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The history of Maryland included only Native Americans until Europeans, starting with John Cabot in 1498, began exploring the area. The first settlements came in 1634 when the English arrived in significant numbers and created a permanent colony. In 1776, during the American Revolution, Maryland became a state in the United States. Although it was a slave state where numerous planters had Confederate sympathies, by 1860 nearly half the black population was already free, due mostly to manumissions after the American Revolution.[1] Maryland remained in the Union during the American Civil War.

Although small in size, the state has distinct socio-political-economic regions, including the major city of Baltimore, Baltimore's suburbs, the Washington suburbs, Western Maryland, and the Eastern Shore. Maryland has a democratic-type of state government.

Contents

Pre-Columbian history

It appears that the first humans to arrive in the area that would become Maryland appeared around the 10th millennium BCE, about the time that the last Ice-age ended. They were hunter-gatherers organized into semi-nomadic bands. They adapted as the region's environment changed, developing the spear for hunting as smaller animals, like deer, became more prevalent and by about 1500 BCE. Oysters had become an important food resource in the region. With the increased variety of food sources, Native American villages and settlements started appearing and their social structures increased in complexity. By about 1000 BCE pottery was being produced. With the eventual rise of agriculture more permanent Native-American villages were built. But even with the advent of farming, hunting and fishing were still major sources of food. The bow and arrow were first used for hunting in the area around the year 800. They ate what they could kill, grow or catch in the rivers and other waterways.[citation needed]

When Europeans began to settle in Maryland in the early 1600s, the main tribes included the Nanticoke on the Eastern Shore. Early exposure to new European diseases brought widespread fatalities to the Native Americans, as they had no immunity to them. Communities were disrupted by such losses. The Shawnee were the last major tribe in the state, and they left western Maryland in the 1740s.[citation needed]

Early European exploration

In 1598 the first European explorers sailed along the Eastern Shore, off present-day Worcester County. In 1524 Giovanni da Verrazzano, sailing under the French flag, passed the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. In 1608 John Smith entered the bay.

Colonial Maryland

See also: Province of Maryland, Colonial America, and British colonization of the Americas

Map of the Maryland colony

George Calvert, 1st Lord Baltimore applied to Charles I for a royal charter for what was to become the Province of Maryland. After George Calvert died in April 1632, the charter for "Maryland Colony" (in Latin Terra Mariae) was granted to his son, Cæcilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, on June 20, 1632. Some historians viewed this as compensation for his father's having been stripped of his title of Secretary of State in 1625 after announcing his Roman Catholicism.

The colony was named in honor of Queen Henrietta Maria, the wife of King Charles I.[2] The specific name given in the charter was phrased Terra Mariae, anglice, Maryland. The English name was preferred due to undesired associations of Mariae with the Spanish Jesuit Juan de Mariana, linked to the Inquisition.[3]

As did other colonies, Maryland used the headright system to encourage people to bring in new settlers. Led by Leonard Calvert, Cecil Calvert's younger brother, the first settlers departed from Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, on November 22, 1633 aboard two small ships, the Ark and the Dove. Their landing on March 25, 1634 at St. Clement's Island in southern Maryland is commemorated by the state each year on that date as Maryland Day. This was the site of the first Catholic mass in the Colonies, with Father Andrew White leading the service. The first group of colonists consisted of 17 gentlemen and their wives, and about two hundred others, mostly indentured servants who could work off their passage.

After purchasing land from the Yaocomico Indians and establishing the town of St. Mary's, Leonard, per his brother's instructions, attempted to govern the country under feudalistic precepts. Meeting resistance, in February 1635, he summoned a colonial assembly. In 1638, the Assembly forced him to govern according to the laws of England. The right to initiate legislation passed to the assembly.

In 1638, Calvert seized a trading post in Kent Island established by the Virginian William Claiborne. In 1644, Claiborne led an uprising of Maryland Protestants. Calvert was forced to flee to Virginia, but he returned at the head of an armed force in 1646 and reasserted proprietarial rule.

A large broadside of the Maryland Toleration Act.

Maryland soon became one of the few predominantly Catholic regions among the English colonies in North America. Maryland was also one of the key destinations where the government sent tens of thousands of British convicts punished by sentences of transportation. Such punishment persisted until the Revolutionary War.

The Maryland Toleration Act, issued in 1649, was one of the first laws that explicitly defined tolerance of varieties of Christianity. It has been considered a precursor to the First Amendment.

The founders designed the city plan of the colonial capital, St. Mary's City, to reflect their world view. At the center of the city was the home of the mayor of St. Mary's City. From that point, streets were laid out that created two triangles. Located at two points of the triangle extending to the west were the first Maryland state house and a jail. Extending to the north of the mayor's home, the remaining two points of the second triangle were defined by a Catholic church and a school. The design of the city was a literal separation of church and state that reinforced the importance of religious freedom.

The largest site of the original Maryland colony, St. Mary's City was the seat of colonial government until 1708. After Virginia established Anglicanism as the state religion in the colony, numerous Puritans migrated from Virginia to Maryland. The government gave them land for a settlement called Providence (now called Annapolis).

In 1650, the Puritans revolted against the proprietary government. They set up a new government prohibiting both Catholicism and Anglicanism. In March 1655, the 2nd Lord Baltimore sent an army under Governor William Stone to put down this revolt. Near Annapolis, his Roman Catholic army was decisively defeated by a Puritan army in the Battle of the Severn. The Puritan revolt lasted until 1658, when the Calvert family regained control and re-enacted the Toleration Act.

The Puritan revolutionary government persecuted Maryland Catholics during its reign. Mobs burned down all the original Catholic churches of southern Maryland. In 1708, the seat of government was moved to Providence, renamed Annapolis in honor of Queen Anne. St. Mary's City is now an archaeological site, with a small tourist center.

Just as the city plan for St. Mary's City reflected the ideals of the founders, the city plan of Annapolis reflected those in power at the turn of the 18th century. The plan of Annapolis extends from two circles at the center of the city - one including the State House and the other the Anglican St. Mary's Church (now Episcopal.) The plan reflected a stronger relationship between church and state, and a colonial government more closely aligned with the Protestant church.

Based on an incorrect map, the original royal charter granted Maryland the Potomac River and territory northward to the fortieth parallel. This was found to be a problem as the northern boundary would have put Philadelphia, the major city in Pennsylvania, within Maryland. The Calvert family, which controlled Maryland, and the Penn family, which controlled Pennsylvania, decided in 1750 to engage two surveyors, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon to establish a boundary.

They surveyed what became known as the Mason-Dixon line, which became the boundary between the two colonies. The crests of the Penn family and of the Calvert family were put at the Mason-Dixon line to mark it. Later the Mason-Dixon line was used as a boundary between free and slave states under the Missouri Compromise of 1820.

The Revolutionary period

Maryland did not at first favor independence from Great Britain and gave instructions to that effect to its delegates to the Continental Congress. During this initial phase of the Revolutionary period, Maryland was governed by the Assembly of Freemen, an Assembly of the state's counties. The first convention lasted four days, from June 22 to June 25, 1774. All sixteen counties then existing were represented by a total of 92 members; Matthew Tilghman was elected chairman.

Thomas Johnson, Maryland's first elected governor under its 1776 Constitution.

The eighth session decided that the continuation of an ad-hoc government by the convention was not a good mechanism for all the concerns of the province. A more permanent and structured government was needed. So, on July 3, 1776 they resolved that a new convention be elected that would be responsible for drawing up their first state constitution, one that did not refer to parliament or the king, but would be a government "...of the people only." After they set dates and prepared notices to the counties they adjourned. On August 1, all freemen with property elected delegates for the last convention. The ninth and last convention was also known as the Constitutional Convention of 1776. They drafted a constitution, and when they adjourned on November 11, they would not meet again. The Conventions were replaced by the new state government which the Maryland Constitution of 1776 had established. Thomas Johnson became the state's first elected governor.

On March 1, 1781 the Articles of Confederation took effect with Maryland's ratification. The articles had initially been submitted to the states on November 17, 1777, but the ratification process dragged on for several years, stalled by an interstate quarrel over claims to uncolonized land in the west. Maryland was the last hold-out; it refused to ratify until Virginia and New York agreed to rescind their claims to lands in what became the Northwest Territory.

Marylander John Hanson (circa 1765 to 1770) was the first person to serve a full term as President of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation.

No significant Battles of the American Revolutionary War occurred in Maryland. However, this did not prevent the state's soldiers from distinguishing themselves through their service. General George Washington was impressed with the Maryland regulars (the "Maryland Line") who fought in the Continental Army and, according to one tradition, this lead him to bestow the name "Old Line State" on Maryland.[2][4] Today, the Old Line State is one of Maryland's two official nicknames.

The state also filled other roles during the war. For instance, the Continental Congress met briefly in Baltimore from December 20, 1776 through March 4, 1777. Furthermore, a Marylander, John Hanson, served as President of the Continental Congress from 1781 to 1782. Hanson was the first person to serve a full term as President of the Congress under the Articles of Confederation. From November 26, 1783 to June 3, 1784, Annapolis served as the United States capital and the Confederation Congress met in the Maryland State House. (Annapolis was a candidate to become the new nation's permanent capital before Washington, D.C. was built). It was in the old senate chamber[2] that George Washington famously resigned his commission as commander in chief of the Continental Army on December 23, 1783. It was also there that the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War, was ratified by Congress on January 14, 1784.

Maryland, 1789–1849

Quasi-war with France

After the Revolution, the US Congress approved construction of six frigates to form a nucleus of what would become the United States Navy. Of the first three commissioned, one was designated for construction in Baltimore's shipyards and would be named USS Constellation.

Constellation became the first official US Navy ship put to sea. Almost immediately after getting underway, Constellation was ordered to the Caribbean to protect US interests against the French. Tensions had increased following the Haitian Revolution and independence in 1804, as European powers attempted to maintain control. Constellation, under the command of Captain Thomas Truxtun, was forced into two major ship-to-ship naval battles involving the French ship L'Insurgente and the heavier frigate Vengeance. With its victories in both encounters, Constellation also achieved the first capture by an American vessel of an enemy ship (L'Insurgente.) Its return to Baltimore was accompanied by joyous celebration and nationwide fame. The Constellation's incredible speed and power inspired the French to nickname her the "Yankee Racehorse".

The War of 1812

During the War of 1812 the British conducted raids against cities along the Chesapeake Bay, up to and including Havre de Grace. There were also two notable battles that occurred in the state. The first was the Battle of Bladensburg, which occurred on August 24, 1814 just outside the national capital, Washington, D.C. The militiamen defending the city were routed and retreated in confusion through the streets of the city. After overrunning the confused American defenders at Bladensburg, the British took Washington, D.C. They burned and looted major public buildings (see Burning of Washington), forcing President James Madison to flee.

Battle of North Point Monument (dedicated 1815), ca. 1870-1875, which appears on both the flag and the seal of Baltimore, Maryland.

The British marched next to Baltimore, where they hoped to strike a knockout blow against the demoralized Americans. Baltimore was not only a busy port, but the British thought it harbored many of the privateers who were despoiling British ships. The city's defenses were under the command of Major General Samuel Smith, an officer of Maryland militia and a United States Senator. Baltimore had been well fortified with excellent supplies and some 15,000 troops. Maryland militia fought a determined delaying action at the Battle of North Point, during which a Maryland militia marksman shot and killed the British commander. The battle bought enough time for Baltimore's defenses to be strengthened.

After advancing to the edge of American defenses, the British halted their advance and withdrew. With the failure of the land advance, the sea battle became irrelevant and the British retreated.

At Fort McHenry, some 1000 soldiers under the command of Major George Armistead awaited the British naval bombardment. Their defense was augmented by the sinking of a line of American merchant ships at the adjacent entrance to Baltimore Harbor in order to thwart passage of British ships. The attack began on the morning of September 13, as the British fleet of some nineteen ships began pounding the fort with rockets and mortar shells. After an initial exchange of fire, the British fleet withdrew just beyond the 1 1/2 mile range of Fort McHenry's cannons. For the next 25 hours, they bombarded the outmanned Americans. On the morning of September 14, an oversized American flag, which had been hastily sewn for this event, still flew over Fort McHenry. The British knew that victory had eluded them. The bombardment of the fort inspired Francis Scott Key, a native of Frederick, Maryland, to write "the Star-Spangled Banner" as witness to the assault. It later became the country's national anthem.

Second Barbary War

After the War of 1812, the USS Constellation was sent to be part of the new Mediterranean Squadron of Commodore Stephen Decatur for use against the Barbary States in North Africa. Their ships had been preying on US and British ships. The recently captured (and newly reflagged) USS Guerriere and USS Macedonian, together with the Constellation, made quick work of the Algerian fleet flagship Meshuda and the brig Estedio. Their defeat forced the Dey of Algiers and his neighbors to peace.

Maryland during the Frontier Age

In 1840, Constellation completed a voyage around the world, which included becoming the first U.S. warship to enter the inland waters of China.

Maryland in the Civil War

See also: American Civil War and Origins of the American Civil War

Maryland's sympathies

8th Massachusetts regiment repairing Railroad bridges from Annapolis to Washington destroyed with the support of Maryland political leaders.

Maryland was one of the border states, straddling the North and South. As in Virginia and Delaware, numerous planters in Maryland had freed their slaves in the twenty years after the Revolutionary War. By 1860 Maryland's free black population comprised 49.1% of the total of African Americans in the state.[5] After John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, Virginia (now in West Virginia), some citizens in slaveholding areas began forming local militias. Of the 1860 population of 687,000, about 60,000 men joined the Union and about 25,000 fought for the Confederacy. The political sentiments of each group generally reflected their economic interests.

Governor Hicks prevented Maryland from seceding in 1861.

The first bloodshed of the Civil War occurred in Baltimore involving Massachusetts troops who were fired on while marching between railroad stations on April 19, 1861. After that, Baltimore Mayor George William Brown, Marshal George P. Kane, and former Governor Enoch Louis Lowe requested that Maryland Governor Thomas H. Hicks, a slave owner from the Eastern Shore, burn the railroad bridges and cut the telegraph lines leading to Baltimore to prevent further troops from entering the state. Hicks reportedly approved this proposal. These actions were addressed in the famous federal court case of Ex parte Merryman.

Maryland remained part of the Union during the United States Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln's strong hand suppressing violence and dissent in Maryland and the belated assistance of Governor Hicks played important roles. Hicks worked with federal officials to stop further violence.

Marylanders sympathetic to the South easily crossed the Potomac River to join and fight for the Confederacy. Exiles organized a "Maryland Line" in the Army of Northern Virginia which consisted of one infantry regiment, one infantry battalion, two cavalry battalions and four battalions of artillery. According to the best extant records, up to 25,000 Marylanders went south to fight for the Confederacy. About 60,000 Maryland men served in all branches of the Union military. However, many of the Union troops were said to enlist on the promise of home garrison duty.

To prevent an uprising in the violence-prone city of Baltimore, a Union artillery garrison was placed on Federal Hill with express orders to destroy the city should Southern sympathizers overwhelm law and order there.[6] Following the Baltimore riot of 1861, Union troops under the command of General Benjamin F. Butler occupied the hill in the middle of the night. This was against Washington orders. Butler and his men erected a small fort, with cannon pointing towards the central business district. Their goal was to guarantee the allegiance of the city and the state of Maryland to the Federal Government under threat of force. This fort and the Union occupation persisted for the duration of the Civil War. A large flag, a few cannon, and a small Grand Army of the Republic monument remain to testify to this period of the hill's history.

Because Maryland remained in the Union, it was not included under the Emancipation Proclamation. A constitutional convention was held during 1864 that culminated in the passage of a new state constitution (see below) on November 1 of that year. Article 24 of that document outlawed the practice of slavery. The right to vote was extended to non-white males in the Maryland Constitution of 1867, which is still in effect today.

During this time the USS Constellation was flagship of the US African Squadron from 1859 to 1861. In this period, she disrupted the African slave trade by interdicting three slave ships and releasing the imprisoned slaves. The last of the ships was captured at the outbreak of the American Civil War: Constellation overpowered the slaver brig Triton in African coastal waters. Constellation spent much of the war as a deterrent to Confederate cruisers and commerce raiders in the Mediterranean Sea.

The war on Maryland soil

See also: American Civil War: Eastern Theater 1861-1863

Battle of Antietam by Kurz and Allison.

The largest and most significant battle fought in the state was the Battle of Antietam, fought on September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg. The battle was the culmination of Robert E. Lee's Maryland Campaign, which aimed to secure new supplies; recruit fresh men from among the considerable pockets of Confederate sympathies in Maryland; and to impact public opinion in the North. With those goals, Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, consisting of about 40,000 men, had entered Maryland following their recent victory at Second Bull Run.

While Major General George B. McClellan's 87,000-man Army of the Potomac was moving to intercept Lee, a Union soldier discovered a mislaid copy of the detailed battle plans of Lee's army. The order indicated that Lee had divided his army and dispersed portions geographically (to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and Hagerstown, Maryland), thus making each subject to isolation and defeat in detail if McClellan could move quickly enough. McClellan waited about 18 hours before deciding to take advantage of this intelligence and position his forces based on it, thus endangering a golden opportunity to defeat Lee decisively.

Dead Confederate soldiers from Starke's Louisiana Brigade, on the Hagerstown Turnpike, north of the Dunker Church.

The armies met near of the town of Sharpsburg by the Antietam Creek. Although McClellan arrived in the area on September 16, his trademark caution delayed his attack on Lee, which gave the Confederates more time to prepare defensive positions and allowed Longstreet's corps to arrive from Hagerstown and Jackson's corps, minus A.P. Hill's division, to arrive from Harpers Ferry. McClellan's two-to-one advantage in the battle was almost completely nullified by a lack of coordination and concentration of Union forces, which allowed Lee to shift his defensive forces to parry each thrust.

Although a tactical draw, the Battle of Antietam was considered a strategic Union victory and a turning point of the war. It forced the end of Lee's invasion of the North. It also was enough of a victory to enable President Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which took effect on January 1, 1863. He had been advised by his Cabinet to make the announcement after a Union victory, to avoid any perception that it was issued out of desperation. The Union's winning the Battle of Antietam also may have dissuaded the governments of France and Great Britain from recognizing the Confederacy. Some observers believed they may have done so in the aftermath of another Union defeat.

During the war, Maryland's naval contribution, the relatively new sloop-of-war USS Constellation maintained her duty in slave ship interdiction for the Union Navy. Stationed in the Mediterranean, the Constellation actively protected convoys and defended against commerce raiders.

1865–1920

See also: History of the United States (1865–1918)

Post-Civil War political developments

Since Maryland had remained in the Union during the Civil War, the state did not undergo Reconstruction like the states of the former Confederacy. However, as a former "slave state", Maryland did have issues with the civil rights of freedmen and formerly free blacks, and racial tensions as did the states in the Confederacy. The deep divisions in the state between those who fought for the North and those who fought for the South were also difficult to reconcile.

Thomas Swann, the only Governor of Maryland elected under the state's 1864 constitution.

The Democratic Party rapidly regained power in the state and replaced Republicans who had ruled during the war. Support for the Constitution of 1864 ended and Democrats replaced it with the Maryland Constitution of 1867. That document, which is still in effect today, resembled the 1851 constitution more than its immediate predecessor and was approved by 54.1% of the state's population. Although the reapportionment of the legislature based on population, not counties, gave greater power to freedmen (as well as to urban areas), the new constitution deprived African Americans of some of the protections of the 1864 document.

Over the next several decades, the African-American population struggled in a discriminatory environment. In 1910 the legislature proposed the Digges Amendment to the state constitution. It would have used property requirements to effectively disfranchise many African Americans as well as many poor whites (including new immigrants.) The Maryland General Assembly passed the bill, which the Governor Austin Lane Crothers supported. Before the measure went to popular vote, a bill was proposed that would have effectively passed the requirements of the Digges Amendment into law. Not only did that measure fail (after a public outcry) but the amendment was also rejected by the voters of Maryland. This was the most notable rejection of a black-disfranchising amendment. Other similar measures were proposed, but also failed to pass (Poe Amendment in 1905 and the Straus Amendment in 1909.)

Progressive era reforms

See also: Progressivism

In the early 20th century, a political reform movement arose, centered in the rising new middle class. One of their main goals included having government jobs granted on the basis of merit rather than patronage. Other changes aimed to reduce the power of political bosses and machines, which they succeeded in doing.

In a series of laws passed between 1892 and 1908, reformers worked for standard state-issued ballots (rather than those distributed and pre-marked by the parties); obtained closed voting booths to prevent party workers from "assisting" voters; initiated primary elections to keep party bosses from selecting candidates; and had candidates listed without party symbols, which discouraged the illiterate from participating. Although promoted as democratic reforms, the changes had other results sought by the middle class. They discouraged participation by the lower classes and illiterate voters. Voting participation dropped from about 82% of eligible voters in the 1890s to about 49% in the 1920s.

Other laws helped the state's working men and women. For instance, in a series of laws passed in 1902, the state regulated conditions in mines; outlawed child laborers under the age of 12; mandated compulsory school attendance; and enacted the nation's first workers compensation law. The workers compensation law would be overturned in the courts, but was redrafted and finally enacted in 1910. The law would become a model for national legislation a few decades later.

The debate over prohibition of alcohol, another progressive reform, led to Maryland's gaining its second nickname. A mocking newspaper editorial dubbed Maryland "the Free State" for its allowing alcohol.[2][4]

Great Baltimore Fire

The aftermath of the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904.

The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 was a momentous event for the Maryland's largest city and the state as a whole. The fire raged in Baltimore, from 10:48 a.m. Sunday, February 7, to 5:00 p.m. Monday, February 8, 1904. More than 1,231 firefighters worked to bring the blaze under control.

One reason for the fire's duration was the lack of national standards in fire-fighting equipment. Although fire engines from nearby cities (such as Philadelphia and Washington, as well as units from New York, Wilmington, and Atlantic City) responded, many were useless because their hose couples failed to fit Baltimore hydrants. As a result, the fire burned over 30 hours, destroying 1,526 buildings and spanning 70 city blocks.

In the aftermath, 35,000 people were left unemployed. After the fire, the city was rebuilt using more fireproof materials, such as granite pavers.

The World War I Era

The United States initially tried to avoid involvement in World War I, which many saw as a European conflict. However, the country was eventually pulled into the massive war (see World War I: Entry of the United States). This, of course, brought many changes to the nation and Maryland was no exception.

Maryland was the site of many new military bases, like Camp Meade (now Fort Meade) and the Aberdeen Proving Ground, which were established in 1917 and the Edgewood Arsenal, which was founded the following year. Other existing facilities, including Fort McHenry, were greatly expanded.

To coordinate wartime activities, like the expansion of federal facilities, the General Assembly set up a Council of Defense. The 126 seats on the council were filled by many of the state's most prominent citizens. The Council, which had a virtually unlimited budget, was charged with defending the state, supervising the draft, maintaining wage and price controls, providing housing for war-related industries, and promoting support for the war. Citizens were encouraged to grow their own victory gardens and to obey ration laws. They were also forced to work, once the legislature adopted a compulsory labor law with the support of the Council of Defense.

Maryland in the 20th century

See also: History of the United States (1918-1945)

The Ritchie administration

Albert C. Ritchie, elected to his first of five terms in 1918, is probably the most popular governor in state history.

In 1918, Maryland elected Albert C. Ritchie, a Democrat, governor. He would be reelected four times, serving from 1919 to 1934, and is arguably the state's all-time most popular governor. Handsome and aristocratic, Ritchie was very pro-business. He hired a management firm to streamline government operations and established a budget process controlled largely by economists. He also won approval for a civil service system that had long been sought by reformers, who wanted positions given on the basis of merit and not patronage; reduced the number of state elections by extending legislative terms from two to four years; and he appointed many citizens' commissions to advise on nearly every aspect of government.

State property taxes dropped sharply under Ritchie, but so did state services. A powerful state movie censorship board kept subversive ideas away from the masses. Three times, including 1924 and 1932, Ritchie was a candidate for President of the United States, arguing that Presidents Coolidge and Hoover were hopeless spendthrifts.

Meanwhile, Congress submitted the Nineteenth Amendment to the states for ratification in June 1919. This amendment, which granted women the right to vote, was rejected by the Maryland legislature on February 24, 1920. However, the amendment was finally ratified six months later when Tennessee became the 36th state to approve the measure. (Maryland would subsequently ratify the amendment on March 29, 1941, a purely symbolic gesture.) The presidential election of 1920 was thus the first election in which women could vote in Maryland (the state went for Warren Harding, the Republican nominee and ultimate winner).

Albert Ritchie also lost his bid for the Democratic Party's nomination for President in 1932. Despite a large demonstration for support at the convention, Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated and went on the win the election. Ritchie continued to serve as governor until 1935. Upon his retirement, one newspaper said he was "the greatest governor Maryland ever had." But, like the rest of the country and much of the world, the state was now in the midst of the Great Depression.

Insert non-formatted text here===The Great Depression and World War II=== Maryland's urban and rural communities had different experiences during the Depression. In 1932 the "Bonus Army" marched through the state on its way to Washington, D.C. In addition to the nationwide New Deal reforms of President Roosevelt, which put men to work building roads and park facilities, Maryland also took steps to weather the hard times. For instance, in 1937 the state instituted its first ever income tax to generate revenue for schools and welfare.

The state had some advances in civil rights. The 1935 case Murray v. Pearson et al. resulted in a Baltimore City Court's ordering integration of University of Maryland Law School. The plaintiff in that case was represented by Thurgood Marshall, a young lawyer with the NAACP and a native of Baltimore. When the state attorney general appealed to the Court of Appeals, it affirmed the decision.

Because the state did not appeal the ruling in the federal courts, this state ruling under the U.S. Constitution was the first to overturn Plessy v. Ferguson, the 1896 Supreme Court decision that allowed separate but equal facilities. While the ruling was a moral precedent, it had no authority outside the state of Maryland.

Further reading

Surveys

  • Robert J. Brugger. Maryland, A Middle Temperament: 1634-1980 (1996) full scale history
  • Suzanne Ellery Greene Chappelle, Jean H. Baker, Dean R. Esslinger, and Whitman Crisis: Baltimore, 1890-1930 (1977)
  • Jo Ann E. Argersinger. Toward a New Deal in Baltimore: People and Government in the Great Depression (1988)
  • Jeffrey R. Brackett; The Negro in Maryland: A Study of the Institution of Slavery 1969
  • Gary Lawson Browne. Baltimore in the Nation, 1789-1861 (1980)
  • Lois Green Carr, Philip D. Morgan, Jean Burrell Russo, eds. Colonial Chesapeake Society (1991)
  • Kenneth D. Durr; Behind the Backlash: White Working-Class Politics in Baltimore, 1940-1980 University of North Carolina Press, 2003
  • John Tracy Ellis; The Life of James Cardinal Gibbons: Archbishop of Baltimore, 1834-1921 2 vol 1952
  • Isaac M. Fein. The Making of an American Jewish Community: The History of Baltimore Jewry from 1773 to 1920 (1971)
  • Barbara Fields. Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground: Maryland During the Nineteenth Century (1987)
  • Ronald Hoffman. A Spirit of Dissension: Economics, Politics, and the Revolution in Maryland (1973)
  • Allan Kulikoff. Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesapeake, 1680-1800 (1988)
  • Arthur Pierce Middleton/ Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era (1984)
  • Norman K. Risjord; Chesapeake Politics, 1781-1800 Columbia University Press, 1978
  • Bernard C. Steiner; Maryland under the Commonwealth: A Chronicle of the Years 1649-1658 1911
  • Thad W. Tate, ed. The Chesapeake in the seventeenth century: Essays on Anglo-American society (1979)
  • John R. Wennersten. Maryland's Eastern Shore: A Journey in Time and Place (1992)

Primary sources

  • Hall; Clayton Colman, ed. Narratives of Early Maryland, 1633-1684 1910
  • David Hein, editor. Religion and Politics in Maryland on the Eve of the Civil War: The Letters of W. Wilkins Davis. 1988; reprint, Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2009.

See also

References

Printed media

Notes

  1. ^ Peter Kolchin, American Slavery: 1619-1877, New York: Hill and Wang, 1993, pp.81-82
  2. ^ a b c d Maryland At a Glance. Retrieved on 2007-02-07.
  3. ^ Stewart, George R. (1967) [1945]. Names on the Land: A Historical Account of Place-Naming in the United States (Sentry edition (3rd) ed.). Houghton Mifflin. pp. 42–43. 
  4. ^ a b Montgomery, Lori (March 14, 2000). "Two-Bit Identity Crisis; Imprint Befuddles the Free—Make That 'Old Line'—State". The Washington Post. gwpapers.virginia.edu. http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/articles/news/mdquarter.html. Retrieved October 7, 2009. 
  5. ^ Peter Kolchin, American Slavery: 1619-1877, New York: Hill and Wang, 1993, pp.81-82
  6. ^ see Federal Hill, Baltimore

External links


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

The Great Seal of Maryland.

The history of Maryland included only Native Americans until Europeans, starting with John Cabot in 1498, began exploring the area. The first settlements came in 1645 when the English arrived in significant numbers and created a permanent colony. In 1776, during the American Revolution, Maryland became a state in the United States. It was a slave state with some Confederate sympathies, but remained in the Union during the American Civil War. Although small in size, the state has distinct socio-political-economic regions, including the major city of Baltimore, Baltimore's suburbs, the Washington suburbs, Western Maryland, and the Eastern Shore. Maryland is a democratic type of government.

Contents

Pre-Columbian history

See also Pre-Colonial America

It appears that the first humans to arrive in the area that would become Maryland appeared around the 10th millennium BCE, about the time that the last Ice-age ended. They were hunter-gatherers organized into semi-nomadic bands. They adapted as the region's environment changemnd, developing the spear for hunting as smaller animals, like deer, became more prevalent and by about 1500 BCE. Oysters had become an important food resource in the region. With the increased variety of food sources, Native American villages and settlements started appearing and their social structures increased in complexity. By about 1000 BCE pottery was being produced. With the eventual rise of agriculture more permanent Native-American villages were built. But even with the advent of farming, hunting and fishing were still major sources of food. The bow and arrow were first used for hunting in the area around the year 800. They ate what they could kill, grow or catch in the rivers and other waterways.

Europeans did not encounter Maryland's indigenous people until the early 1600s, at that time, the main tribes included the Nanticoke on the Eastern Shore, and Powhatan and the Susquehanna on the Western shore. Within about a century of first contact, the state's Native Americans were all but gone, having been pushed out by the European settlers. The Shawnee were the last major tribe in the state, and they left Western Maryland in the 1740s.

Early European exploration

In 1498 the first European explorers sailed along the Eastern Shore, off present-day Worcester County. The next notable European to visit the area occurred in 1524 when Giovanni da Verrazzano, another Italian, who sailed under the French flag, passed the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The bay the Spanish governor of Florida, and in 1608 by John Smith.

Colonial Maryland

See also: Province of Maryland, Colonial America, and British colonization of the Americas

Map of the Maryland colony

George Calvert applied to Charles I for a new royal charter for what was to become the Province of Maryland. George Calvert died in April 1632, but a charter for "Maryland Colony" (in Latin, "Terra Maria") was granted to his son, Cæcilius Calvert, on June 20, 1632. Some historians view this as a form of compensation for his father's being stripped of his title of Secretary of State upon announcing his Roman Catholicism in 1625. The colony was named in honor of Queen Henrietta Maria.[1]

To try to gain settlers, Maryland used what is known as the headright system.

Lord Baltimore was a staunch Catholic, which was extremely stigmatic for an English nobleman in the 17th century

The first settlers, led by Leonard Calvert, Cecil Calvert's younger brother, departed from Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, on November 22, 1633 aboard two small ships, the Ark and the Dove. Their landing on March 25, 1634 is commemorated by the state each year on that date as Maryland Day. The first group of colonists consisted of 17 gentlemen and their wives and about two hundred others. After purchasing from the Yaocomico Indians and establishing the town of St. Mary's, Leonard, per his brother's instructions, at first attempted to govern the country under feudalistic precepts. However, this met resistance and, in February 1635, he had to summon a colonial assembly. In 1638, the assembly forced him to govern according to the laws of England, and subsequently the right to initiate legislation passed to the assembly.

In 1638, Calvert seized a trading post in Kent Island established by the Virginian William Claiborne. In 1644, Claiborne led an uprising of Maryland protestants. Calvert was forced to flee to Virginia, but he returned at the head of an armed force in 1646 and reasserted proprietorial rule.

A large broadside of the Maryland Toleration Act.

Maryland soon became one of the few predominantly Catholic regions among the English colonies in America. Maryland was also one of the key destinations for tens of thousands of British convicts punished by sentences of transportation, which carried on until independence. The Maryland Toleration Act, issued in 1649, was one of the first laws that explicitly tolerated varieties of religion (as long as it was Christian), and is sometimes seen as a precursor to the First Amendment.

The city plan of the colonial capital city - St. Mary's City - was designed to reflect the principles of the colonies founders. At the center of the city was the home of the mayor of St. Mary's City. From that point, streets were laid out that created two triangles. Located at two points of the triangle extending to the west were the first Maryland state house and a jail. Extending to the north of the mayor's home, the remaining two points of the second triangle were defined by a Catholic Church and a school. The design of the city was a literal separation of church and state, reinforcing the importance of religious freedom.

St. Mary's City was the largest site of the original Maryland colony, and was the seat of the colonial government until 1708. After Virginia made the practice of Anglicanism mandatory, a large number of Puritans migrated from Virginia to Maryland, and were given land for a settlement called Providence (now called Annapolis). In 1650, the Puritans revolted against the proprietary government and set up a new government that outlawed both Catholicism and Anglicanism. In March 1655, the 2nd Lord Baltimore sent an army under Governor William Stone to put down this revolt. Near Annapolis, his Roman Catholic army was decisively defeated by a Puritan army in what was to be known as the "Battle of the Severn." The Puritan revolt lasted until 1658 when the Calvert family regained control and re-enacted the Toleration Act.

During the persecution of Maryland Catholics by the Puritan revolutionary government, all of the original Catholic churches of southern Maryland were burned down. St Mary's City is now an archeological site, with a small tourist center. In 1708, the seat of government was moved to Providence, renamed Annapolis in honor of Queen Anne.

Just as the city plan for St. Mary's City reflected the ideals of the colonies first founders, the city plan of Annapolis reflected those in power at the turn of the 18th century. The plan of Annapolis extends from two circles at the center of the city - one including the state house and the other a church. The plan reflected a stronger relationship between church and state, and a colonial government more closely aligned with the Protestant church.

Originally, based on an incorrect map, the royal charter granted Maryland the Potomac River and territory northward to the fortieth parallel. This was found to be a problem, because the northern boundary would put Philadelphia, the major city in Pennsylvania, within Maryland. The Calvert family, which controlled Maryland, and the Penn family, which controlled Pennsylvania, decided in 1750 to engage two surveyors, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, to survey what became known as the Mason-Dixon line which would form the boundary between their two colonies. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 would later create political conditions which made the Mason-Dixon line important to the history of slavery, whose expansion was only permitted in territories south of the line.

The Revolutionary period

See also: History of the United States

Maryland did not at first favor independence from Great Britain and gave instructions to that effect to its delegates to the Continental Congress. During this initial phase of the Revolutionary period, Maryland was governed by the Assembly of Freemen, an Assembly of the state's counties. The first convention lasted four days, from June 22 to June 25, 1774. All sixteen counties then existing were represented by a total of 92 members; Matthew Tilghman was elected chairman.

File:Thomas Johnson (governor).jpeg
Thomas Johnson, Maryland's first elected governor under its 1776 Constitution.

The eighth session decided that the continuation of an ad-hoc government by the convention was not a good mechanism for all the concerns of the province. A more permanent and structured government was needed. So, on July 3, 1776 they resolved that a new convention be elected that would be responsible for drawing up their first state constitution, one that did not refer to parliament or the king, but would be a government "...of the people only." After they set dates and prepared notices to the counties they adjourned. On August 1 all freemen with property elected delegates for the last convention. The ninth and last convention was also known as the Constitutional Convention of 1776. They drafted a constitution, and when they adjourned on November 11th, they would not meet again. The Conventions were replaced by the new state government which the Maryland Constitution of 1776 had established. Thomas Johnson became the state's first elected governor.

On March 1, 1781 the Articles of Confederation took effect with Maryland's ratification. The articles had initially been submitted to the states on November 17 1777, but the ratification process dragged on for several years, stalled by an interstate quarrel over claims to uncolonized land in the west. Maryland was the last hold-out; it refused to ratify until Virginia and New York agreed to rescind their claims to lands in the Ohio River valley. All of the colonies rebelling against Britain ratified it by 1781.

Marylander John Hanson (circa 1765 to 1770) was the first person to serve a full term as President of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation.

No significant Battles of the American Revolutionary War occurred in Maryland. However, this did not prevent the state's soldiers from distinguishing themselves through their service. General George Washington was impressed with the Maryland regulars who fought in the Continental Army and, according to some historians, this lead him to bestow the name "Old Line State" on Maryland.[1] Today, the Old Line State is one of Maryland's two official nicknames.

The state also filled other roles during the war. For instance, the Continental Congress met briefly in Baltimore from December 20, 1776 through March 4, 1777. Furthermore, a Marylander, John Hanson, served as President of the Continental Congress from 1781 to 1782. Hanson was the first person to serve a full term as President of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation. (He is thus sometimes incorrectly referred to as the "First President of the United States".)

From November 26, 1783 to June 3, 1784, Annapolis served as the United States capital and the Continental Congress met in the Maryland State House. (Annapolis was a candidate to become the new nation's permanent capital before Washington was built). It was in the old senate chamber[1] that George Washington famously resigned his commission as commander in chief of the Continental Army on December 23, 1783. It was also there that the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War, was ratified by Congress on January 14, 1784.

Maryland, 1789-1849

See also: History of the United States

Maryland in the War of 1812

During the War of 1812 the British conducted raids against cities along the Chesapeake Bay, up to and including Havre de Grace. There were also two notable battles that occurred in the state. The first was the Battle of Bladensburg, which occurred on August 24, 1814 just outside the national capital, Washington The militiamen defending the city were routed and retreated in confusion through the streets of the city.

Battle of North Point Monument (dedicated 1815), ca. 1870-1875, which appears on both the flag and the seal of Baltimore.

After overrunning the confused American defenders at the Bladensburg the British took the nation's capital of Washington. After burning and looting major public buildings there (see Burning of Washington) and forcing President James Madison to flee, they turned their attention north to Baltimore, where they hoped to strike a knockout blow against the demoralized Americans. Baltimore was not only a busy port, but was thought by the British to harbor many of the privateers who were despoiling British ships. The city's defenses were under the command of Major General Samuel Smith,an officer of Maryland militia and also a United States Senator. Baltimore had been well fortified, with excellent supplies and some 15,000 troops. The British, knowing that the success of their attack depended on the results of the sea campaign, halted their advance.

An artist's rendering of the battle at Fort McHenry.

At Fort McHenry, some 1000 soldiers under the command of Major George Armistead awaited the British naval bombardment. Their defense was augmented by the sinking of a line of American merchant ships at the adjacent entrance to Baltimore Harbor in order to further thwart the passage of British ships. The attack began on the morning of September 13, as the British fleet of some nineteen ships began pounding the fort with rockets and mortar shells. After an initial exchange of fire, the British fleet withdrew just beyond the 1 1/2 mile range of Fort McHenry's cannons, and continued to bombard the outmanned Americans for the next 25 hours. On the morning of September 14, an oversized American flag, which had been hastily sewn in hopes of this event, still flew over Fort McHenry, and the British knew that victory had eluded them. The bombardment of the fort prompted Francis Scott Key, a native of Frederick, MD who witnessed the assault, to write "the Star-Spangled Banner", which would later become the country's national anthem.

Maryland in the Civil War

See also: American Civil War and Origins of the American Civil War

Maryland's sympathies

8th Massachusetts regiment repairing Railroad bridges from Annapolis to Washington destroyed with the support of Maryland political leaders.

Maryland was one of the border states, straddling the North and South. After John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, Virginia (now in West Virginia), citizens began forming local militias. Of its 1860 population of 687,000, about 60,000 men joined the Union and about 25,000 fought for the Confederacy. In each case, the political sentiments of these regions reflected their economic interests.

Governor Hicks prevented Maryland from seceding in 1861.

The first bloodshed of the Civil War occurred in Baltimore involving the Massachusetts troops that were fired on while marching between railroad stations on April 19, 1861. After that, Baltimore Mayor George William Brown, Marshal George P. Kane, and former Governor Enoch Louis Lowe requested that Maryland Governor Thomas H. Hicks, a slave owner from the Eastern Shore, burn the railroad bridges and cut the telegraph lines leading to Baltimore to prevent further troops from entering the state. Hicks reportedly approved this proposal. These actions were addressed in the famous federal court case of Ex parte Merryman.

Maryland remained part of the Union during the United States Civil War. Abraham Lincoln's strong hand suppressing violence and dissent in Maryland and the belated assistance of Governor Hicks who eventually worked with the federal government to stop further violence played an important role.

Marylanders sympathetic to the South easily crossed the Potomac River to join and fight for the Confederacy. Exiles organized a "Maryland Line" in the Army of Northern Virginia which consisted of one infantry regiment, one infantry battalion, two cavalry battalions and four battalions of artillery. According to the best extant records, up to 25,000 Marylanders escaped south to fight for the Confederacy while about 60,000 Maryland men served in all branches of the Union military. However, many of those Union troops signed up largely because they were promised home garrison duty.

Because Maryland remained in the Union, it was not included under the Emancipation Proclamation. A constitutional convention was held during 1864 that culminated in the passage of a new state constitution (see below) on November 1 of that year. Article 24 of that document outlawed the practice of slavery. The right to vote was extended to non-white males in the Maryland Constitution of 1867, which is still in effect today.

The war on Maryland soil

See also: American Civil War: Eastern Theater 1861-1863

Battle of Antietam by Kurz and Allison.

In the Civil War, the largest and most significant battle fought in the state was the Battle of Antietam, fought on September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg. The battle was the culmination of Robert E. Lee's Maryland Campaign, which aimed to secure new supplies; recruit fresh men from among the considerable pockets of Confederate sympathies in Maryland; and to impact public opinion in the North. With those goals, Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, consisting of about 40,000 men, had entered Maryland following their recent victory at Second Bull Run.

While Major General George B. McClellan's 87,000-man Army of the Potomac was moving to intercept Lee, a Union soldier discovered a mislaid copy of the detailed battle plans of Lee's army. The order indicated that Lee had divided his army and dispersed portions geographically (to Harpers Ferry, and Hagerstown), thus making each subject to isolation and defeat in detail if McClellan could move quickly enough. McClellan waited about 18 hours before deciding to take advantage of this intelligence and position his forces based on it, thus endangering a golden opportunity to defeat Lee decisively.

Dead Confederate soldiers from Starke's Louisiana Brigade, on the Hagerstown Turnpike, north of the Dunker Church.

The armies met near of the town of Sharpsburg by the Antietam Creek. Although McClellan arrived in the area on September 16, his trademark caution delayed his attack on Lee, which gave the Confederates more time to prepare defensive positions and allowed Longstreet's corps to arrive from Hagerstown and Jackson's corps, minus A.P. Hill's division, to arrive from Harpers Ferry. McClellan's two-to-one advantage in the battle was almost completely nullified by a lack of coordination and concentration of Union forces, which allowed Lee to shift his defensive forces to parry each thrust.

Although a tactical draw, the Battle of Antietam is considered a strategic Union victory and a turning point of the war because it forced the end of Lee's invasion of the North and it allowed President Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, taking effect on January 1, 1863. Although Lincoln had intended to do so earlier, he was advised by his Cabinet to make this announcement after a Union victory to avoid the perception that it was issued out of desperation. The winning of the Battle of Antietam also may have dissuaded the governments of France and Great Britain from recognizing the Confederacy; some suspected they were planning to do so in the aftermath of another Union defeat.

1865-1920

See also: History of the United States

Post-Civil War political developments

Since Maryland had remained in the Union during the Civil War, the state did not undergo reconstruction like the states of the former Confederacy. However, as a former "slave state", Maryland did experience many of the same problems with civil rights and racial tensions as did the rest of the country. The deep divisions in the state between those who fought for the North and those who fought for the South were also difficult to repair.

Thomas Swann, the only Governor of Maryland elected under the state's 1864 constitution.

The Democratic Party regained power in the state from the Republicans who had gained control of the government during the war. With the shift in power away from the Republicans, support for the Constitution of 1864 ended and it was replaced by the Maryland Constitution of 1867. That document, which is still in effect today, resembled the 1851 constitution more than its immediate predecessor and was approved by 54.1% of the state's population. However, while reapportioning the legislature based on population, not counties, which gave greater power to freed slaves, the document undid many of the benefits that the prior constitution had given to the state's African American population.

Over the next several decades, the position of the state's African American population would remain an issue. This matter was brought to the forefront of Maryland politics in 1910 by the proposed Digges Amendment to the state constitution. The amendment would have used property requirements to effectively disenfranchise many African Americans (and possibly some immigrants) in the state. It was passed by the Maryland General Assembly and had the approval of the Governor, Austin Lane Crothers), but it still required the approval of the people. Even before the people even had a chance to vote on the amendment, a bill was proposed which would have effectively passed the requirements of the Digges Amendment into law anyway. Not only did that measure fail (after a public outcry) but the amendment itself was rejected by the voters of Maryland. This was only the most notable rejection of a black-disenfranchising amendment. At least two other defeated proposals, the Poe Amendment in 1905 and the Straus Amendment in 1909, tried to restrict the voting rights of blacks in the state and other such proposals would arise in Maryland over the next several years.

Progressive era reforms

See also: Progressivism

In the early 20th century, a political reform movement arose, centered in the rising new middle class. One of their main goals included having government jobs granted on the basis of merit rather than patronage. Other changes aimed to reduce the power of political bosses and machines, which they succeeded in doing.

In a series of laws passed between 1892 and 1908, reformers distributed ballots which had been pre-marked by the parties replaced with uniform state-issued ballots; obtained closed voting booths to prevent party workers from "assisting" voters; initiated primary elections to keep party bosses from selecting candidates; and had candidates listed without party symbols, which discouraged the illiterate from participating. Although promoted as democratic reforms, the changes had the effect the middle class was seeking. The lower classes and the illiterate were discouraged from going to the polls. Voting participation dropped from about 82% of eligible voters in the 1890s to about 49% in the 1920s.

Other laws that were passed did more to help the state's working men and women. For instance, in a series of laws passed in 1902, the state regulated conditions in mines; outlawed child laborers under the age of 12; mandated compulsory school attendance; and enacted the nation's first workers compensation law. The workers compensation law would be overturned in the courts, but was redrafted and finally enacted in 1910. The law would become a model for national legislation a few decades later.

One more progressive debate had a lasting effect on the state when the debate over prohibition of alcohol led to Maryland gaining its second nickname when a mocking newspaper editorial dubbed Maryland the Free State.

Great Baltimore Fire

The aftermath of the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904.

The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 was a momentous event for the Maryland's largest city and the state as a whole. The fire raged in Baltimore, from 10:48 a.m. Sunday, February 7, to 5:00 p.m. Monday, February 8, 1904 and Over 1,231 firefighters were required to bring the blaze under control.

One reason for the fire's duration was the lack of national standards in fire-fighting equipment. Although fire engines from nearby cities (such as Philadelphia and Washington, as well as units from New York, Wilmington, and Atlantic City) responded, many were useless because their hose couples failed to fit Baltimore hydrants. As a result, the fire burned over 30 hours, destroying 1,526 buildings spanning 70 city blocks.

In the aftermath, 35,000 people were left unemployed. After the fire, the city was rebuilt using more fireproof materials, such as granite pavers.

The World War I era

The United States initially tried to avoid involvement in World War I, which many saw as a European conflict. However, the country was eventually pulled into the massive war (see World War I: Entry of the United States). This, of course, brought many changes to the nation and Maryland was no exception.

Maryland was the site of many new military bases, like Camp Meade (now Fort Meade) and the Aberdeen Proving Ground, which were established in 1917 and the Edgewood Arsenal, which was founded the following year. Other existing facilities, including Fort McHenry, were greatly expanded.

To coordinate wartime activities in the state, like the expansion of federal facilities, the General Assembly set up a Council of Defense. The 126 seats on the council were filled by many of the state's most prominent citizens. The Council, which had a virtually unlimited budget, was charged with defending the state, supervising the draft, maintaining wage and price controls, providing housing for war-related industries, and promoting support for the war. Citizens were encouraged to grow their own victory gardens and to obey ration laws. They were also forced to work, once the legislature adopted a compulsory labor law with the support of the Council of Defense.

Maryland in the 20th century

See also: History of the United States

The Ritchie administration

Albert C. Ritchie, elected to his first of five terms in 1918, is probably the most popular governor in state history.

In 1918, Maryland elected Albert C. Ritchie, a Democrat, governor. He would be reelected four times, serving from 1919 to 1934, and is arguably the state's all-time most popular governor. Handsome and aristocratic, Ritchie was very pro-business. He hired a management firm to streamline government operations and established a budget process controlled largely by economists. He also won approval for a civil service system that had long been sought by reformers, who wanted positions given on the basis of merit and not patronage; reduced the number of state elections by extending legislative terms from two to four years; and he appointed many citizens' commissions to advise on nearly every aspect of government.

State property taxes dropped sharply under Ritchie, but so did state services. A powerful state movie censorship board kept subversive ideas away from the masses. Three times, including 1924 and 1932, Ritchie was a candidate for President of the United States, arguing that Presidents Coolidge and Hoover were hopeless spendthrifts.

Meanwhile, Congress submitted the Nineteenth Amendment to the states for ratification in June of 1919. This amendment, which granted women the right to vote, was rejected by the Maryland legislature on February 24, 1920. However, the amendment was finally ratified six months later when Tennessee became the 36th state to approve the measure. (Maryland would subsequently ratify the amendment on March 29, 1941, a purely symbolic gesture.) The presidential election of 1920 was thus the first election in which women could vote in Maryland (the state went for Warren Harding, the Republican nominee and ultimate winner).

Albert Ritchie also lost his bid for the Democratic Party's nomination for President in 1932. Despite a large demonstration for support at the convention, Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated and went on the win the election. Ritchie continued to serve as governor until 1935. Upon his retirement, one newspaper said he was "the greatest governor Maryland ever had." But, like the rest of the country and much of the world, the state was now in the midst of the Great Depression.

The Great Depression and World War II

Maryland's experience during the worldwide economic downturn was not particularly unique, though in 1932 the "Bonus Army" marched through the state on its way to Washington In addition to the nationwide New Deal reforms of President Roosevelt, Maryland also took steps to weather the hard times. For instance, in 1937 the state instituted its first ever income tax.

Maryland also saw advancements in civil rights. The 1935 case Murray v. Pearson et al resulted in a Baltimore City Court ordering integration of University of Maryland Law School. The plaintiff in that case was represented by Thurgood Marshall, a young lawyer working with the NAACP and a native of Baltimore. The attorney general appealed to the state's highest tribunal, the Court of Appeals, which affired the decision. Because the state did not appeal the ruling in the federal courts, this state ruling under the U.S. Constitution was the first to overturn Plessy v. Ferguson, the 1896 Supreme Court decision approving racial segregation. While it was a moral precedent, it was not a legal one, and had no authority outside the state of Maryland.

For Further reading

Surveys

  • Robert J. Brugger. Maryland, A Middle Temperament: 1634-1980 (1996) full scale history
  • Suzanne Ellery Greene Chappelle, Jean H. Baker, Dean R. Esslinger, and Whitman H. Ridgeway. Maryland: A History of its People (1986)

Scholarly studies

  • Alan D. Anderson. The Origin and Resolution of an Urban Crisis: Baltimore, 1890-1930 (1977)
  • Jo Ann E. Argersinger. Toward a New Deal in Baltimore: People and Government in the Great Depression (1988)
  • Jeffrey R. Brackett; The Negro in Maryland: A Study of the Institution of Slavery 1969
  • Gary Lawson Browne. Baltimore in the Nation, 1789-1861 (1980)
  • Lois Green Carr, Philip D. Morgan, Jean Burrell Russo, eds. Colonial Chesapeake Society (1991)
  • Kenneth D. Durr; Behind the Backlash: White Working-Class Politics in Baltimore, 1940-1980 University of North Carolina Press, 2003
  • John Tracy Ellis; The Life of James Cardinal Gibbons: Archbishop of Baltimore, 1834-1921 2 vol 1952
  • Isaac M. Fein
The Making of an American Jewish Community: The History of Baltimore Jewry from 1773 to 1920 1971
  • Barbara Fields. Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground: Maryland During the Nineteenth Century (1987)
  • Ronald Hoffman. A Spirit of Dissension: Economics, Politics, and the Revolution in Maryland (1973)
  • Allan Kulikoff. Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesapeake, 1680-1800 (1988)
  • Arthur Pierce Middleton/ Tobacco Coast: A Maritime History of Chesapeake Bay in the Colonial Era (1984)
  • Norman K. Risjord; Chesapeake Politics, 1781-1800 Columbia University Press, 1978
  • Bernard C. Steiner; Maryland under the Commonwealth: A Chronicle of the Years 1649-1658 1911
  • Thad W. Tate, ed. The Chesapeake in the seventeenth century: Essays on Anglo-American society (1979)
  • John R. Wennersten. Maryland's Eastern Shore: A Journey in Time and Place (1992)

Primary sources

  • Hall; Clayton Colman, ed. Narratives of Early Maryland, 1633-1684 1910
  • David Hein, editor. A Student's View of the College of St. James on the Eve of the Civil War: The Letters of W. Wilkins Davis (1842-1866). Studies in American Religion. Lewiston, N.Y.: Mellen, 1988.

See also

References

Printed media

Maryland Government]. Retrieved 1 June 2005.

World Wide Web

  1. ^ a b c Maryland At a Glance. Retrieved on 2007-02-07.

External links

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