Maryland History - the history of Maryland
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Maryland   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Maryland History

   
 

Maryland History


Before the arrival of Europeans, the area that is today Maryland was inhabited by various Native American peoples. When Europeans arrived in the early 17th century, these included the Accohannock and Powhatan on Maryland's Western shore, and Nanticoke on the eastern shore. However, the Native American peoples were relatively quickly pushed out of the state, with the last tribe, the Shawnee, leaving in the 1740s.

The first European explorers to reach Maryland where various expeditions under English, French and Spanish flags in the 16th century, however no permanent settlements were established until the following century.

In 1632, George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore (whose coat of arms appears on the Maryland flag) applied to King Charles I of England for a royal charter to establish a new province. George Calvert died before the charter could be granted, and the charter was instead granted to his son, Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore later that same year. The first settlers, led by Cecil Calvert's younger brother, Leonard, departed from England in 1633, and landed on March 25th 1634 (a date that is still commemorated in the state each year as "Maryland Day").

The new colony of Maryland was named after Henrietta Maria, the Queen consort of Charles I. The goal of the colony was to establish a safe haven for English Catholics (the Calverts themselves were Catholic), as well as to turn a profit. As a result, Maryland soon became one of only a handful of predominately Catholic regions in the English colonies in America. This was not without controversy: there were serious anti-Catholic revolts, which resulted in the temporary overthrow of the Calvert family in 1644 to 1646, and 1650 to 1658.

One interesting aspect of early Maryland history, is that the royal charter was based on an incorrect map that would have put Pennsylvania's major city of Philadelphia within Maryland. In 1750, the Penn family (who controlled Pennsylvania) and the Calvert family, agreed to engage two surveyors, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon to survey a new boundary between the two colonies, which was named the Mason-Dixon line. Seventy years later, this line would become very important as a result of the Missouri Compromise of 1820: the expansion of slavery in the United States was only permitted South of this line.

During the American Revolution (1775 to 1783), Maryland, like many other colonies, was at first reluctant to split from Britain. Although no major battles took place within Maryland, the state did contribute important troops to the Continental Army, and it is probably from this contribution that the state gets the nickname "Old Line State". Additionally, the Continental Congress met for a few months in Baltimore in 1776 to 1777, and Annapolis also served as the US capital for just over seven months in 1783 to 1784.

Following the American Revolution the establishment of new permanent national capital was one of the first issues for the new government to address. A number of candidate cities were considered including Annapolis, but eventually it was decided to build a new capital (Washington D.C.). Maryland ceded approximately 61 square miles and Virginia approximately 39 square miles, to the federal government for this purpose (although Virginia's contribution was returned in 1846).

During the War of 1812, Maryland was the scene of two important battles. In 1814, the British defeated the Americans at the Battle of Bladensburg, and as result were able to capture Washington D.C. and burn many of the public buildings. The British navy also bombarded Fort McHenry (which defended Baltimore for 25 hours, but were unable to force its surrender: events there inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner" which was later to become the United States' national anthem.

During the American Civil War (1861 to 1865), Maryland found itself in a difficult position as both a slave state and one of the border states that straddled both North and South. There was considerable popular support for the Confederate cause, but Maryland did not secede from the Union thanks to swift and firm action by Abraham Lincolm, and the eventual support of Governor Thomas H. Hicks (who had initially favored neutrality and preventing Union troops from crossing the state). Maryland would eventually provide about 25,000 troops for the Confederacy (mostly serving in the Army of North Virginia), and about 60,000 men for the Union (mostly serving garrison duty within the state).

Maryland was crossed by troops of both sides during the Civil War. The most important battle occurring in the state being the Battle of Antienam, which was fought on September 17th 1862 near Sharpsburg. The battle, fought between about 87,000 men on the Union side and 40,000 on the Confederate side, although tactically a draw, effectively ended Robert E. Lee's invasion of the North.

One of the most noteable events of the 20th century that took place in Maryland, was the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904. The fire burned for over 30 hours on February 7th and February 8th, and destroyed more than 1,526 buildings across 70 city blocks. As a result of the fire, more than 35,000 people were left unemployed.

Like many former slave states, Maryland struggled with civil rights issues for long after the Civil War. For example, in the early 20th century there was several legislative attempts to disenfranchise African-Americans using property qualifications. On a brighter note, the 1935 case of Murray v. Pearson et al resulted in the integration of the University of Maryland Law School. This was the first time that any court had overturned the 1896 Supreme Court decision (Plessy v. Ferguson) approving racial segregation according to the "separate but equal" doctrine (although this particular new ruling had no authority outside Maryland).


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History of Maryland (Classic Reprint)

By Leonard Magruder Passano

Forgotten Books
Paperback (250 pages)

History of Maryland (Classic Reprint)
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A ny history of Maryland may well begin with the names of George and Cecilius Calvert, two names in which the State may take much pride. Qeorge and Ccdlliu t. ,- ,, ,. ,. Calvert. Foundcn io the former of these, the father, is of tiMS tale. (ig t,g J(J(.J Qf founding the colony; and to the latter, the son, is due the successful carrying out of that idea. George Calvert was born in England in the year 1582. After being educated at Oxford and traveling on the Continent he returned to England,where he married A nne Mynne. He was a great favorite of King James I. under whom he held many offices and by whom he was knighted in 1617. Two years later he was appointed Secretary of State. In the year 1624 he resigned this office at the same time that he publicly professed the Roman Catholic religion. Whether he was first converted to that faith at the time or had before held it in secret is not certainly known; but at any rate his religion did notlose george calvert him the King sfavor, for in the following year he was made Baron Haltimore of the I rish peerage, and received large estates.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)

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Forgotten Books' Classic Reprint Series utilizes the latest technology to regenerate facsimiles of historically important writings. Careful attention has been made to accurately preserve the original format of each page whilst digitally enhancing the aged text. Read books online for free at www.forgottenbooks.org

Maryland: A History 1632-1974

By Richard and William Lloyd Fox, Editors Walsh

Maryland Historical Press
Hardcover (935 pages)

Maryland: A History 1632-1974
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The Maryland Colony (True Books: American History (Paperback))

By Kevin Cunningham

Scholastic
Paperback (48 pages)

The Maryland Colony (True Books: American History (Paperback))
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A True Book―The Thirteen Colonies

Are you thrilled by true adventure stories? do you wonder how our founding fathers conquered the wilds of North America to create the United States? You'll experience it all in these books that tell the story of the brave men and women who escaped tyranny from across the ocean to forge a new world in 13 colonies that led to the birth of the United States of America.

Maryland (True Bookmy United States)

By Vicky Franchino

C. Press/F. Watts Trade
Paperback (48 pages)

Maryland (True Bookmy United States)
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Though it is one of the smallest states in the country, Maryland has a lot to offer. Readers will get a taste of the local lifestyle as they explore the ins and outs of this Mid-Atlantic state. Theyll also learn about its earliest settlement, its important role in U.S. history, the many famous people who call Maryland home, and more.

Maryland (From Sea to Shining Sea, Second)

By Barbara A. Somervill

Children's Press(CT)
Paperback (80 pages)

Maryland (From Sea to Shining Sea, Second)
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Put kids on the road to discovery with the series that brings the United States to life, state by exciting state. It's all here - the history and geography, the people and culture, plus colorful photos, entertaining extras, easy recipes, and so much more. For an armchair tour of the U.S., from sea to shining sea, nothing beats these marvelous books - except maybe a tour guide!

Maryland, A Middle Temperament: 1634-1980 (Maryland Paperback Bookshelf)

By Robert J. Brugger

Brand: Johns Hopkins University Press
Paperback (864 pages)

Maryland, A Middle Temperament: 1634-1980 (Maryland Paperback Bookshelf)
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Maryland: A Middle Temperament explores the ironies, contradictions, and compromises that give "America's oldest border state" its special character. Extensively illustrated and accompanied by bibliography, maps, charts, and tables, Robert Brugger's vivid account of the state's political, economic, social, and cultural heritage―from the outfitting of Cecil Calvert's expedition to the opening of Baltimore's Harborplace―is rich in the issues and personalities that make up Maryland's story and explain its "middle temperament."

Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground: Maryland During the Nineteenth Century (Yale Historical Publications Series)

By Barbara Jeanne Fields

Yale University Press
Paperback (272 pages)

Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground: Maryland During the Nineteenth Century (Yale Historical Publications Series)
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During the tumultuous Civil War era, the border state of Maryland occupied a middle position both geographically and socially.  Situated between the slave-labor states of the lower South and the free-labor states of the North, Maryland—with a black population almost evenly divided between slave and free—has long received credit for moderation and mediation in an era of extremes.

 

Barbara Fields argues that this position in between concealed as intense and immoderate a drama as enacted in the Deep South.  According to Fields, “The middle ground imparted an extra measure of bitterness to enslavement, set close boundaries on the liberty of the ostensibly free, and played havoc with bonds of love, friendship, and family among slaves and between them and free black people.”  Moreover, the work of destroying slavery and constructing a society of free labor proved to be as difficult in Maryland as in the former Confederacy—even more difficult, in some respects.

 

Probing the relationships among Maryland’s slaves and free blacks, its slaveholders, and its non-slaveholders, Fields shows how centrist moderation turned into centrist immoderation under the stress of the Civil War and how social channels formed by slavery established the course of struggle over the shape of free society.  In so doing, she offers historical reflections on the underlying character both of slave society and of the society that replaced it. 

In this prizewinning history, Fields shows how Maryland’s centrist moderation turned into centrist immoderation under the stress of the Civil War and argues that Reconstruction proved to be at least as difficult in Maryland as in the Confederacy.
"A marvelous book, written with compassion and humor and a rare talent for irony. It establishes Barbara Jeanne Fields as a major historian of the American South, for she has provided new boundaries for understanding the relationship between race and class and she has contributed greatly to our overall understanding of the political economy of slavery."—Nan Elizabeth Woodruff, Journal of Social History
"[A] perceptive and provocative book…. Students of slavery and of the South cannot afford to overlook it."—Daniel C. Littlefield, American Historical Review
"Writing in a clear, spirited style, Fields probes the relationships between slaves and free blacks, between slaveholders and nonslaveholders, and between Maryland’s conflicting sections."—Choice
"A stunning achievement…. The book is must reading for those with a special interest in the nineteenth-century South; those with a general interest in the development of capitalist relations of production will also not want to miss it."—Joseph P. Reidy, Science and Society
Winner of the American Historical Association’s 1986 John H. Dunning Prize

Maryland, My Maryland: The Cultural Cleansing of a Small Southern State

By Joyce Bennett

Bennett Joyce
Paperback (214 pages)

Maryland, My Maryland: The Cultural Cleansing of a Small Southern State
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  • Maryland My Maryland The Cultural Cleansing of a Small Southern State
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MARYLAND WAS FOUNDED as a plantation colony like Virginia and its way of life did not differ greatly from Virginia’s. Everybody knows that the “Star-Spangled Banner” was written by Francis Scott Key as he watched the British attack on Fort McHenry in Baltimore harbour during the War of 1812. But few know that in 1861 Francis Key Howard, the grandson of Francis Scott Key, wrote this of his grandfather: The flag which then he so proudly hailed, I saw waving at the same place over the victims as vulgar and brutal a despotism as modern times have witnessed. Howard was one of the many Marylanders who were political prisoners of Abraham Lincoln, arrested to prevent the people of Maryland from ever having an opportunity to vote on secession. As soon as Union occupiers departed at the end of the War for Southern Independence, Maryland elected conservative Southern Democrats to office, a practice that continued well into the 20th century. Joyce Bennett is a patriot holding a last outpost of the real Maryland. She knows the history and original culture of her commonwealth. She has watched that pleasant and very American culture — its speech, manners, cuisine, attitudes, and traditions — being vigourously wiped out by newcomers who have turned Maryland into a mere minor part of the northeastern megalopolis. The things sadly lost are the things that constitute civilization and create community. ______ P.S. - This book was originally published by the author under the title Letters from the Outpost. P.P.S. - This title is enrolled in Kindle MatchBook. FREE if print edition is purchased on Amazon.

Bygone Images Of Greensboro, Maryland

By Greenboro Historical Society Greenboro Historical Society

Greensboro Historical Society
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Bygone Images Of Greensboro, Maryland
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  • Bygone Images of Greensboro Maryland
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The Historical Society of Greensboro, Maryland, presents Bygone Images of Greensboro, a pictorial history of old Greensboro and its early residents. The collection is intended to serve as an introduction to our local history and to encourage readers to learn more about the rich and varied history of our town and the surrounding area. Enjoy a casual stroll through the streets lined with nineteenth and twentieth century homes, churches, and schools, and become acquainted with early residents of the town and their children. Learn about the development of Greensboro's early infrastructure and the business and industry that was established, for the most part, in support of the extensive farming community that surrounded the town. Discover how the townsfolk earned their livelihood, participated in cultural events, entertained themselves and others, and be inspired to research and preserve Greensboro's community heritage and your own family history.

Colonial Maryland: A History (A History of the American colonies)

By Aubrey C. Land

Brand: Kraus Intl Pubns
Hardcover (367 pages)

Colonial Maryland: A History (A History of the American colonies)
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Book by Land, Aubrey C.


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