Article Archive >> Winter Tourism
Maryland--America in Miniature
Maryland--America in Miniature
Maryland is a state of the United States, one of the South Atlantic States (although often considered part of the Mid-Atlantic States and occasionally part of the Northeast). Its U.S. postal abbreviation is MD. Its Associated Press abbreviation is Md. Maryland was one of the thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution.
George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore applied to Charles I for a new royal charter for what was to become the Province of Maryland. George Calvert died in April 1632, but a charter for "Maryland Colony" (in Latin, "Terra Maria") was granted to his son, Cëcilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, on June 20, 1632. The new colony was named in honor of Henrietta Maria, Queen Consort of Charles I.
Lord Baltimore, who on March 25, 1634 sent the first settlers into this area, found the English colony of Maryland. This area would soon become one of the few dominantly Catholic regions among the English colonies in America. Maryland was one of the key destinations of tens of thousands of British convicts, which carried on until independence. The Maryland Toleration Act (1649) was one of the first laws that explicitly tolerated varieties of religion (as long as it was Christian), and is sometimes seen as a precursor to the First Amendment.
Originally, based on an incorrect map, the royal charter granted Maryland the Potomac River and territory northward to the fortieth parallel. This was found to be a problem, because the northern boundary would put Philadelphia, the major city in Pennsylvania, within Maryland. The Calvert family, which controlled Maryland, and the Penn family, which controlled Pennsylvania, engaged two surveyors, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, to survey what became known as the Mason-Dixon line which would form the boundary between their two colonies and would become the unofficial dividing line between North and South.
St. Mary's City was the largest site of the original Maryland colony, and was the seat of the colonial government until 1708. After Virginia made the practice of Anglicanism mandatory, a large number of Puritans migrated from Virginia to Maryland, and were given land for a settlement called Providence (now called Annapolis). In 1650, the Puritans revolted against the proprietary government and set up a new government that outlawed both Catholicism and Anglicanism. This lasted until 1658 when the Calvert family regained control and re-enacted the Toleration Act. However, after England's "Glorious Revolution" of 1688, when William of Orange and his wife Mary came to the throne and finally and firmly established the Protestant faith in England, Catholicism was outlawed in Maryland until after the Revolutionary War. Many wealthy plantation owners built chapels on their land so that they could practice their Catholicism in relative secrecy.
During the persecution of Maryland Catholics by the Puritan revolutionary government, all of the original Catholic churches of southern Maryland were burned down. St Mary's City is now an archaeological site, with a small tourist center.
In 1708 the seat of government was moved to Providence, renamed Annapolis in honor of Queen Anne.
In December of 1790 Maryland ceded land selected by President George Washington to the federal government for the creation of Washington, D.C.
During the War of 1812 the British military attempted to capture the port of Baltimore which was protected by Fort McHenry. It was during this bombardment that the Star Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key.
Despite a lot of popular support for the cause of the Confederate States of America, Maryland did not secede during the Civil War, in part due to precautions taken by the government in Washington, D.C.. Abraham Lincoln defied the Constitution and suspended civil rights in Maryland; a new pro-union governor and legislature were elected. Eligible citizens had to vote under the watchful eyes of armed guards, thus ensuring a victory for Lincoln. Because of this it was not included under the Emancipation Proclamation (The Emancipation Proclamation only applied to states in rebellion). A constitutional convention was held during 1864 that culminated in the passage of a new state constitution on November 1 of that year. Article 24 of that document outlawed the practice of slavery. The right to vote was extended to non-white males in 1867.
<< back to Articles on Winter Tourism
<< back to All Articles