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The state's largest city is Baltimore , and its capital is Annapolis. Sixteen of Maryland's twenty-three counties border the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay estuary and its many tributaries, which combined total more than 4, miles of shoreline. Although one of the smallest states in the U. In a similar vein, Maryland's geography, culture, and history combines elements of the Mid-Atlantic , Northeastern , and South Atlantic regions of the country. One of the original Thirteen Colonies of Great Britain, Maryland was founded by George Calvert , a Catholic convert [12] [13] who sought to provide a religious haven for Catholics persecuted in England.

Maryland's early settlements and population centers clustered around rivers and other waterways that empty into the Chesapeake Bay.

Its economy was heavily plantation based , centered mostly on the cultivation of tobacco. The need for cheap labor led to a rapid expansion of indentured servants, penal labor, and African slaves. In , Maryland's current boundaries took form following the settlement of a long-running border dispute with Pennsylvania. Maryland was an active participant in the events leading up to the American Revolution , and by its delegates signed the Declaration of Independence. Many of its citizens subsequently played key political and military roles in the war.

In , the state ceded land for the establishment of the U. Although a slave state , Maryland remained in the Union during the U. Civil War , its strategic location giving it a significant role in the conflict. After the war, Maryland took part in the Industrial Revolution , driven by its seaports, railroad networks, and mass immigration from Europe. Since the Second World War, the state's population has grown rapidly, to approximately six million residents, and it is among the most densely populated states in the nation.

As of [update] , Maryland had the highest median household income of any state, owing in large part to its close proximity to Washington, D. Maryland has an area of 12, The next larger state, its neighbor West Virginia , is almost twice the size of Maryland 24, Maryland possesses a variety of topography within its borders, contributing to its nickname America in Miniature. 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 forests in the Piedmont Region , and pine groves in the Maryland mountains to the west.

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 by District of Columbia , which sits on land that was originally part of Montgomery and Prince George's counties and including the town of Georgetown, Maryland.

The Commonwealth of Virginia gave land south of the Potomac, including the town of Alexandria, Virginia , however Virginia retroceded its portion in The Chesapeake Bay nearly bisects the state and the counties east of the bay are known collectively as the Eastern Shore.

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 been used by Massachusetts for decades.

Close to the small town of Hancock , in western Maryland, about two-thirds of the way across the state, there are 1. 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, [20] though it straddles the border between the two regions. Buildings in the state are not well-designed for earthquakes and can suffer damage easily.

The lack of any glacial history accounts for the scarcity of Maryland's natural lakes, yet the oft-repeated claim [23] that Maryland is the only state without natural lakes is not true. Laurel Oxbow Lake is an over one-hundred-year-old acre natural lake two miles north of Maryland City [24] [25] [26] and adjacent to Russett. Maryland has shale formations containing natural gas, where fracking is theoretically possible. As is typical of states on the East Coast , Maryland's plant life is abundant and healthy.

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. These give way to Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests near the West Virginia border. Many foreign species are cultivated in the state, some as ornamentals, others as novelty species.

Included among these are the crape myrtle , Italian cypress , southern magnolia , live oak in the warmer parts of the state, [31] and even hardy palm trees in the warmer central and eastern parts of the state.

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

There is a population of rare wild feral horses found on Assateague Island. The purebred Chesapeake Bay Retriever dog was bred specifically for water sports, hunting and search and rescue in the Chesapeake area. Maryland's reptile and amphibian population includes the diamondback terrapin turtle, which was adopted as the mascot of University of Maryland, College Park , as well as the threatened Eastern box turtle [40]. The state is part of the territory of the Baltimore oriole , which is the official state bird and mascot of the MLB team the Baltimore Orioles.

The state insect is the Baltimore checkerspot butterfly , although it is not as common in Maryland as it is in the southern edge of its range. Maryland joined with neighboring states during the end of the 20th century to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay. The bay's aquatic life and seafood industry have been threatened by development and by fertilizer and livestock waste entering the bay.

Maryland ranks 40th in total energy consumption nationwide, and it managed less toxic waste per capita than all but six states in Vermont has such a law, but no shale gas, and New York has such a ban, though it was made by executive order. 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—which includes the cities of Ocean City , Salisbury , Annapolis , and the southern and eastern suburbs of Washington, D. In western Maryland, the higher elevations of Allegany and Garrett counties—including the cities of Cumberland , Frostburg , and Oakland —display more characteristics of the humid continental zone, due in part to elevation. Precipitation in the state is characteristic of the East Coast.

Nearly every part of Maryland receives 3. 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 provide a large buffer, such that strikes from major hurricanes category 3 or above occur infrequently. More often, Maryland gets the remnants of a tropical system which has already come ashore and released most of its energy. Maryland averages around 30—40 days of thunderstorms a year, and averages around six tornado strikes annually.

George Calvert, 1st Lord Baltimore — , sought a charter from King Charles I for the territory between Massachusetts to the north and Virginia to the immediate south. The original capital of Maryland was St. Lord Baltimore's first settlers arrived in the new colony in March , with his younger brother Leonard Calvert — , as first provincial Governor of Maryland. They made their first permanent settlement at St.

Mary's City in what is now St. They purchased the site from the paramount chief of the region, who was eager to establish trade. Mary's became the first capital of Maryland, and remained so for 60 years until More settlers soon followed. Their tobacco crops were successful and quickly made the new colony profitable. However, given the incidence of malaria , yellow fever and typhoid , life expectancy in Maryland was about 10 years less than in New England.

Maryland was founded for the purpose of providing religious toleration of England's Roman Catholic minority. In a number of Puritans left Virginia for Maryland and founded Providence now called Annapolis on the western shore of the upper Chesapeake Bay.

The two years from — that Claiborne and his Puritan associates held sway were known as "The Plundering Time". They captured Jesuit priests, imprisoned them, then sent them back to England. In Leonard Calvert returned with troops, recaptured St.

Mary's City, and restored order. The House of Delegates passed the "Act concerning Religion" in granting religious liberty to all Trinitarian Christians. In the Puritans revolted against the proprietary government.

The Puritan revolutionary government persecuted Maryland Catholics during its reign, known as the "plundering time". Mobs burned down all the original Catholic churches of southern Maryland. The Puritan rule lasted until when the Calvert family and Lord Baltimore regained proprietary control and re-enacted the Toleration Act. In , the Maryland General Assembly prohibited Catholics from operating schools, limited the corporate ownership of property to hamper religious orders from expanding or supporting themselves, and encouraged the conversion of Catholic children.

This state of affairs lasted until after the American Revolutionary War — Wealthy Catholic planters built chapels on their land to practice their religion in relative secrecy. The royal charter granted Maryland the land north 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 grant indicated 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 A compromise proposed by Charles II in was undermined by Penn's receiving the additional grant of what is now Delaware.

The border dispute with Pennsylvania led to Cresap's War in the s. Hostilities erupted in and escalated through the first half of the decade, culminating in the deployment of military forces by Maryland in and by Pennsylvania in The armed phase of the conflict ended in May with the intervention of King George II, who compelled the negotiation of a cease-fire. A provisional agreement had been established in Negotiations continued until a final agreement was signed in The agreement defined the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania as the line of latitude now known as the Mason—Dixon line.

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. 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

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Maryland imposes five income tax brackets, ranging from 2 to 6. Local officials set the rates and the revenue is returned to the local governments quarterly. The top income tax bracket of 9. Maryland's state sales tax is 6 percent. Since before the Civil War, Maryland's elections have been largely controlled by the Democrats , which account for State elections are dominated by Baltimore and the populous suburban counties bordering Washington, D.

As of July , [] sixty-six percent of the state's population resides in these six jurisdictions, most of which contain large, traditionally Democratic voting bloc s: The remainder of the state, particularly Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore , is more supportive of Republicans.

Vice President from to , when he resigned in the aftermath of findings that he had taken bribes while he was Governor of Maryland. Though claiming innocence, Agnew negotiated a plea bargain and appeared before the federal court in Baltimore in October , where he pled no contest to one tax evasion felony charge and submitted his letter of resignation.

In , Maryland was one of six states to vote for Jimmy Carter. In , former 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 and Democrat Martin O'Malley. Ehrlich ran again for governor in , losing again to O'Malley. The election brought no change in the pattern of Democratic dominance. Steele , with 55 percent of the vote, against Steele's 44 percent. While Republicans usually win more counties, by piling up large margins in the west and east, they are also usually swamped by the more densely populated and heavily Democratic Baltimore—Washington axis.

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. From to , U. Mary's counties in southern Maryland.

In , Republicans won control of most counties. The Democratic Party remained in control of eight county governments including Baltimore City. A well known newspaper is The Baltimore Sun. Education Week ranked Maryland 1 in its nationwide — Quality Counts reports. 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.

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 , 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 , the state led the entire country in the percentage of students passing Advanced Placement examinations.

This marks the first year that Maryland earned this honor. Maryland has several historic and renowned private colleges and universities, the most prominent of which is Johns Hopkins University , founded in 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 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. Towson University , founded in , is the state's second largest university. 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. 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. Maryland's 24 public library systems deliver public education for everyone in the state of Maryland through a curriculum that comprises three pillars: Many of the library systems have established formalized partnerships with other educational institutions in their counties and regions.

With two major metropolitan areas, Maryland has a number of major and minor professional sports franchises. Maryland enjoys considerable historical repute for the talented sports players of its past, including Cal Ripken Jr.

In , The Baltimore Sun published a list of Maryland's top ten athletes in the state's history. 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, three low-level outdoor soccer teams, and the Chesapeake Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse.

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 Congressional Country Club has hosted three golf tournaments for the U. Open and a PGA Championship. The official state sport of Maryland, since , is jousting ; the official team sport since is lacrosse.

In , intending to promote physical fitness for all ages, walking became the official state exercise. Maryland is the first state with an official state exercise. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the U. For other uses, see Maryland disambiguation. List of islands of Maryland and List of rivers of Maryland.

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. July Learn how and when to remove this template message. Maryland in the American Revolution. This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. May Learn how and when to remove this template message. Maryland in the American Civil War. List of counties in Maryland , List of incorporated places in Maryland , and List of census-designated places in Maryland.

Largest cities or towns in Maryland U. Religion in Maryland [] religion percent Protestant. Business in Maryland , List of federal installations in Maryland , List of shopping malls in Maryland , and Maryland locations by per capita income. List of National Historic Landmarks in Maryland. Aviation in Maryland and List of airports in Maryland. List of Maryland railroads.

Politics of Maryland and Political party strength in Maryland. List of school districts in Maryland , List of high schools in Maryland , and Arts and culture of Maryland. List of colleges and universities in Maryland. Maryland portal United States portal. The Daily Record Baltimore. Retrieved June 4, Maryland Office of Tourism. Retrieved June 2, Archived from the original on September 29, Retrieved March 4, Retrieved June 22, Retrieved December 9, United States Geological Survey.

Archived from the original on October 15, Retrieved October 21, Longman Pronunciation Dictionary 3rd ed. Catholic History of Maryland. Retrieved July 20, Johns Hopkins University Press. Garden City, New York: Retrieved August 6, Retrieved 3 October Archived from the original on July 10, Retrieved May 15, Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Retrieved May 21, Archived from the original on January 17, Retrieved November 25, Archived from the original on November 2, Retrieved February 3, Retrieved October 1, Retrieved May 20, A New Map of Life on Earth". Archived from the original on September 7, Retrieved October 24, The history of Maryland: Retrieved March 5, Archived from the original on August 30, Retrieved August 30, The mystery of cougars in Maryland" PDF.

Archived from the original PDF on April 19, Retrieved July 6, Historically bobcats were distributed statewide but during the post colonization period densities began to plummet. By the mids, populations had probably reached all-time lows, with remnant populations existing only in western Maryland.

Results from the annual Bowhunter Survey and the Hunter Mail survey have identified bobcat sightings in 14 of Maryland's 23 counties. Currently, bobcats have dual legal classification in Maryland. Archived from the original on August 15, Retrieved September 16, Coyotes were historically a western species with core populations found west of the Mississippi River.

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 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. Archived from the original on October 24, Retrieved July 8, Archived from the original PDF on July 9, Retrieved May 4, Retrieved on October 24, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 17, Retrieved September 28, Retrieved February 27, Names on the Land: Catholic Colleges and Slavery in the Age of Revolution".

In Beckert, Seth; Rockman, Seth. Merchants and Revolution London: University of Chicago Press. Crandall Shifflett, Virginia Tech. Retrieved February 15, Hill and Wang, , pp. History of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The Civil War Months. Retrieved July 7, Archived from the original on April 19, Retrieved April 28, Retrieved February 8, Retrieved July 22, Here's a toast to Maryland's origins as 'The Free State ' ". Legal History, Theory and Process Commons.

Retrieved August 19, Memorial Bay Bridge — History". Archived from the original on July 1, Retrieved February 5, April 1, to July 1, ". Archived from the original CSV on December 23, Retrieved December 24, United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on December 12, Retrieved December 5, League of the South. Archived from the original on June 5, Retrieved May 23, On the other hand, areas beyond these thirteen States maintain their Southern culture to varying degrees.

Much of Missouri remains basically Southern, as do parts of southern Maryland and Maryland's eastern shore. Kentucky, Missouri, West Virginia [ As border states, these states always were crossroads of values and customs, and today [ The Library of Congress. Retrieved August 11, Federal Bureau of Investigation. National Railroad Passenger Corporation. Retrieved September 14, Retrieved September 3, Archived from the original on November 18, Archived from the original on July 25, Archived from the original on February 7, Retrieved January 14, Maryland County Map , 23 Counties.

Maryland Department of Transportation. Backbone Mountain ; 3, feet, 1, m. Image Eastern shore of coastal plain and Maryland Main of coastal plain, peidmont plateau, and the Blue Ridge, separated by the Cheasapeake Bay. Community and Technical Colleges: Maryland Radio Maryland TV. Maryland State Library Maryland Libraries. Our faculty includes three Nobel laureates, two Pulitzer Prize winners, 60 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars.

With our strategic location and scores of partnerships with government and businesses, UMD conducts groundbreaking research on some of the biggest challenges facing our global community, including cybersecurity and terrorism, bioengineering, public health equity, food safety and climate change.

We strive to discover new knowledge and put it to work through innovation and entrepreneurship, advancing economic development and transforming lives. At the University of Maryland, the arts, the humanities and the sciences intersect to address important societal issues and shed new light on the human experience. Our vibrant campus arts community collaborates with local and national cultural organizations such as the Phillips Collection, Kennedy Center and Folger Shakespeare Library.

Student and faculty artists, designers, historians, writers and performers are exploring new media, presenting new perspectives, investigating new techniques and engaging new audiences.

More than student-athletes compete each year in 19 intercollegiate sports—11 for women and eight for men. The Terp experience extends beyond classrooms, labs and studios. It encompasses residence halls and dining halls, clubs and sports, fraternities and sororities, campus events and performances, and countless off-campus destinations.

Maryland touts plus student organizations, dozens of prestigious living and learning communities, and countless other ways to get involved.

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Maryland SmartSave is an extensive resource of financial aid programs in the form of grants, scholarships and other awards to help pay for furthering your. Make Maryland your next dream vacation spot & explore mountains to the west and the tranquil Chesapeake Bay to the east. Discover More in MD!. From Maryland's mountain resorts of Deep Creek Lake to the rolling waves of Ocean City, there are few vacation experiences you can't find in The Free State!.