis, and the largest city and principal port is Baltimore.
The eastern part of Maryland is a coastal lowland. The central part is occupied by the Piedmont Plateau (maximum elevation, 400 m), and the western region, by the Appalachians (maximum elevation, 1, 024 m). The climate is temperate, mild, and humid. The average January temperature is 2°-3°C, and the average July temperature, 25°-27°C. The annual precipitation is more than 1, 000 mm. There are hardwood forests on the slopes of the Appalachian Mountains.
The principal branch of the economy is industry, which employed more than 20 percent of the labor force in 1970. Maryland’s industry relies mainly on imported raw materials and is concentrated in Baltimore and its suburbs. The leading branch of industry is ferrous metallurgy. The Bethlehem Steel Corporation’s plant in Sparrows Point (near Baltimore) is one of the largest steel plants in the USA. Other important industries are machine building (shipbuilding), radio electronics, aircraft and missiles, chemicals, oil refining, food processing (primarily canning of vegetables and fish), and the garment industry, as well as the manufacture of large metal structural components. As of 1972, the capacity of Maryland’s electric power plants was 6.1 gigawatts.
Animal husbandry accounts for more than two-thirds of the value of commercial agricultural production. In 1971 there were 430, 000 head of cattle, including 170, 000 dairy cows, and 220, 000 pigs. Poultry farming is also well developed. Truck farming is important on the coastal lowland, primarily on the Delmarva Peninsula. Tobacco is grown in Maryland. Off the coastal areas fish, shrimp, and oysters are caught.
V. M. GOKHMAN
Seventh state; adopted the U.S. Constitution on April 28, 1788
State capital: Annapolis Nicknames: The Old Line State; Free State State motto: Fatti maschii, parole femine (Latin “Strong deeds, gentle words”) State bird: Baltimore oriole (Icterus galbula) State boat: Skipjack State cat: Calico State crustacean: Maryland blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) State dinosaur: Astrodon johnstoni State dog: Chesapeake Bay retriever State drink: Milk State fish: Rockfish (Morone saxatilis) State flower: Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) State folk dance: Square dance State fossil shell: Ecphora gardnerae gardnerae State gem: Patuxent river stone State horse: Thoroughbred State insect: Baltimore checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas phaeton) State reptile: Diamondback terrapin turtle (Malaclemys terrapin) State song: “Maryland, My Maryland” State sport: Jousting State team sport: Lacrosse State summer theater: Olney Theatre (Montgomery County) State theater: Center State (Baltimore) State tree: White oak (Quercus alba)
More about state symbols at:
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 324
AnnivHol-2000, p. 70
State web site:
Office of the Governor
100 State Cir
Annapolis, MD 21401
Secretary of State
16 Francis St
Jeffery Bldg 1st Fl
Annapolis, MD 21401
350 Rowe Blvd
Annapolis, MD 21401
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