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(mĕr'ə-lənd) pronunciation (Abbr. MD or Md.)

A state of the east-central United States. It was admitted as one of the original Thirteen Colonies in 1788. The colony was founded by Lord Baltimore in 1634 as a refuge for English Roman Catholics. Annapolis is the capital and Baltimore the largest city. Population: 5,620,000.

Marylander Mar'y·land·er n.

State, eastern U.S. Area: 10,441 sq mi (27,042 sq km). Population: (2010) 5,773,552. Capital: Annapolis. A Middle Atlantic state, Maryland is deeply indented by Chesapeake Bay and is bordered by Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and West Virginia. The state's main geographic regions are the coastal plain along Chesapeake Bay, the rich farming country of the Piedmont plateau, and the Appalachian Mountains. First occupied by late Ice Age hunters 10,000 , the area was later inhabited by the Nanticoke and Piscataway tribes. Capt. John Smith charted the Chesapeake Bay region in 1608. Maryland was included in a charter given by the British king to Cecil Calvert, Lord Baltimore. Leonard Calvert, his brother, founded the first settlement in 1634 at St. Marys City. Maryland became the first American colony to establish religious freedom. Its boundary dispute with Pennsylvania was settled in the 1760s with the drawing of the Mason-Dixon Line. In 1788 Maryland became the seventh state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. The state ceded the District of Columbia as the site for a new federal capital in 1791. It was involved in the War of 1812 ( Fort McHenry). The U.S. Naval Academy was founded at Annapolis in 1845. Maryland remained in the Union during the American Civil War, but strong Southern sentiments resulted in the imposition of martial law. After the war, it prospered as an important entrept for consumer goods to the South and Midwest. During the 20th century its proximity to the national capital spurred population growth. Its economy is based primarily on government services and manufacturing.

For more information on Maryland, visit Britannica.com.

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Maryland State Information


Phone: 410-974-3901
Website: www.maryland.gov

Area (sq mi): 12,406.68 (Land: 9,773.82 Water: 2,632.86). Pop per sq mi: 573.

Pop 2005: 5,600,388. Pop changes: 2000-2005: +5.7%; 1990-2000: +10.8%. Pop 2000: 5,296,486 (White: 62.1%; Black: 27.9%; Hispanic or Latino: 4.3%; Asian: 4%; Other: 4.1%) Foreign born: 9.8%. Median age: 36.

Income 2000: per capita $25,614; median household $52,868; Pop below poverty: 8.5%.
Personal per capita income 2000-2003: $34,257-$37,446.

Unemployment 2004: 4.3%. Unemployment 2000: 3.6%; Change from 2000: +0.7%. Median travel time to work: 31.2 minutes. Working outside county of residence: 46.5%.

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A small state on the Atlantic coast, midway between the northern and southern boundaries of the United States, Maryland embraces the Chesapeake Bay and extends narrowly westward into the Appalachian Mountains. When the first European settlers arrived in the area, there were a dozen or more Native American tribes, each with 200 or more members crisscrossing the land, living mostly on the seafood from the Chesapeake. For sixty years after European settlement, relations between the Indians and the settlers were tense but short of war, and during the 1690s most of the Indians of the area moved south or west.

Seventeenth-Century Settlement

Explorers arrived in the 1580s, and in 1607 the London Company, with a British title to the land that is now Maryland, settled at Jamestown. The Virginians mapped the Chesapeake, traded with the Indians, and in 1631 William Claibourne from Jamestown established a furtrading settlement at Kent Island. Maryland's existence as a separate colony, however, emerged from the Calvert family. George Calvert was a personal friend of King James I, liked by the king for his Roman Catholic faith and his devotion to conservative feudal ideals. King James elevated him to the peerage as Lord Baltimore and gave him title to lands in Newfoundland. From 1620 to 1629, Calvert invested in the colony that he called Avalon, but the climate was too severe and the colony failed. In 1632, Calvert persuaded King Charles I to reclaim from the London Company the Potomac River and the Virginia lands to the north, and to transfer this land to him. Calvert diplomatically named the grant for the king's wife.

George Calvert died before settlement could proceed, but his sons ably took up the project. The oldest son Cecil became the second Lord Baltimore and managed colonization from London. The second son Leonard led the expedition of the Arc and Dove that landed at St. Clement's Island in the Potomac on 25 March 1634 and proceeded a few days later to settle permanently at St. Mary's. The first settlers included about seventeen gentlemen-investors who were mostly Catholic, about thirty freemen, and about eighty indentured servants who were mostly Protestant. The expedition also included two Africans who boarded the ship in the Caribbean, presumably as indentures. The Calverts gave at least 2,000 acres to investors who paid the way of five or more servants, and they gave 100 acres to freemen who paid their own way. The Calverts sold additional land, and they collected quitrents on the lands they gave away or sold.

Within a few years the settlers were widely scattered, cultivating corn for subsistence and tobacco for sale to England. At least until the end of the century, life was extremely rude. The ratio of men to women was three to one, and life expectancy was far below that in England. Still, there was easy upward mobility for those who survived, and for those who bought servants and collected the land bounty for them, and newcomers kept arriving. In 1649 the Calverts made the most of their settlers' religious diversity, accepting an Act of Religious Toleration to encourage more settlers. It was one of the first such acts in the history of Christianity.

Life was harsh enough on this outer edge of civilization, and eight decades of intermittent warfare made it harsher. From 1645 to 1660 Maryland repulsed at least three expeditions of attacking Virginians who proclaimed fear of their Catholic-led neighbors and who sought booty for themselves in the wilderness. Then, periodically, especially from 1689 to 1715, the colony was torn by civil war as younger planters revolted against the Calvert proprietors and their appointed governors. The rebellions expanded the power of the General Assembly over the governor, moved the capital from Catholic-leaning St. Mary's to Puritan-leaning Annapolis (1694), and repealed the Toleration Act in order to establish the Anglican Church (1702). The chastened Calverts—there were six generations from George Calvert to the American Revolution—joined the Anglican Church and regained most of their authority over the governor.

The Eighteenth Century and the American Revolution

The transition from rudeness to prosperity—from a population of 30,000 in 1700 to 340,000 in 1800—came largely with slavery. The Calvert proprietors and the settlers increasingly saw permanent bondage as an avenue toward stability and prosperity, and tolerance of slavery grew into active promotion. When slavery became fully legal in 1664, Africans numbered no more than 2 percent of the population, but their numbers surged to 20 percent in 1710, and 30 percent in 1750. The result was an economic takeoff—a surge in tobacco exports, and the rise of a money economy. A rich and stable planter class emerged, and fine Georgian country houses appeared. Scotch-Irish and Germans poured in, moving into the backcountry to establish new towns like Frederick and Hagerstown. Wheat came to supplement tobacco as an export crop, and Baltimore grew as a trade center. Artisan industry emerged and iron manufacturing began.

The new prosperity gave way to new tensions, less between settlers and proprietor than among classes, sections, ideas, and especially between America and the British Empire. New ideas found expression in a newspaper, the Maryland Gazette, and in able local leaders like Daniel Dulaney, Dr. Alexander Hamilton, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Samuel Chase, and William Paca. Maryland planters and merchants howled against the British Stamp Act of 1765, and in June 1774, the anti-British faction in the General Assembly picked a fight with the proprietary governor who was enforcing the British laws. The patriot-secessionists formed a Provisional Convention that assumed control of the government. They drew up a conservative constitution that they adopted in 1776 without a referendum. It reestablished toleration for all Christians, and shifted taxes from a per capita base to land assessment, but it retained property qualifications for voting, limited voting to the election of delegates to the General Assembly, and actually increased property qualifications for holding office.

The General Assembly hesitated in calling out the state militia for its loyalty was doubtful, but numerous volunteers, encouraged by a state bounty, joined the Continental Army and gained renown as the "Maryland Line." Slave masters sometimes collected the bounty for enlistment, sent off their slaves to serve, and usually freed the slaves when the war ended. Maryland shipbuilders built warships for the Continental Navy, and Maryland shippers, with a subsidy from the General Assembly, armed their vessels to prey on British commerce.

Tobacco production declined after the Revolution, but otherwise the economy flourished and new institutions burgeoned—state banks, state-supported turnpikes and canals, organized medical and legal professions, and a multitude of colleges. In 1784 the Methodist Church was born in Maryland, the first formal separation from its Anglican parent. Marylanders were leaders in the establishment of American branches of the Catholic, Episcopal, Presbyterian, and African Methodist Churches. Maryland was a leader in calls for a stronger central government, a United States Constitution, and in the formation of political parties. Maryland happily ceded land for the new District of Columbia.

The Nineteenth Century and the City

The nineteenth century brought urbanization, democracy, industry, and the end of slavery. State population grew from 340,000 in 1800 to 1,200,000 in 1900, and Baltimore City grew from 8 percent of the total to 43 percent. The size and wealth of the city overwhelmed Annapolis and the state's long-established plantation culture.

The city—with its merchant, professional, artisan, and proletarian classes—led the statewide movement toward democracy and party politics. Property qualifications for voting ended in 1802; property qualifications for holding office ended in 1809; a public school system began, at least in theory, in 1825; Jews were allowed to vote in 1826; popular election of the governor came in 1837, election of city and county officials in 1851; African Americans were enfranchised in 1870; the secret ballot came in 1901; and women gained the vote in 1920. Actually, Maryland tended to lag behind other states in most of these reforms.

The city won its first notable struggle with the planters in the War of 1812. Federalist planters, eager to maintain their profitable trade with Great Britain, opposed the war, but Baltimore relished the alliance with France and another chance to loose its privateers on British commerce. When the British landed at Bladensburg in 1814, the planter-led militia let them pass; but three weeks later when the British attacked Baltimore, the city militia held firm. Francis Scott Key, watching the British bombardment, wrote a poem celebrating the victory over the British that became the words to the National Anthem. The planter-led Federalist party of Maryland never recovered.

Especially from the 1820s to the 1850s, Maryland's General Assembly, dominated by Whigs, promoted a frenzy of capital formation and construction projects. First came the turnpikes. The assembly gave rights-of-way to private companies to improve the roads, establish stagecoaches, and charge tolls. Most famous was the National Pike that, with its extensions, stretched from Baltimore to Ohio. Then came a craze for canals, the most famous of which was the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, designed to reach from Washington to Cincinnati. It nearly bankrupted the state and never got beyond Cumberland. The grandest and most successful of the projects were the railroads. The line from Baltimore to Ohio was one of the first and busiest in the country, and by 1840 other lines extended to Washington, Philadelphia, and central Pennsylvania.

Eventually urbanization, democracy, and capitalism came up against the continued existence of slavery. After the collapse of tobacco, slavery was barely profitable in Maryland, and by midcentury there were almost as many free blacks as slaves. African Americans like Richard Allen, Harriet Tubman, and Frederick Douglass were leaders of their people. Still, battered Maryland planters clung desperately to the institution. Roger B. Taney of Mary-land, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, was a powerful spokesman for slavery's expansion.

By the 1850s change was coming too fast and tensions were too great, and Maryland drifted toward chaos. Party structure collapsed, rioting turned Baltimore into mobtown, and for a while the Know-Nothings ruled the state with a platform that made a scapegoat of immigrants.

When the Civil War came, Maryland was overwhelmingly pro-slave; in the presidential election of 1860 only 2 percent of the votes went to Abraham Lincoln. But the state was also mostly opposed to secession. After his inauguration, Lincoln intervened forcibly, arresting some 3,000 community leaders who were Southern sympathizers and allowing many more to be disfranchised. Southern sympathy waned. About 50,000 Marylanders eventually enlisted in the Union army, including 9,000 African Americans. About 20,000 Maryland whites fled to join the army and navy of the Confederacy.

From 1864 to 1867, with pro-Southern Marylanders disfranchised, the state launched its own radical reconstruction, foreshadowing what was to come in the South. The radicals abolished slavery, threatened to seize slave-holders' property to pay for the war, and established an authoritarian and far-reaching school system for whites and former slaves. As the war ended, however, and as Southern sympathizers returned home, radicalism collapsed and conservative leadership reasserted itself.

After the war people were concerned mainly with things economic. The railroads, led by the aggressive John W. Garrett, spread into every county. Coal mining expanded in the western counties, oystering expanded on the Eastern Shore, and in Baltimore came vast steel mills, copper and tin smelting, a ready-to-wear clothing industry, canning, and meat packing. Immigrants poured into the city and state—Germans, Irish, Italians, Poles, Jews, and others—often into crowded tenements. Industry and labor sometimes fought; scores died in the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. Many people still lived on farms, although the farms were usually small and poor. The very rich provided grand philanthropies—the Garrett State Forests, the Enoch Pratt libraries, the Walters Art Gallery, and the great Johns Hopkins University. The two political parties—Democrats and Republicans—were nearly balanced after the war, both run by bosses who were closely allied with business, both offering generous patronage to faithful followers.

Twentieth-Century Suburbanization

Twentieth-century change was measurable in a demographic shift—the rise of the suburbs and the corresponding decline of the city and farm. Maryland population grew from 1,200,000 in 1900 to 5,200,000 in 2000, and the suburbs grew from 2 percent to about 80 percent of that total. People moved from factory and farm into middle-class, white-collar, and service occupations.

As the century began, the rising middle classes—doctors, lawyers, managers, engineers, accountants, bureaucrats—were asserting themselves as a Progressive movement, less concerned with creating new wealth than with its management, by people like themselves, for the benefit of all society. Working through both political parties, the Progressives forced through a mass of new laws in the 1900s and 1910s establishing nonpartisan citizen boards to replace politicians in control of the schools, parks, hospitals, and libraries. Other citizen boards gained control over rates charged by electric, water, telephone, railroad, and shipping companies. In 1904, in the midst of these reforms, much of Baltimore burned in what was until then the greatest conflagration in American history, but this only stimulated city planning and new housing codes. Progressivism, however, also had its dark side. The middle class was eager to disfranchise illiterate voters, especially African Americans. Disfranchisement failed in Maryland as blacks and immigrants joined to protect their right to vote, but the reforms succeeded in legalizing racial segregation in most public and commercial facilities. World War I provided a culmination of Progressivism as citizen commissions promoted war production and patriotism with equal fervor.

By the 1920s people were tired of reform and eager to enjoy themselves. Local police refused to enforce the national prohibition laws that lasted from 1919 to 1933, and illegal booze may have flowed more freely in Maryland than in any other state. Eubie Blake and Cab Calloway played in the local jazz clubs. Marylanders like H. L. Mencken, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ogden Nash caught the mood of the times. Baseball was the rage, and its greatest hero was Baltimore's Babe Ruth, even if he played for New York. Maryland became famous for its horse racing and slot machines. Albert Ritchie was the state's all-time most popular governor, serving from 1919 to 1934. Aristocratic and autocratic, he believed in state rights and unfettered capitalism. Three times he tried to gain the Democratic nomination for president, arguing that Presidents Coolidge and Hoover were spendthrift radicals.

The Great Depression descended relentlessly, first to the farms, then to the city and suburbs. From 1929 to 1933, Maryland's per capita income dropped 45 percent, industrial production dropped 60 percent. Maryland received less from the New Deal than most states because of its unwillingness to provide matching funds. The New Deal built the model town of Greenbelt in Maryland, with cooperative housing and stores. The town was a success but opponents scuttled its experiment in socialism.

In World War II, Maryland, because of its location, became a center of military training, arms and aircraft production, and shipments abroad. African Americans and women made major inroads into the labor market, where they would remain. After the war, prosperity continued but politics grew shrill. A liberal governor, William P. Lane, enacted a sales tax and built airports and a spectacular bridge across the Chesapeake Bay; but a conservative General Assembly enacted the Ober Law, the country's most far-reaching loyalty oath and a forerunner of McCarthyism.

Meanwhile, burgeoning suburbanization was transforming the state's economic and political landscape. The movement began with the trolley lines of the 1890s and the automobile of the 1920s, mostly into affluent enclaves out from Washington and Baltimore. Then the suburban population doubled in the late 1940s, this time mostly into inexpensive housing tracts, bringing shopping strips and drive-in movies; it doubled again in the 1950s and 1960s with planned bedroom cities like Bowie and Columbia; it doubled again in the 1970s and 1980s, bringing beltways and malls; and it continued after that, bringing office towers, mass transit, and ethnic diversity.

The other side of suburban growth was urban and rural decline. Baltimore reached its peak about 1920 with half the state's population and by far its highest per capita income; but in 2000 it had fallen to 12 percent of the state population and by far the lowest per capita income. Urban renewal programs lurched forward by trial and error. In the 1970s, Mayor Donald Schaefer built a sparkling Harborplace development that attracted tourists into the city for spending and recreation.

Suburbanization provided a liberal tilt to Maryland politics, and Maryland kept pace and occasionally offered leadership to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. African American leaders like Lillie Mae Jackson and Thurgood Marshall worked comfortably with Governors Theodore McKeldin and Millard Tawes. Baltimore was the first major segregated city to integrate its schools, a year before court requirements, and state laws were ahead of federal laws in promoting civil rights. The state suffered from race riots in the late 1960s, but the civil rights movement did not go backward for state agencies promoted school busing and affirmative action, and an ever larger portion of the African Americans entered the middle class.

Idealism slumped into malaise in the 1970s. Two successive governors, Spiro Agnew and Marvin Mandel, plus many other local officials, pled guilty to accepting bribes. They were caught between the old politics of favors and the newer middle-class ethic that was tinged with hostility to politics of all sorts.

The last decades of the century, however, were happy as personal income soared, especially for those already prosperous. Government and business bureaucracies expanded and clean high-tech industries grew. Government in the 1980s and 1990s was mostly corruption-free and progressive, with abundant funding for education and for the environment. Women increasingly entered politics. Universities, claiming to be the engines of the new economy, especially flourished. As the century ended, optimism prevailed.


Argersinger, Jo Ann E. Toward a New Deal in Baltimore: People and Government in the Great Depression. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988.

Baker, Jean H. The Politics of Continuity: Maryland Political Parties from 1858 to 1870. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973. Brugger, Robert J. Maryland, A Middle Temperament, 1634–1980.

Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988. A full and excellent history. Callcott, George H. Maryland and America, 1940 to 1980. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985.

Carr, Lois Green, Russell R. Menard, and Louis Peddicord. Maryland—At the Beginning. Annapolis, Md.: Department of Economic Development, 1978.

Evitts, William J. A Matter of Allegiances: Maryland from 1850 to1861. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974.

Fields, Barbara Jeanne, Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground:Maryland During the Nineteenth Century. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1985.

Hoffman, Ronald. Spirit of Dissension: Economics, Politics, and theRevolution in Maryland. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973.

Kulikoff, Alan. Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of SouthernCultures in the Chesapeake. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986.

Land, Aubrey C. Colonial Maryland: A History. Millwood, N.Y.: KTO Press, 1981.

Main, Gloria L. Tobacco Colony: Life in Early Maryland, 1650–1720. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1982.

Answer of the Day:

Mason-Dixon Line

Mason-Dixon Line  
Mason-Dixon Line
The boundary between the states of Maryland and Pennsylvania, known as the Mason-Dixon Line, was established on this date in 1767. The line — which came to designate the boundary between the northern "free" states and the southern "slave" states in Civil War times — was surveyed by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, to settle a boundary dispute between the proprietors of the two territories. In 1768, Mason and Dixon were admitted to the American Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge, in Philadelphia, PA.

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From our Archives: Today's Highlights, October 18, 2006

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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).

State in the eastern United States bordered by Pennsylvania to the north, Delaware to the east, and Virginia and West Virginia to the south and west. Its capital is Annapolis. Baltimore is its largest city.

Local Time:



It is 9:32 PM, October 20, in Maryland.

Grape growing and winemaking in this Mid-Atlantic state appear to have started as early as the mid-1600s when both native American vines and European varieties (vitis vinifera) were grown and made into wine. The European varieties were not successful because of their susceptibility to local pests and disease-elements to which the local varieties had adapted. On the other hand, wines from local varieties didn't taste that good. Over the centuries, numerous attempts were made with hybrids, Vitis vinifera, and with grafting of Vitis vinifera to native vine rootstocks (to solve the phylloxera problems)-all with limited success. In the 1940s, Phillip Wagner made a concerted effort to obtain as many hybrid vines as possible, which he then propagated and sold to other grape growers. This boosted the viticulture industry not only in Maryland but all around the eastern seaboard. Today, Maryland has three viticultural areas-the catoctin ava thelinganore ava and the cumberland ava (which it shares with pennsylvania). As in most of the eastern and mid-western states, hybrids like chambourcin, chardonel, seyval blanc and vidal blanc play a major role. But good Vitis vinifera wines are made from cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot and riesling . Maryland has over a dozen wineries-Boordy Vineyards is one of the best-known (given that it was started in 1945 by Phillip Wagner) and is the state's second largest winery behind Berrywine Plantation-Linganore Cellars.

flag of Maryland

  • Abbreviation: MD
  • Capital City: Annapolis
  • Date of Statehood: Apr. 28, 1788
  • State #: 7
  • Population: 5,296,486
  • Area: 12407 sq.mi. Land 9775 sq. mi. Water 2633 sq.mi.
  • Economy:
    Agriculture: seafood, poultry and eggs, dairy products, nursery stock, cattle, soybeans, corn;
    Industry: electric equipment, food processing, chemical products, printing and publishing, transportation equipment, machinery, primary metals, coal, tourism
  • Where the name comes from: Named to honor Henrietta Maria, wife of England's King Charles I
  • State Bird: Baltimore Oriole
  • State Flower: Black-Eyed Susan
  • About the Flag: Adopted in 1904, the Maryland flag contains the family crest of the Calvert and Crossland families. Maryland was founded as an English colony in 1634 by Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore. The black and Gold designs belong to the Calvert family. The red and white design belongs to the Crossland family.
  • State Motto: Fatti maschii parole femine, loosely translated "manly deeds, womanly words," but more accurately translated as "strong deeds, gentle words."
  • State Nickname: Old Line State
  • State Song: Maryland, My Maryland
Random House Word Menu:

categories related to 'Maryland'

Random House Word Menu by Stephen Glazier
For a list of words related to Maryland, see:
  • States of the United States - Maryland: MD; 7th state, admitted 1788; E United States; capital Annapolis; ranks 42nd in area, pop. 4,799,000; Old Line State

State of Maryland
Flag of Maryland State seal of Maryland
Flag Seal

"Old Line State", "Free State", "Little America",[1] "America in Miniature"[2]

Motto(s): Fatti maschii, parole femine
(Strong Deeds, Gentle Words)

The Latin text encircling the seal:
Scuto bonæ voluntatis tuæ coronasti nos (You have crowned us with the shield of your goodwill) Ps 5:12

Map of the United States with Maryland highlighted
Official language(s) None
Demonym Marylander
Capital Annapolis
Largest city Baltimore
Largest metro area Baltimore-Washington Metro Area
Area  Ranked 42nd in the U.S.
 - Total 12,407 sq mi
(32,133 km2)
 - Width 101 miles (163 km)
 - Length 249 miles (400 km)
 - % water 21
 - Latitude 37° 53′ N to 39° 43′ N
 - Longitude 75° 03′ W to 79° 29′ W
Population  Ranked 19th in the U.S.
 - Total 5,884,563 (2012 est)[3]
 - Density 596/sq mi  (230/km2)
Ranked 5th in the U.S.
 - Median household income  $69,272[4] (1st)
 - Highest point Hoye-Crest[5][6]
3,360 ft (1024 m)
 - Mean 350 ft  (110 m)
 - Lowest point Atlantic Ocean[5]
sea level
Before statehood Province of Maryland
Admission to Union  April 28, 1788 (7th)
Governor Martin O'Malley (D)
Lieutenant Governor Anthony G. Brown (D)
Legislature General Assembly
 - Upper house Senate
 - Lower house House of Delegates
U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski (D)
Ben Cardin (D)
U.S. House delegation 7 Democrats, 1 Republican (list)
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Abbreviations MD US-MD
Website www.maryland.gov

Maryland (Listeni/ˈmɛrɨlənd/)[7] is a U.S. state located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east. Maryland was the seventh state to ratify the United States Constitution, and has three occasionally used nicknames: the Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State.

Maryland is the 9th smallest state by area, but the 19th most populous and the 5th most densely populated of the 50 United States. The state's most populated city is Baltimore, and its capital is Annapolis. The state was either named after Queen Henrietta Maria or Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. (The original intent by Cecilius Calvert is unknown.)[8] Of the 50 U.S. states, Maryland has the highest median household income, making it the wealthiest state in the nation.[9]



Physical geography

Maryland has an area of 12,406.68 square miles (32,133.2 km2) and is comparable in overall area with the European country of Belgium (11,787 square miles (30,530 km2)).[10] It is the 42nd largest/9th smallest state, and is closest in size to Hawaii (10,930.98 square miles (28,311.1 km2)), the next smallest state. The next largest state, Maryland's neighbor West Virginia, is almost twice the size of Maryland (24,229.76 square miles (62,754.8 km2)).

Maryland possesses a variety of topography, contributing to its nickname, "America in Miniature."[11] It ranges from sandy dunes dotted with seagrass in the east, to low marshlands teeming with wildlife and large bald cypress near the Chesapeake Bay, to gently rolling hills of oak forest in the Piedmont Region, and pine groves in the mountains to the west.

A panoramic view of Deep Creek Lake and the surrounding Appalachian Mountains. (Garrett County).
Physical regions of Maryland.
Tidal wetlands of the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States and the largest water feature in Maryland.

Maryland is bounded on its north by Pennsylvania, on its west by West Virginia, on its east by Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean, and on its south, across the Potomac River, by West Virginia and Virginia. The mid-portion of this border is interrupted on the Maryland side by Washington, D.C., which sits on land that was originally part of Maryland. The Chesapeake Bay nearly bisects the state, and the counties east of the bay are known collectively as the Eastern Shore.

The Patapsco River includes the famous Thomas Viaduct and is part of the Patapsco Valley State Park. Later, the river forms the Inner Harbor as it empties into the Chesapeake Bay.

Most of the state's waterways are part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, with the exceptions of a tiny portion of extreme western Garrett County (drained by the Youghiogheny River as part of the watershed of the Mississippi River), the eastern half of Worcester County (which drains into Maryland's Atlantic coastal bays), and a small portion of the state's northeast corner (which drains into the Delaware River watershed). So prominent is the Chesapeake in Maryland's geography and economic life that there has been periodic agitation to change the state's official nickname to the Bay State, a nickname that has actually been used by Massachusetts for a long time.

The highest point in Maryland, with an elevation of 3,360 feet (1,020 m), is Hoye Crest on Backbone Mountain, in the southwest corner of Garrett County, near the border with West Virginia and near the headwaters of the North Branch of the Potomac River. Close to the small town of Hancock, in western Maryland, about two-thirds of the way across the state, there is 1.83 miles (2.95 km) between its borders. This geographical curiosity makes Maryland the narrowest state,[citation needed] bordered by the Mason-Dixon Line to the north, and the northwards-arching Potomac River to the south.

Portions of Maryland are included in various official and unofficial geographic regions. For example, the Delmarva Peninsula is composed of the Eastern Shore counties of Maryland, the entire state of Delaware, and the two counties that make up the Eastern Shore of Virginia, whereas the westernmost counties of Maryland are considered part of Appalachia. Much of the Baltimore–Washington corridor lies just south of the Piedmont in the Coastal Plain,[12] though it straddles the border between the two regions.

A quirk of the geography of Maryland is the absence of any natural lakes,[13] though there are numerous ponds. During the latter Ice Ages, the glaciers did not reach as far south as Maryland, and therefore they did not carve out the deep natural lakes that exist in states farther north. There are numerous man-made lakes, the largest of these being the Deep Creek Lake, a reservoir in Garrett County in westernmost Maryland. The lack of a glacial history also accounts for Maryland's soil, which is sandier and muddier than the rocky soils farther to the north and northeast.

Human geography

The majority of Maryland's population is concentrated in the cities and suburbs surrounding Washington, D.C., and also in and around Maryland's most populous city, Baltimore. Historically, these and many other Maryland cities developed along the Fall Line, the line along which rivers, brooks, and streams are interrupted by rapids and/or waterfalls. Maryland's capital city, Annapolis, is one exception to this pattern, since it lies along the banks of the Severn River, close to where it empties into the Chesapeake Bay.

The other population centers of Maryland include suburban areas of Columbia and Ellicott City in Howard County; Silver Spring, Rockville, and Gaithersburg in Montgomery County; Laurel, College Park, Greenbelt, Hyattsville, Landover, Clinton, Bowie, and Upper Marlboro in Prince George's County; Frederick in Frederick County; Hagerstown in Washington County; Waldorf in Charles County; Pikesville, Essex, and Towson in Baltimore County; and Glen Burnie and Hanover in Anne Arundel.

The eastern, southern, and western portions of the state tend to be more rural, although they are dotted with cities of regional importance such as Salisbury and Ocean City on the Eastern Shore, Lexington Park and Waldorf in Southern Maryland, and Cumberland in Western Maryland.

Geographic regions of Maryland

Maryland's history as a border state has led it to exhibit characteristics of both the Northern and Southern regions of the United States. Generally, rural Western Maryland between the West Virginian Panhandle and Pennsylvania has an Appalachian culture; the Southern and Eastern Shore regions of Maryland embody a Southern culture,[14] while densely populated Central Maryland—radiating outward from Baltimore and Washington, D.C.—has more in common with that of the Northeast.[15] The U.S. Census Bureau designates Maryland as one of the South Atlantic States, but it is commonly associated with the Mid-Atlantic States and/or Northeastern United States by other federal agencies, the media, and some residents.[16][17][18][19][20]


Maryland has a wide array of climates, due to local variances in elevation, proximity to water, and protection from colder weather due to downslope winds.

The eastern half of Maryland lies on the Atlantic Coastal Plain, with very flat topography and very sandy or muddy soil. This region has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with hot, humid summers and a short, mild to cool winter; it falls under USDA Hardiness zone 8a.[21] This region includes the cities of Salisbury, Annapolis, Ocean City, the southern and eastern suburbs of Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.

Sunset over a marsh at Cardinal Cove, on the Patuxent River.

Beyond this region lies the Piedmont, with average seasonal snowfall totals generally exceeding 20 inches (51 cm) and, as part of USDA Hardiness zones 7b and 7a,[21] temperatures below 10 °F (−12 °C) are more common. From the Cumberland Valley on westward, the climate begins to transition to a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa). This region includes northern and western greater Baltimore, Westminster, Gaithersburg, Frederick, and Hagerstown.

Farther into western Maryland, the higher elevations of Allegany County and Garrett County display more characteristics of the humid continental zone, due in part to elevation, and are more similar to that of south-central Pennsylvania, with Cumberland listed as one of the regional cities by Altoona's WTAJ weather center.[citation needed] They fall under USDA Hardiness zones 6b and below.[21]

Precipitation in the state is characteristic of the East Coast. Annual rainfall ranges from 35 to 45 inches (890 to 1,100 mm) with more in higher elevations. Nearly every part of Maryland receives 3.5–4.5 inches (89–110 mm) per month of rain. Average annual snowfall varies from 9 inches (23 cm) in the coastal areas to over 100 inches (250 cm) in the western mountains of the state.[22]

Because of its location near the Atlantic Coast, Maryland is somewhat vulnerable to tropical cyclones, although the Delmarva Peninsula, and the outer banks of North Carolina to the south provide a large buffer, such that a strike from a major hurricane (category 3 or above) is not very likely but is not impossible. More often, Maryland might get the remnants of a tropical system which has already come ashore and released most of its wind energy. Maryland averages around 30–40 days of thunderstorms a year, and averages around six tornado strikes annually.[23]

Monthly normal high and low temperatures for various Maryland cities
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Frostburg 34 °F (1 °C)
18 °F (−8 °C)
37 °F (3 °C)
20 °F (−7 °C)
46 °F (8 °C)
26 °F (−3 °C)
58 °F (14 °C)
37 °F (3 °C)
67 °F (19 °C)
46 °F (8 °C)
75 °F (24 °C)
55 °F (13 °C)
79 °F (26 °C)
59 °F (15 °C)
78 °F (26 °C)
58 °F (14 °C)
71 °F (22 °C)
51 °F (11 °C)
60 °F (16 °C)
41 °F (5 °C)
49 °F (9 °C)
32 °F (0 °C)
37 °F (3 °C)
23 °F (−5 °C)
Cumberland 41 °F (5 °C)
22 °F (−6 °C)
46 °F (8 °C)
24 °F (−4 °C)
56 °F (13 °C)
32 °F (0 °C)
68 °F (20 °C)
41 °F (5 °C)
77 °F (25 °C)
51 °F (11 °C)
85 °F (29 °C)
60 °F (16 °C)
89 °F (32 °C)
65 °F (18 °C)
87 °F (31 °C)
63 °F (17 °C)
80 °F (27 °C)
55 °F (13 °C)
69 °F (21 °C)
43 °F (6 °C)
57 °F (14 °C)
34 °F (1 °C)
45 °F (7 °C)
27 °F (−3 °C)
Frederick 42 °F (6 °C)
26 °F (−3 °C)
47 °F (8 °C)
28 °F (−2 °C)
56 °F (13 °C)
35 °F (2 °C)
68 °F (20 °C)
45 °F (7 °C)
77 °F (25 °C)
54 °F (12 °C)
85 °F (29 °C)
63 °F (17 °C)
89 °F (32 °C)
68 °F (20 °C)
87 °F (31 °C)
66 °F (19 °C)
80 °F (27 °C)
59 °F (15 °C)
68 °F (20 °C)
47 °F (8 °C)
57 °F (14 °C)
39 °F (4 °C)
45 °F (7 °C)
30 °F (−1 °C)
Baltimore 42 °F (6 °C)
29 °F (−2 °C)
46 °F (8 °C)
31 °F (−1 °C)
54 °F (12 °C)
39 °F (4 °C)
65 °F (18 °C)
48 °F (9 °C)
75 °F (24 °C)
57 °F (14 °C)
85 °F (29 °C)
67 °F (19 °C)
89 °F (32 °C)
72 °F (22 °C)
87 °F (31 °C)
71 °F (22 °C)
80 °F (27 °C)
64 °F (18 °C)
68 °F (20 °C)
52 °F (11 °C)
58 °F (14 °C)
43 °F (6 °C)
46 °F (8 °C)
33 °F (1 °C)
Ocean City 45 °F (7 °C)
28 °F (−2 °C)
46 °F (8 °C)
29 °F (−2 °C)
53 °F (12 °C)
35 °F (2 °C)
61 °F (16 °C)
44 °F (7 °C)
70 °F (21 °C)
53 °F (12 °C)
80 °F (27 °C)
63 °F (17 °C)
84 °F (29 °C)
68 °F (20 °C)
82 °F (28 °C)
67 °F (19 °C)
77 °F (25 °C)
60 °F (16 °C)
68 °F (20 °C)
51 °F (11 °C)
58 °F (14 °C)
39 °F (4 °C)
49 °F (9 °C)
32 °F (0 °C)


As is typical of states on the East Coast, Maryland's plant life is abundant and healthy. A good dose of annual precipitation helps to support many types of plants, including seagrass and various reeds at the smaller end of the spectrum to the gigantic Wye Oak, a huge example of White oak, the state tree, which can grow in excess of 70 feet (21 m) tall.

Middle Atlantic coastal forests, typical of the southeastern Atlantic coastal plain, grow around Chesapeake Bay and on the Delmarva Peninsula. Moving west, a mixture of Northeastern coastal forests and Southeastern mixed forests cover the central part of the state. The Appalachian Mountains of western Maryland are home to Appalachian-Blue Ridge forests. These give way to Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests near the West Virginia border.[29]

Many foreign species are cultivated in the state, some as ornamentals, others as novelty species. Included among these are the Crape Myrtle, Italian Cypress, live oak in the warmer parts of the state,[30] and even hardy palm trees in the warmer central and eastern parts of the state.[31] USDA plant hardiness zones in the state range from Zone 5 in the extreme western part of the state to 6 and 7 in the central part, and Zone 8 around the southern part of the coast, the bay area, and parts of metropolitan Baltimore. Invasive plant species, such as kudzu, tree of heaven, multiflora rose, and Japanese stiltgrass, stifle growth of endemic plant life.[32] Maryland's state flower, the Black-eyed Susan, grows in abundance in wild flower groups throughout the state. The state insect, the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly, is not common as it is near the southern edge of its range.[33] 435 species of birds have been reported from Maryland.[34]


The state harbors a great number of deer, especially in the woody and mountainous west of the state, and overpopulation can become a problem from year-to-year. Mammals can be found ranging from the mountains in the west to the central areas and include bears,[35] bobcats,[36] foxes, coyote,[37] raccoons, and otters.[35]

There is a population of rare[35][38] wild horses found on Assateague Island. Every year during the last week of July, wild horses are captured and waded across a shallow bay for sale at Chincoteague, Virginia. This conservation technique ensures the tiny island is not overrun by the horses.[citation needed] The ponies and their sale were popularized by the children's book, Misty of Chincoteague. They are believed to be descended from horses who escaped from shipwrecks.

The purebred Chesapeake Bay Retriever dog was bred specifically for water sports, hunting and search and rescue in the Chesapeake area.[39] In 1878 the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was the first individual retriever breed recognized by the American Kennel Club.[39]

Maryland's reptile and amphibian population is led by the Diamondback Terrapin turtle, which was adopted as the mascot of University of Maryland, College Park. The state is the territory of the Baltimore Oriole, which is the official state bird and mascot of the MLB team the Baltimore Orioles.[40]

Environmental awareness

In 2007, Forbes.com rated Maryland as the fifth "Greenest" state in the country behind three of the Pacific States and Vermont. Maryland ranks 40th in total energy consumption nationwide, and it managed less toxic waste per capita than all but six states in 2005.[41] In April 2007 Maryland joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)—a regional initiative formed by all of the Northeastern states, Washington D.C., and three Canadian provinces to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Earthquakes in Maryland are infrequent due to its distance[quantify] from tectonic plates and seismic/earthquake zones. The earthquakes that do occur are small, but may be felt over wide areas.[42][43] The M5.8 Virginia earthquake in 2011 was felt moderately throughout Maryland. Buildings in the state are not well-designed for earthquakes and can suffer damage easily.[citation needed]


17th century

Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, 1st Proprietor of the Maryland colony.

In 1629, George Calvert, 1st Lord Baltimore in the Irish House of Lords, fresh from his failure further north with Newfoundland's Avalon colony, applied to Charles I for a royal charter for what was to become the Province of Maryland. Calvert's interest in creating a colony derived from his Catholicism and his desire for the creation of a haven in the New World for Catholics. He wanted a share of fortunes, such as those made by the sale of the commodity tobacco in Virginia, and hoped to recoup some of the financial losses he had sustained in his earlier colonial venture in Newfoundland.[44][45]

George Calvert died in April 1632, but a charter for "Maryland Colony" (in Latin, "Terra Maria") was granted to his son, Cæcilius Calvert, 2nd Lord Baltimore, on June 20, 1632. The new colony was named in honor of Henrietta Maria of France, wife of Charles I of England.[46] A growing number of scholars believe the state was named after the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. They note that the first capital of Maryland was St. Mary's. In addition, no colony or territory has ever been named in honor of someone's middle name. The territory was consecrated in honor of the Virgin Mary by Fr. Andrew White S.J. in 1634 on St. Clements Island. The day and month this took place, March 15th, is now known as Maryland Day.[47] The name recorded in the charter was phrased "Terra Mariae, anglice, Maryland". The English name was preferred over the Latin due in part to the undesired association of "Mariae" with the Spanish Jesuit Juan de Mariana of the Inquisition.[45][44]

To try to gain settlers, Maryland used what is known as the headright system, which originated in Jamestown. Settlers were given 50 acres of land for each person they brought in to the colony, whether as settler, indentured servant or slave.

On March 25, 1634, Lord Baltimore sent the first colonists into this area. Although most of the settlers were Protestants, Maryland soon became one of the few regions in the English Empire where Catholics held the highest positions of political authority. Maryland was also a key destination for transport of tens of thousands of English convicts to work as indentured servants.

The royal charter granted Maryland the land north of the entire length of the Potomac River up to the 40th parallel. A problem arose when Charles II granted a charter for Pennsylvania. The grant defined Pennsylvania's southern border as identical to Maryland's northern border, the 40th parallel. But the terms of the grant clearly indicate that Charles II and William Penn assumed the 40th parallel would pass close to New Castle, Delaware when it falls north of Philadelphia, the site of which Penn had already selected for his colony's capital city. Negotiations ensued after the problem was discovered in 1681.

A compromise proposed by Charles II in 1682, which might have resolved the issue, was undermined by Penn's receiving the additional grant of what is now Delaware—which previously had been part of Maryland.[48] The dispute remained unresolved for nearly a century, carried on by the descendants of William Penn and Lord Baltimore—the Calvert family, which controlled Maryland, and the Penn family, which controlled Pennsylvania.[48]

18th century

The conflict led to the Cresap's War (also known as the Conojocular War), a border conflict between Pennsylvania and Maryland, fought in the 1730s. Hostilities erupted in 1730 with a series of violent incidents prompted by disputes over property rights and law enforcement, and escalated through the first half of the decade, culminating in the deployment of military forces by Maryland in 1736 and by Pennsylvania in 1737. The armed phase of the conflict ended in May 1738 with the intervention of King George II, who compelled the negotiation of a cease-fire. A provisional agreement had been established in 1732.[48]

Negotiations continued until a final agreement was signed in 1760. The agreement defined Maryland's border with what is now Delaware as well as Pennsylvania. The border between Maryland and Pennsylvania was defined as the line of latitude 15 miles (24 km) south of the southernmost house of Philadelphia, a line now known as the Mason-Dixon Line. Maryland's border with Delaware was based on a Transpeninsular Line and the Twelve-Mile Circle around New Castle.[48]

An artist's rendering of the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, which inspired the composition of the song, "Star Spangled Banner".

After Virginia made Anglicanism the established religion in the colony, numerous Puritans migrated from Virginia to Maryland. They were given land for a settlement called Providence (now Annapolis). In 1650, the Puritans revolted against the proprietary government and set up a new government that prohibited both Catholicism and Anglicanism. In March 1654, the 2nd Lord Baltimore sent an army under the command of Governor William Stone to put down the revolt, but his forces were decisively defeated by a Puritan army near Annapolis in what was to be known as the Battle of the Severn.[49][50]

During the persecution of Catholics in the Puritan revolt, Protestants burned down all of the original Catholic churches of southern Maryland. The Puritan revolt lasted until 1658, when the Calvert family regained control of the colony and re-enacted the Toleration Act. However, after England's "Glorious Revolution" of 1688, when William of Orange came to the throne and established the Protestant faith in England, Maryland outlawed Catholicism. This lasted until after the American Revolutionary War. Many wealthy Catholic planters built chapels on their land to practice their religion in relative secrecy.

St. Mary's City was the largest site of the original Maryland colony, and was the seat of the colonial government until 1708. St Mary's is now a historical site, with a small tourist center. In 1708, the seat of government was moved to Providence, which had been renamed Annapolis. The city was renamed in 1694 in honour of Anne then Princess of Denmark, later Queen of England and Scotland, which later in her reign formed Great Britain.

Most of the English colonists arrived in Maryland as indentured servants, and had to serve a several years' term as laborers to pay for their passage.[51] In the early years, the line between indentured servants and African slaves or laborers was fluid, and white and black laborers commonly lived and worked together, and formed many unions. Mixed-race children born to white mothers were considered free by the principle of partus sequitur ventrem, by which children took the social status of their mothers, a principle of slave law that was adopted throughout the colonies, following Virginia in 1662. During the colonial era, families of free people of color were formed most often by unions of white women and African men.[52]

Many of the free black families migrated to Delaware, where land was cheaper.[52] As the flow of indentured laborers to the colony decreased with improving economic conditions in England, planters in Maryland imported thousands more slaves and racial caste lines hardened. The economy's growth and prosperity was based on slave labor, devoted first to the production of tobacco as the commodity crop.

Maryland was one of the thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution. On February 2, 1781, Maryland became the 13th state to approve the ratification of the Articles of Confederation which brought into being the United States as a united, sovereign and national state. It also became the seventh state admitted to the U.S. after ratifying the new Constitution. In December 1790, Maryland donated land selected by President George Washington to the federal government for the creation of the new national capital of Washington, D.C. The land was provided from Montgomery and Prince George's counties, as well as from Fairfax County and Alexandria in Virginia; however, the land donated by Virginia was later returned to that state by the District of Columbia retrocession.

19th century

The Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862 — the single bloodiest day of the American Civil War and all of American military history, with nearly 23,000 casualties.

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.

Influenced by a changing economy, revolutionary ideals, and preaching by Methodist and Quaker ministers, numerous planters in Maryland freed their slaves in the twenty years after the Revolutionary War. This was a pattern across the Upper South, in which the free black population increased markedly from less than one percent before the war to 13.9 percent by 1810.[53]

By 1860 Maryland's free black population comprised 49.1% of the total of African Americans in the state.[53] This contributed to the state's remaining loyal to the Union during the American Civil War. In addition, Governor Thomas Holliday Hicks temporarily suspended the state legislature, and President Abraham Lincoln had many of its fire eaters arrested prior to its reconvening.

In 1861, Federal military units arrived in President Street Station and marched through Baltimore, where they were attacked by an unruly mob. The incident was the first bloodshed in the Civil War and has been dubbed the "Baltimore riot of 1861". When the telegraph lines to Washington and an iron railbridge were destroyed by residents of Baltimore, the federal government was isolated in Washington D.C.. During the fighting between civilians and the soldiers from the 6th Massachusetts regiment, several soldiers were hit by stones and a musket was fired. The soldiers were ordered to march at double time, and it became a running gun battle. Two Union soldiers were shot and killed, while two others, including Corporal Needham, were knocked from the ranks and beaten to death by the enraged mob. Eventually the Union troops reached the safety of Camden Station.[54]

President Lincoln promised to avoid having more northern defenders march through Baltimore while getting to areas to protect the acutely endangered federal capitol. This forced the majority of forces traveling to reinforce the capitol to take a slow route by ship.

Of the 115,000 men from Maryland who joined the military during the American Civil War, 85,000, or 77%, joined the Union army, while the remainder joined the Confederate Army. To help ensure Maryland's inclusion in the Union, Abraham Lincoln suspended several civil liberties, including the writ of habeas corpus, an act deemed illegal by the Maryland native, Chief Justice Roger Taney of the United States Supreme Court.

Lincoln ordered U.S. troops to place artillery on Federal Hill to threaten the city of Baltimore, and helped ensure the election of a new pro-union governor and legislature. Lincoln ordered certain pro-South members of the state legislature and other prominent men jailed at Fort McHenry, including the Mayor of Baltimore, George William Brown. The grandson of Francis Scott Key was included in those jailed. Historians continue to debate the constitutionality of these actions taken during the crisis of wartime. The Thomas Viaduct, which crosses the Patapsco River on the B&O Railroad, was considered so strategically important that Union troops were assigned to guard it throughout the entirety of the war.

Because Maryland remained in the Union, it was exempted from the abolition provisions of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, which applied only to states in rebellion. In 1864 the state held a constitutional convention that culminated in the passage of a new state constitution. Article 24 of that document abolished slavery. In 1867, following passage of constitutional amendments that granted voting rights to freedmen, the state extended suffrage to non-white males.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 319,728
1800 341,548 6.8%
1810 380,546 11.4%
1820 407,350 7.0%
1830 447,040 9.7%
1840 470,019 5.1%
1850 583,034 24.0%
1860 687,049 17.8%
1870 780,894 13.7%
1880 934,943 19.7%
1890 1,042,390 11.5%
1900 1,188,044 14.0%
1910 1,295,346 9.0%
1920 1,449,661 11.9%
1930 1,631,526 12.5%
1940 1,821,244 11.6%
1950 2,343,001 28.6%
1960 3,100,689 32.3%
1970 3,922,399 26.5%
1980 4,216,975 7.5%
1990 4,781,468 13.4%
2000 5,296,486 10.8%
2010 5,773,552 9.0%
Est. 2012 5,884,563 1.9%
Source: 1910–2010[55]
A map of Maryland's population distribution.

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Maryland was 5,884,563 on July 1, 2012, a 1.9% increase since the 2010 United States Census.[3]

As of 2006, Maryland has an estimated population of 5,615,727, which is an increase of 26,128, or 0.5%, from the prior year and an increase of 319,221, or 6.0%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 189,158 people (that is 464,251 births minus 275,093 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 116,713 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 129,730 people, and migration within the country produced a net loss of 13,017 people.

In 2006, 645,744 were counted as foreign born, which represents mainly people from Latin America and Asia. About 4.0% are undocumented (illegal) immigrants.[56] Maryland also has a large Korean American population.[57] In fact, 1.7% are Korean, while as a whole, almost 6.0% are Asian.[58]

Most of the population of Maryland lives in the central region of the state, in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area and Washington Metropolitan Area, both of which are part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. The Eastern Shore is less populous and more rural, as are the counties of western and southern Maryland.

The two counties of Western Maryland, Allegany and Garrett, are mountainous and sparsely populated, resembling West Virginia more than they do the rest of Maryland.

The center of population of Maryland is located on the county line between Anne Arundel County and Howard County, in the unincorporated town of Jessup.[59]


In terms of race and ethnicity, the state is 58.2% White (54.7% non-Hispanic White alone), 29.4% Black or African American, and 5.5% Asian. Hispanics and Latinos of any race make up 8.2% of the population.[60] The five largest reported ancestries in Maryland are German (15.7%), Irish (11.7%), English (9%), unspecified American (5.8%), and Italian (5.1%).[61]

In 1970, the Census Bureau reported Maryland's population as 17.8% African-American and 80.4% non-Hispanic White.[62]

As of 2011, 58.0% of Maryland's population younger than age 1 were minorities.[63]

African-Americans form a sizable portion of the state's population – nearly 30% in 2010[60] – including many immigrants from Nigeria, particularly the Igbo tribe.[64] Although populous in most of the state, large concentrations of African-American population can be found in Baltimore City, Prince George's County, Charles County, Randallstown, and the southern Eastern Shore.

Most of the Eastern Shore and Southern Maryland are populated by Marylanders of British ancestry, with the Eastern Shore traditionally Methodist and the southern counties Catholic. Western and northern Maryland have large German-American populations. Italians, Poles, Czechs and Greeks are centered mostly in the large city of Baltimore. Hispanics are numerous in Hyattsville/Langley Park, Wheaton, Bladensburg, Riverdale, Gaithersburg and Highlandtown in East Baltimore. Salvadorans are the largest Hispanic group in Maryland. Other Hispanic groups with significant populations in the state include Mexicans and Puerto Ricans. Though the Salvadoran population is more concentrated in the area around Washington, DC, and the Puerto Rican population is more concentrated in the Baltimore area, all other major Hispanic groups in the state are evenly dispersed between these two areas. Maryland has one of the most diverse Hispanic populations in the country, with significant populations from various Caribbean and Central American nations.[65]

Jews are numerous throughout Montgomery County and in Pikesville and Owings Mills northwest of Baltimore. Asian Americans are concentrated in the suburban counties surrounding Washington, D.C., especially evident by a Korean American and Taiwanese American community in Rockville and a Filipino American community in Fort Washington. Amish/Mennonite communities are found in St. Mary's, Garrett, and Washington counties.[citation needed]

Maryland has the fifth largest proportions of racial minorities in the country.[66]

Demographics of Maryland (csv)
By race White Black AIAN* Asian NHPI*
2000 (total population) 66.99% 29.02% 0.76% 4.53% 0.12%
2000 (Hispanic only) 3.73% 0.51% 0.10% 0.06% 0.02%
2005 (total population) 65.29% 30.16% 0.76% 5.30% 0.13%
2005 (Hispanic only) 5.01% 0.61% 0.12% 0.09% 0.03%
Growth 2000–05 (total population) 3.06% 9.89% 5.73% 23.72% 16.27%
Growth 2000–05 (non-Hispanic only) 0.76% 9.57% 2.48% 23.38% 13.02%
Growth 2000–05 (Hispanic only) 42.16% 27.78% 27.26% 48.06% 32.49%
* AIAN is American Indian or Alaskan Native; NHPI is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

Largest cities, towns and places


The Baltimore Basilica was the first Roman Catholic cathedral built in the United States. It is considered to be the masterpiece of architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe.

Maryland was founded for the purpose of providing religious toleration of England's Roman Catholic minority. Nevertheless, Parliament later reversed that policy and discouraged the practice of Catholicism in Maryland. Due to immigration patterns, Catholics have not been a majority in Maryland since early Colonial times. Nonetheless, Catholicism is the largest single denomination in Maryland.

As of the year 2000, the RCMS[67] reported that the second and third largest denominational groups in Maryland are Mainline Protestant, and Evangelical Protestant. The Catholic Church has the highest number of adherents in Maryland (at 952,389), followed by the United Methodist Church with 297,729 members reported. Judaism is the largest non-Christian religion with 241,000 adherents, or 4.3% of the total population.[68] The present religious composition of the state is shown below:[citation needed]

Religions in Maryland



Roman Catholic 24% Jewish 4%
Baptist 18% Other 3% Muslim 1%
Methodist 11% Other Religions 1%
Lutheran 6% Non-Religious 11%[citation needed]
other Protestant 21%

Despite the Protestant majority, Maryland has been prominent in U.S. Catholic tradition, partially because it was intended by George Calvert as a haven for English Catholics. Baltimore was the seat of the first Catholic bishop in the U.S. (1789), and Emmitsburg was the home and burial place of the first American-born citizen to be canonized, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Georgetown University, the first Catholic University, was founded in 1789 in what was then part of Maryland.[69] The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Baltimore was the first Roman Catholic cathedral built in the United States, and the Archbishop of Baltimore is, albeit without formal primacy, the United States' quasi-primate, and often a Cardinal.


The Port of Baltimore.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Maryland's gross state product in 2006 was US$257 billion.[70] However, Maryland has been using Genuine Progress Indicator, an indicator of well-being, to guide the state's development, rather than relying only on growth indicators like GDP.[71][72] According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Maryland households are currently the wealthiest in the country, with a 2009 median household income of $69,272[4] which puts it ahead of New Jersey and Connecticut, which are second and third respectively. Two of Maryland's counties, Howard and Montgomery, are the third and tenth wealthiest counties in the nation respectively. Also, the state's poverty rate of 7.8% is the lowest in the country.[73][74][75] Per capita personal income in 2006 was US$43,500, 5th in the nation.

As of March 2012, the state's unemployment rate was 6.6%.[76]

Maryland's economic activity is strongly concentrated in the tertiary service sector, and this sector, in turn, is strongly influenced by location. One major service activity is transportation, centered on the Port of Baltimore and its related rail and trucking access. The port ranked 17th in the U.S. by tonnage in 2008.[77] Although the port handles a wide variety of products, the most typical imports are raw materials and bulk commodities, such as iron ore, petroleum, sugar, and fertilizers, often distributed to the relatively close manufacturing centers of the inland Midwest via good overland transportation. The port also receives several different brands of imported motor vehicles and is the number two auto port in the U.S.[78]

A second service activity takes advantage of the close location of the center of government in Washington, D.C. and emphasizes technical and administrative tasks for the defense/aerospace industry and bio-research laboratories, as well as staffing of satellite government headquarters in the suburban or exurban Baltimore/Washington area. In addition, many educational and medical research institutions are located in the state. In fact, the various components of The Johns Hopkins University and its medical research facilities are now the largest single employer in the Baltimore area. Altogether, white collar technical and administrative workers comprise 25% of Maryland's labor force, attributable in part to nearby Maryland being a part of the Washington Metro Area where the federal government office employment is relatively high.

Maryland has a large food-production sector. A large component of this is commercial fishing, centered in the Chesapeake Bay, but also including activity off the short Atlantic seacoast. The largest catches by species are the blue crab, oysters, striped bass, and menhaden. The Bay also has uncounted millions of overwintering waterfowl in its many wildlife refuges. While not, strictly speaking, a commercial food resource, the waterfowl support a tourism sector of sportsmen.

Agriculture is an important part of the state's economy.

Maryland has large areas of fertile agricultural land in its coastal and Piedmont zones, though this land use is being encroached upon by urbanization. Agriculture is oriented to dairy farming (especially in foothill and piedmont areas) for nearby large city milksheads plus specialty perishable horticulture crops, such as cucumbers, watermelons, sweet corn, tomatoes, muskmelons, squash, and peas (Source:USDA Crop Profiles). In addition, the southern counties of the western shoreline of Chesapeake Bay are warm enough to support a tobacco cash crop zone, which has existed since early Colonial times but declined greatly after a state government buyout in the 1990s. There is also a large automated chicken-farming sector in the state's southeastern part; Salisbury is home to Perdue Farms. Maryland's food-processing plants are the most significant type of manufacturing by value in the state.

Manufacturing, while large in dollar value, is highly diversified with no sub-sector contributing over 20% of the total. Typical forms of manufacturing include electronics, computer equipment, and chemicals. The once mighty primary metals sub-sector, which at one time included what was then the largest steel factory in the world at Sparrows Point, still exists, but is pressed with foreign competition, bankruptcies, and company mergers. During World War II the Glenn L. Martin Company (now part of Lockheed Martin) airplane factory near Essex, MD employed some 40,000 people.

Mining other than construction materials is virtually limited to coal, which is located in the mountainous western part of the state. The brownstone quarries in the east, which gave Baltimore and Washington much of their characteristic architecture in the mid-19th century, were once a predominant natural resource. Historically, there used to be small gold-mining operations in Maryland, some surprisingly near Washington, but these no longer exist.

Baltimore City is the eighth largest port in the nation, and was at the center of the February 2006 controversy over the Dubai Ports World deal because it was considered to be of such strategic importance. The state as a whole is heavily industrialized, with a booming economy and influential technology centers. Its computer industries are some of the most sophisticated in the United States, and the federal government has invested heavily in the area. Maryland is home to several large military bases and scores of high level government jobs.


Maryland imposes 5 income tax brackets, ranging from 2% to 6.25% of personal income.[79] The city of Baltimore and Maryland's 23 counties levy local "piggyback" income taxes at rates between 1.25% and 3.2% of Maryland taxable income. Local officials set the rates and the revenue is returned to the local governments quarterly. The top income tax bracket of 9.45% is the fifth highest combined state and local income tax rates in the country, behind New York City's 11.35%, California’s 10.3%, Rhode Island’s 9.9%, and Vermont’s 9.5%.[80]

Maryland's state sales tax is 6%. All real property in Maryland is subject to the property tax. Generally, properties that are owned and used by religious, charitable, or educational organizations or property owned by the federal, state or local governments are exempt. Property tax rates vary widely. No restrictions or limitations on property taxes are imposed by the state, meaning cities and counties can set tax rates at the level they deem necessary to fund governmental services. These rates can increase, decrease or remain the same from year to year. If the proposed tax rate increases the total property tax revenues, the governing body must advertise that fact and hold a public hearing on the new tax rate. This is called the Constant Yield Tax Rate process.


Maryland is a major center for life sciences research and development. With more than 400 biotechnology companies located there, Maryland is the fourth-largest nexus in this field in the United States.[81]

Institutions and government agencies with an interest in research and development located in Maryland include the Johns Hopkins University, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, more than one campus of the University System of Maryland, Goddard Space Flight Center, the United States Census Bureau, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Celera Genomics company, Human Genome Sciences (HGS),the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), and MedImmune - recently purchased by AstraZeneca.


The Maryland Department of Transportation, headquartered in the Hanover area of unincorporated Anne Arundel County,[82] oversees transportation in the state.


Maryland's major cities and roads.

Maryland's Interstate highways include 110 miles (180 km) of I-95, which enters the northeast portion of the state, goes through Baltimore, and becomes part of the eastern section of the Capital Beltway to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. I-68 runs 81 miles (130 km) connecting the western portions of the state to I-70 at the small town of Hancock. I-70 enters from Pennsylvania north of Hancock and continues east for 93 miles (150 km) to Baltimore, connecting Hagerstown and Frederick along the way.

I-83 has 34 miles (55 km) in Maryland and connects Baltimore to southern central Pennsylvania (Harrisburg and York, Pennsylvania). Maryland also has an 11-mile (18 km) portion of I-81 that runs through the state near Hagerstown. I-97, fully contained within Anne Arundel County and the second shortest (17.6 miles) one- or two-digit Interstate highway which connects the Baltimore area to the Annapolis area. Hawaii has one that is shorter.

There are also several auxiliary Interstate highways in Maryland. Among them are two beltways encircling the major cities of the region: I-695, the McKeldin (Baltimore) Beltway, which encircles Baltimore; and a portion of I-495, the Capital Beltway, which encircles Washington, D.C. I-270, which connects the Frederick area with Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia through major suburbs to the northwest of Washington, is a major commuter route and is as wide as fourteen lanes at points.

Both I-270 and the Capital Beltway are currently extremely congested; however, the ICC or Intercounty Connector (MD 200) is hoped to alleviate some of the congestion over time. Construction of the ICC was a major part of the campaign platform of former Governor Robert Ehrlich, who was in office from 2003 until 2007, and of Governor Martin O'Malley, who succeeded him. I-595, which is concurrent with US 50 and US 301, is the longest unsigned interstate in the country and connects Prince George's County and Washington D.C. with Annapolis and the Eastern Shore via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge, which connects Maryland's Eastern and Western Shores, is the most popular route for tourists to reach the resort town of Ocean City.

Maryland also has a state highway system that contains routes numbered from 2 through 999, however most of the higher-numbered routes are either not signed or are relatively short. Major state highways include Routes 2 (Governor Ritchie Highway/Solomons Island Road/Southern Maryland Blvd.), 4 (Pennsylvania Avenue/Southern Maryland Blvd./Patuxent Beach Road/St. Andrew's Church Road), 5 (Branch Avenue/Leonardtown Road/Point Lookout Road), 32, 45 (York Road), 97 (Georgia Avenue), 100 (Paul T. Pitcher Memorial Highway), 210 (Indian Head Highway), 235 (Three Notch Road), 295 (Baltimore-Washington Parkway), 355 (Wisconsin Avenue/Rockville Pike/Frederick Road), 404 (Queen Anne Highway/ Shore Highway), and 650 (New Hampshire Avenue).


Maryland's largest airport is Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (known as Friendship Airport from its construction in 1950 and renamed in 2005 for Baltimore-born former and first African-American Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall). The only other airports with commercial service are at Hagerstown and Salisbury. The Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. are also serviced by the other two airports in the region, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Dulles International Airport, both in Northern Virginia. The College Park Airport is the nation's oldest, founded in 1909, and is still utilized. Wilbur Wright trained military aviators at this location.[83][84]

Ellicott City Station in Maryland was once a train station. It is next to a still active part of the B&O Railroad and focuses on the part the railroad played in the American Civil War.


Amtrak trains, including the high speed Acela Express serve Baltimore's Penn Station, BWI Airport, New Carrollton, and Aberdeen along the Washington D.C. to Boston Northeast Corridor. In addition, train service is provided to Rockville and Cumberland by Amtrak's Washington, D.C., to Chicago Capitol Limited.

The Washington Metrobus and Metrorail system provides connections between Washington, D.C. and the surrounding counties of Montgomery and Prince George's, as well as BWI Airport provided by the Route B30. MTA Maryland is the largest private operator in the state. Situated in Baltimore and largely focuses in central Maryland, portions of the Eastern Shore provided by commuter and express bus service. Baltimore's Light Rail and Metro Subway systems serves the densely populated inner-city to the surrounding suburbs. The commuter rail service, known as MARC, focus on the connection of Washington Union Station to Baltimore, Perryville, Frederick and as far as Martinsburg, WV.

Freight rail transport is handled principally by two Class I railroads, as well as several smaller regional and local carriers. CSX Transportation has more extensive trackage throughout the state, with 560 miles (900 km),[85] followed by Norfolk Southern Railway. Major rail yards are located in Baltimore and Cumberland,[85] with an intermodal terminal (rail, truck and marine) in Baltimore.[86]

The B&O Railroad, which goes from Baltimore to Ohio, is one of the oldest railroads in North America.

Shipping canals

The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal is a 14 miles (23 km) canal on the Eastern Shore that connects the waters of the Delaware River with those of the Chesapeake Bay, and in particular with the Port of Baltimore, carrying 40 percent of the port's ship traffic.[87]

Law and government

The reverse side of the Maryland quarter shows the dome of the State House in Annapolis.

The government of Maryland is conducted according to the state constitution. The government of Maryland, like the other 49 state governments, has exclusive authority over matters that lie entirely within the state's borders, except as limited by the Constitution of the United States.

Power in Maryland is divided among three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial. The Maryland General Assembly is composed of the Maryland House of Delegates and the Maryland Senate. Maryland's governor is unique in the United States as the office is vested with significant authority in budgeting. The legislature may not increase the governor's proposed budget expenditures. Unlike most other states, significant autonomy is granted to many of Maryland's counties.

Most of the business of government is conducted in Annapolis, the state capital. Virtually all state and county elections are held in even-numbered years not divisible by four, in which the President of the United States is not elected – this, as in other states, is intended to divide state and federal politics.

The judicial branch of state government consists of one united District Court of Maryland that sits in every county and Baltimore City, as well as 24 Circuit Courts sitting in each County and Baltimore City, the latter being courts of general jurisdiction for all civil disputes over $30,000.00, all equitable jurisdiction and major criminal proceedings. The intermediate appellate court is known as the "Court of Special Appeals" and the state supreme court is the "Court of Appeals". The appearance of the judges of the Maryland Court of Appeals is unique; Maryland is the only state whose judges wear red robes.[88]


Since before the Civil War, Maryland's elections have been largely controlled by the Democrats, even as the party's platform has changed considerably in that time. State elections are dominated by Baltimore and the populous suburban counties bordering Washington, D.C.: Montgomery and Prince George's. Forty-three percent of the state's population resides in these three jurisdictions, each of which contain large, traditionally Democratic voting bloc(s): African Americans in Baltimore and Prince George's, federal employees in Prince George's and Montgomery, and postgraduates in Montgomery. The remainder of the state, particularly Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore, is more supportive of Republicans.

Spiro Agnew, former Vice President of the United States and the highest-ranking political leader from Maryland since the founding of the United States.

Maryland has supported the Democratic nominee in each of the last five presidential elections, by an average margin of 15.4%. In 1980, it was one of six states to vote for Jimmy Carter. In recent years, Maryland has been among the most reliable states for Democratic nominees. In 1992, Bill Clinton fared better in Maryland than any other state except his home state of Arkansas. In 1996, Maryland was Clinton's sixth best, in 2000 Maryland ranked fourth for Gore and in 2004 John Kerry showed his fifth best performance in Maryland. In 2008, Barack Obama won the state's 10 electoral votes in 2008 with 61.9% of the vote to John McCain's 36.5%.

While Republicans usually win more counties by piling up large margins in the west and east, they are usually swamped by the more densely populated and heavily Democratic Baltimore-Washington axis. In 2008, for instance, McCain won 17 counties to Obama's six; Obama also carried Baltimore City. While McCain won most of the western and eastern counties by margins of 2-to-1 or more, he was almost completely shut out in the larger counties surrounding Baltimore and Washington; every large county except Anne Arundel went for Obama.[89]

Both of Maryland's U.S. Senators and seven of its eight Representatives in Congress are Democrats, and Democrats hold a supermajority in the state Senate. The previous Governor, Robert Ehrlich, was the first Republican to be elected to that office in four decades, and after one term lost his seat to Baltimore Mayor Martin J. O'Malley, a Democrat. Ehrlich ran again for Governor in 2010, losing again to O'Malley.

U.S. Congressman Steny Hoyer (MD-5), a Democrat, was elected as Majority Leader for the 110th Congress of the House of Representatives, and 111th Congress, serving in that post from 2007 to 2011. His district covers parts of Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties, in addition to all of Charles, Calvert and St. Mary's counties in southern Maryland.[90]

The 2006 election brought no significant change in this pattern of Democratic dominance. After Democratic Senator Paul Sarbanes announced that he was retiring, Democratic Congressman Benjamin Cardin defeated Republican Lieutenant Governor Michael S. Steele, with 55% of the vote, against Steele's 44%. The governorship was also a point of interest, as Republican incumbent Robert Ehrlich was defeated by Democratic challenger Martin O'Malley, the Mayor of Baltimore, 53% to 46%.

While Maryland is a Democratic Party stronghold, perhaps its best known political figure is a Republican – former Governor Spiro Agnew, who served as United States Vice President under Richard Nixon. He was Vice President from 1969 to 1973, when he resigned in the aftermath of revelations that he had taken bribes while he was Governor of Maryland. In late 1973, a court found Agnew guilty of violating tax laws.

In 2010 Republicans won control of most counties. The Democratic Party remained in control of eight county governments including Baltimore City.[citation needed]


Primary and secondary education

Memorial Chapel at the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland's largest university.

Public primary and secondary education in Maryland is overseen by the Maryland State Department of Education, which is headquartered in Baltimore.[91] The highest educational official in the state is the State Superintendent of Schools, who is appointed by the State Board of Education to a four-year term of office. The Maryland General Assembly has given the Superintendent and State Board autonomy to make educationally related decisions, limiting its own influence on the day to day functions of public education. Each county and county-equivalent in Maryland has a local Board of Education charged with running the public schools in that particular jurisdiction.

The budget for education was $5.5 billion in 2009, representing about 40% of the state's general fund.[92]

Maryland has a broad range of private primary and secondary schools. Many of these are affiliated with various religious sects, including parochial schools of the Catholic Church, Quaker schools, Seventh-day Adventist schools, and Jewish schools. In 2003, Maryland law was changed to allow for the creation of publicly funded charter schools, although the charter schools must be approved by their local Board of Education and are not exempt from state laws on education, including collective bargaining laws.

In 2008, the state led the entire country in the percentage of students passing Advanced Placement examinations. 23.4 percent of students earned passing grades on the AP tests given in May 2008. This marks the first year that Maryland earned this honor.[93] Three Maryland high schools (in Montgomery County) were ranked among the top 100 in the country based on these test scores.[94]

Colleges and universities

Maryland has several historic and renowned private colleges and universities, the most prominent of which is Johns Hopkins University, founded in 1876 with a grant from Baltimore entrepreneur Johns Hopkins.

The first public university in the state is the University of Maryland, Baltimore, which was founded in 1807 and contains the University of Maryland's only public academic health, human services, and one of two law centers (the other being the University of Baltimore School of Law). Seven professional and graduate schools train the majority of the state's physicians, nurses, dentists, lawyers, social workers, and pharmacists.[95] The largest undergraduate institution in Maryland is the University of Maryland, College Park which was founded as the Maryland Agricultural College in 1856 and became a public land grant college in 1864. Towson University, founded in 1866, is the state's second largest university. Baltimore is home to the Maryland Institute College of Art. The majority of public universities in the state are affiliated with the University System of Maryland. Two state-funded institutions, Morgan State University and St. Mary's College of Maryland, as well as two federally funded institutions, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the United States Naval Academy, are not affiliated with the University System of Maryland.

St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland and Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, both private institutions, are the two oldest colleges in the state, and are among the oldest in the country. Other private institutions include Mount St. Mary's University, McDaniel College (formerly known as Western Maryland College), Hood College, Stevenson University (formerly known as Villa Julie College), Loyola University Maryland, and Goucher College, among others.


With two major metropolitan areas, Maryland has a number of major and minor professional sports franchises. Two National Football League teams play in Maryland, the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore City and the Washington Redskins in Landover. The Baltimore Colts represented the NFL in Baltimore from 1953 to 1983 before moving to Indianapolis.

The Baltimore Orioles are the state's Major League Baseball franchise. The National Hockey League's Washington Capitals and the National Basketball Association's Washington Wizards formerly played in Maryland, until the construction of an arena in Downtown D.C. in 1997 (originally known as MCI Center, renamed Verizon Center in 2006).

Maryland enjoys considerable historical repute for the talented sports players of its past, including Cal Ripken Jr. and Babe Ruth. In 2012, The Baltimore Sun published a list of Maryland's top ten athletes in the state's history. The list includes Ruth, Ripken, Johnny Unitas, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Ray Lewis, Michael Phelps, Jimmie Foxx, Jim Parker, and Wes Unseld.[96]

Other professional sports franchises in the state include five affiliated minor league baseball teams, one independent league baseball team, the Baltimore Blast indoor soccer team, two indoor football teams, and three low-level outdoor soccer teams. Maryland is also home to one of the three races in horse racing's annual Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, which is run every spring at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

The official state sport of Maryland, since 1962, is jousting; the official team sport since 2004 is lacrosse.[97] The National Lacrosse Hall of Fame is located on the Johns Hopkins University campus in Baltimore. In 2008, intending to promote physical fitness for all ages, walking became the official state exercise. Maryland is the first state with an official state exercise.[98]

See also


  1. ^ "Maryland's quality of life ranks high compared to other states". FindArticles.com. The Daily Record (Baltimore). December 11, 2004. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4183/is_20041211/ai_n10064724/. Retrieved 2009-06-04.
  2. ^ "Maryland Facts". Maryland Office of Tourism. http://www.visitmaryland.org/Students/Pages/MarylandFacts.aspx. Retrieved June 2, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Annual Estimates of the Population for the United States, Regions, States, and Puerto Rico: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012" (CSV). 2012 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. December 2012. http://www.census.gov/popest/data/national/totals/2012/index.html. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
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  6. ^ Elevation adjusted to North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
  7. ^ For those who distinguish them, Maryland is pronounced as in merry /ˈmɛri/, not as in the name Mary /ˈmɛəri/. (Random House Dictionary)
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  37. ^ "Coyotes in Maryland". Maryland Department of Natural Resources. http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/Hunt_Trap/furbearers/coyote.asp. Retrieved 16 September 2011. "Coyotes were historically a western species with core populations found west of the Mississippi River. Alterations and/or elimination of competing predators during the post-European colonization period facilitated rapid range expansion into eastern North America during the 20th Century. Established populations now occur in every state and province in North America. Coyotes are a relatively new addition to local ecosystems, and were first documented in Maryland during 1972. Initial substantiated sightings occurred in Cecil, Frederick and Washington counties. Since that time population densities and occupied range have expanded incrementally and coyotes now occur statewide."
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  56. ^ Turner Brinton, "April-editions/060405-Wednesday/ImmigrateDebate_CNS-UMCP.html Immigration Bill Could Impact Maryland[dead link]," Capital News Service, 5 April 2006. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
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  58. ^ "About Us: Korean Americans in Maryland". Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. http://www.jhsph.edu/kacp/about_us.html. Retrieved 2007-12-23.
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  63. ^ Exner, Rich (June 3, 2012). "Americans under age 1 now mostly minorities, but not in Ohio: Statistical Snapshot". The Plain Dealer. http://www.cleveland.com/datacentral/index.ssf/2012/06/americas_under_age_1_populatio.html.
  64. ^ "Languages in Maryland" (PDF). U.S.ENGLISH Foundation, Inc. http://www.usefoundation.org/userdata/file/Research/Regions/maryland.pdf. Retrieved 2012-05-22. "Prince George’s County has the highest percentage of Kru/Ibo/Yoruba speakers of any county in the nation."
  65. ^ Department of Legislative Services (June 2008). "Overview of Hispanic Community in Maryland" (PDF). pp. 6–7. http://dls.state.md.us/data/polanasubare/polanasubare_intmatnpubadm/Overview-of-Hispanic-Community.pdf. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  66. ^ "Minority population surging in Texas". msnbc.com. Associated Press. August 18, 2005. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8902484/. Retrieved December 7, 2009.
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  69. ^ It became a part of the District of Columbia when that city was created in the 1790s.
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  71. ^ Dolan, Karen (January 30, 2012). "A better way of measuring progress in Maryland". Baltimore Sun. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-measuring-progress-20120130,0,7700054.story.
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  73. ^ U.S. Poverty Rate Drops; Ranks of Uninsured Grow washingtonpost.com.
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  75. ^ US Poverty Rate Declines Significantly[dead link] FOXNews.com.
  76. ^ Bls.gov; Local Area Unemployment Statistics
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  93. ^ de Vise, Daniel (5 February 2009). "Md. Leads U.S. in Passing Rates on AP Exams". Washington Post: pp. B1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/04/AR2009020401459.html. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
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Further reading

External links

Preceded by
List of U.S. states by date of statehood
Ratified Constitution on April 28, 1788 (7th)
Succeeded by
South Carolina

Coordinates: 39°00′N 76°42′W / 39°N 76.7°W / 39; -76.7




Dansk (Danish)
n. - Maryland

Français (French)
n. - Maryland

Deutsch (German)
n. - Maryland

Português (Portuguese)
n. - Maryland

Español (Spanish)
n. - Maryland

中文(简体)(Chinese (Simplified))

中文(繁體)(Chinese (Traditional))
n. - 馬里蘭州

한국어 (Korean)
메릴랜드 (미국 동부 대서양 연안의 주; 주도 Annapolis; (약) Md.; 속칭 Old Line State, Free State)

עברית (Hebrew)
n. - ‮מרילנד‬

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