Maryland

Maryland

Overview
Maryland is a U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, bordering Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

, and the District of Columbia
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 to its south and west; Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 to its north; and Delaware
Delaware
Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

 to its east. Maryland was the seventh state to ratify the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

, and three nicknames for it (the Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State) are occasionally used. The state's most populated city is Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

. Its capital is Annapolis. It was named after Queen Henrietta Maria.


Maryland has an area of 12406.68 square miles (32,133.2 km²) and is comparable in overall area with the Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an country of Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 (11,787 sq mi).
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Encyclopedia
Maryland is a U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, bordering Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

, and the District of Columbia
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 to its south and west; Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 to its north; and Delaware
Delaware
Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

 to its east. Maryland was the seventh state to ratify the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

, and three nicknames for it (the Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State) are occasionally used. The state's most populated city is Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

. Its capital is Annapolis. It was named after Queen Henrietta Maria.

Physical geography



Maryland has an area of 12406.68 square miles (32,133.2 km²) and is comparable in overall area with the Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an country of Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 (11,787 sq mi). It is the 42nd largest/9th smallest state, and is closest in size to Hawaii (10,930.98 sq mi), the next smallest state. The next largest state, Maryland's neighbor West Virginia, is just under twice the size of Maryland (24,229.76 sq mi).

Maryland possesses a great variety of topography
Topography
Topography is the study of Earth's surface shape and features or those ofplanets, moons, and asteroids...

, hence 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
Taxodium
Taxodium is a genus of one to three species of extremely flood-tolerant conifers in the cypress family, Cupressaceae...

 near the bay, to gently rolling hills of oak
Oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

 forest in the Piedmont Region
Piedmont (United States)
The Piedmont is a plateau region located in the eastern United States between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the main Appalachian Mountains, stretching from New Jersey in the north to central Alabama in the south. The Piedmont province is a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian division...

, and pine
Pine
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

 groves in the mountains to the west.

Maryland is bounded on its north by Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, on its west by West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

, on its east by Delaware
Delaware
Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

 and the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

, and on its south, across the Potomac River
Potomac River
The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. The river is approximately long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles...

, by West Virginia and Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

. The mid-portion of this border is interrupted on the Maryland side by Washington, DC, which sits on land that was originally part of Maryland. The Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. It lies off the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by Maryland and Virginia. The Chesapeake Bay's drainage basin covers in the District of Columbia and parts of six states: New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West...

 nearly bisects the state, and the counties east of the bay are known collectively as the Eastern Shore
Eastern Shore of Maryland
The Eastern Shore of Maryland is a territorial part of the U.S. state of Maryland that lies predominately on the east side of the Chesapeake Bay and consists of nine counties. The origin of term Eastern Shore was derived to distinguish a territorial part of the State of Maryland from the Western...

.

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
Garrett County, Maryland
Garrett County is the westernmost county of the U.S. state of Maryland. Created from Allegany County, Maryland in 1872 it was the last Maryland county to be formed. It was named for John Work Garrett , railroad executive, industrialist, and financier. Garrett served as president of the Baltimore...

 (drained by the Youghiogheny River
Youghiogheny River
The Youghiogheny River , or the Yough for short, is a tributary of the Monongahela River in the U.S. states of West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania...

 as part of the watershed of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

), 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
Delaware River
The Delaware River is a major river on the Atlantic coast of the United States.A Dutch expedition led by Henry Hudson in 1609 first mapped the river. The river was christened the South River in the New Netherland colony that followed, in contrast to the North River, as the Hudson River was then...

 watershed). So prominent is the Chesapeake in Maryland's geography and economic life that there has been periodic agitation to change the state's official nickname to the Bay State, a nickname that has actually been used by Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 for a long time.

The highest point in Maryland, with an elevation of 3360 feet (1,024.1 m), is Hoye Crest on Backbone Mountain
Backbone Mountain
Backbone Mountain is a ridge of the Allegheny Mountains of the central Appalachian Mountain Range. It is situated in the U.S. states of West Virginia and Maryland and forms a portion of the Eastern Continental Divide...

, in the southwest corner of Garrett County
Garrett County, Maryland
Garrett County is the westernmost county of the U.S. state of Maryland. Created from Allegany County, Maryland in 1872 it was the last Maryland county to be formed. It was named for John Work Garrett , railroad executive, industrialist, and financier. Garrett served as president of the Baltimore...

, near the border with West Virginia and near the headwaters of the North Branch of the Potomac River. Close to the small town of Hancock
Hancock, Maryland
Hancock is a town in Washington County, Maryland, United States. The population was 1,725 at the 2000 census. The Western Maryland community is notable for being located at the narrowest part of the state...

, in western Maryland, about two-thirds of the way across the state, there is only 1.83 miles (2.95 km) between its borders. This geographical curiosity makes Maryland the narrowest state, bordered by the Mason-Dixon Line
Mason-Dixon line
The Mason–Dixon Line was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in the resolution of a border dispute between British colonies in Colonial America. It forms a demarcation line among four U.S. states, forming part of the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and...

 to the north, and the northwards-arching Potomac River
Potomac River
The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. The river is approximately long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles...

 to the south.

Portions of Maryland are included in various official and unofficial geographic regions. For example, the Delmarva Peninsula
Delmarva Peninsula
The Delmarva Peninsula is a large peninsula on the East Coast of the United States, occupied by most of Delaware and portions of Maryland and Virginia...

 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
Eastern Shore of Virginia
The Eastern Shore of Virginia consists of two counties on the Atlantic coast of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. The region is part of the Delmarva Peninsula and is separated from the rest of Virginia by the Chesapeake Bay. Its population was 45,553 as of 2010...

, whereas the westernmost counties of Maryland are considered part of Appalachia
Appalachia
Appalachia is a term used to describe a cultural region in the eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York state to northern Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. While the Appalachian Mountains stretch from Belle Isle in Canada to Cheaha Mountain in the U.S...

. Much of the Baltimore–Washington corridor lies just south of the Piedmont in the Coastal Plain, though it straddles the border between the two regions.

A quirk of the geography of Maryland is the absence of any natural lakes, though there are numerous pond
Pond
A pond is a body of standing water, either natural or man-made, that is usually smaller than a lake. A wide variety of man-made bodies of water are classified as ponds, including water gardens, water features and koi ponds; all designed for aesthetic ornamentation as landscape or architectural...

s. During the latter Ice Age
Ice age
An ice age or, more precisely, glacial age, is a generic geological period of long-term reduction in the temperature of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, resulting in the presence or expansion of continental ice sheets, polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers...

s, the glaciers did not reach as far south as Maryland, and therefore they did not carve out the deep natural lakes that exist in states farther north. There are numerous man-made lakes, the largest of these being the Deep Creek Lake
Deep Creek Lake
Deep Creek Lake is the largest inland body of water in the state of Maryland. It covers approximately and has of shoreline. Like all lakes in Maryland, it is man-made. The lake is home to a wide variety of freshwater fish and aquatic birds. The Wisp ski resort is located nearby...

, a reservoir in Garrett County in westernmost Maryland. The lack of a glacial history also accounts for Maryland's soil, which is sandier and muddier than the rocky soils farther to the north and northeast.

Human geography



The majority of Maryland's population is concentrated in the cities and suburbs surrounding Washington, DC, and also in and around Maryland's most populous city, Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

. Historically, these and many other Maryland cities developed along the Fall Line
Fall line
A fall line is a geomorphologic unconformity between an upland region of relatively hard crystalline basement rock and a coastal plain of softer sedimentary rock. A fall line is typically prominent when crossed by a river, for there will often be rapids or waterfalls...

, the line along which rivers, brooks, and streams are interrupted by rapids and/or waterfalls. Maryland's capital city, Annapolis
Annapolis, Maryland
Annapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Anne Arundel County. It had a population of 38,394 at the 2010 census and is situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, south of Baltimore and about east of Washington, D.C. Annapolis is...

, is one exception to this pattern, since it lies along the banks of the Severn River
Severn River (Maryland)
The Severn River runs through Anne Arundel County in the U.S. state of Maryland. It is located south of the Magothy River, and north of the South River.-Geography:...

, close to where it empties into the Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. It lies off the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by Maryland and Virginia. The Chesapeake Bay's drainage basin covers in the District of Columbia and parts of six states: New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West...

.

The other population centers of Maryland include suburban areas of Columbia
Columbia, Maryland
Columbia is a planned community that consists of ten self-contained villages, located in Howard County, Maryland, United States. It began with the idea that a city could enhance its residents' quality of life. Creator and developer James W. Rouse saw the new community in terms of human values, not...

 in Howard County; Silver Spring, Rockville, and Gaithersburg in Montgomery County; Laurel, College Park, Greenbelt, Hyattsville, Landover, Clinton, Bowie, and Upper Marlboro in Prince George's County; Frederick in Frederick County; Hagerstown in Washington County; Waldorf in Charles County; Pikesville, Essex, and Towson in Baltimore County; and Glen Burnie and Hanover in Anne Arundel.

The eastern, southern, and western portions of the state tend to be more rural, although they are dotted with cities of regional importance such as Salisbury and Ocean City on the Eastern Shore
Eastern Shore of Maryland
The Eastern Shore of Maryland is a territorial part of the U.S. state of Maryland that lies predominately on the east side of the Chesapeake Bay and consists of nine counties. The origin of term Eastern Shore was derived to distinguish a territorial part of the State of Maryland from the Western...

, Lexington Park and Waldorf in Southern Maryland
Southern Maryland
Southern Maryland in popular usage is composed of the state's southernmost counties on the "Western Shore" of the Chesapeake Bay. This region includes all of Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties and sometimes the southern portions of Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties.- History...

, and Cumberland in Western Maryland
Western Maryland
Western Maryland is the portion of the U.S. state of Maryland that consists of Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett counties. The region is bounded by the Mason-Dixon line to the north, Preston County, West Virginia to the west, and the Potomac River to the south. There is dispute over the...

.

Maryland's history as a border state
Border states (Civil War)
In the context of the American Civil War, the border states were slave states that did not declare their secession from the United States before April 1861...

 has led it to exhibit characteristics of both the Northern
Northern United States
Northern United States, also sometimes the North, may refer to:* A particular grouping of states or regions of the United States of America. The United States Census Bureau divides some of the northernmost United States into the Midwest Region and the Northeast Region...

 and Southern
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 regions of the United States. Generally, rural Western Maryland
Western Maryland
Western Maryland is the portion of the U.S. state of Maryland that consists of Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett counties. The region is bounded by the Mason-Dixon line to the north, Preston County, West Virginia to the west, and the Potomac River to the south. There is dispute over the...

 between the West Virginian Panhandle
Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia
The Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia is a narrow stretch of territory in the northeast of the state, bordering Maryland and Virginia, United States. The Eastern Panhandle Board of Realtors and other local civic organizations consider only the three Easternmost counties, Jefferson, Berkeley and...

 and Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

 has an Appalachia
Appalachia
Appalachia is a term used to describe a cultural region in the eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York state to northern Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. While the Appalachian Mountains stretch from Belle Isle in Canada to Cheaha Mountain in the U.S...

n culture; the Southern
Southern Maryland
Southern Maryland in popular usage is composed of the state's southernmost counties on the "Western Shore" of the Chesapeake Bay. This region includes all of Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties and sometimes the southern portions of Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties.- History...

 and Eastern Shore regions of Maryland embody a Southern culture
Culture of the Southern United States
The Culture of the Southern United States, or Southern Culture, is a subculture of the United States that is perhaps America's most distinct, in the minds both of its residents and of those in other parts of the country...

, while densely-populated Central Maryland—radiating outward from Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

 and Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

—has more in common with that of the Northeast
Northeastern United States
The Northeastern United States is a region of the United States as defined by the United States Census Bureau.-Composition:The region comprises nine states: the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Mid-Atlantic states of New...

. The U.S. Census Bureau designates Maryland as one of the South Atlantic States
South Atlantic States
The South Atlantic United States form one of the nine Census Bureau Divisions within the United States that are recognized by the United States Census Bureau....

, but it is commonly associated with the Mid-Atlantic States
Mid-Atlantic States
The Mid-Atlantic states, also called middle Atlantic states or simply the mid Atlantic, form a region of the United States generally located between New England and the South...

 and/or Northeastern United States
Northeastern United States
The Northeastern United States is a region of the United States as defined by the United States Census Bureau.-Composition:The region comprises nine states: the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Mid-Atlantic states of New...

 by other federal agencies, the media, and some residents.




Climate


Maryland has a wide array of climates, due to local variances in elevation, proximity to water, and protection from colder weather due to downslope wind
Katabatic wind
A katabatic wind, from the Greek word katabatikos meaning "going downhill", is the technical name for a drainage wind, a wind that carries high density air from a higher elevation down a slope under the force of gravity. Such winds are sometimes also called fall winds...

s.

The eastern half of Maryland lies on the Atlantic Coastal Plain
Atlantic Coastal Plain
The Atlantic coastal plain has both low elevation and low relief, but it is also a relatively flat landform extending from the New York Bight southward to a Georgia/Florida section of the Eastern Continental Divide, which demarcates the plain from the ACF River Basin in the Gulf Coastal Plain to...

, with very flat topography and very sandy or muddy soil. This region has a humid subtropical climate
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

, with hot, humid summers and a short, mild to cool winter. This region includes the cities of Salisbury, Annapolis, Ocean City, and southern and eastern greater Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

.
Beyond this region lies the Piedmont
Piedmont (United States)
The Piedmont is a plateau region located in the eastern United States between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the main Appalachian Mountains, stretching from New Jersey in the north to central Alabama in the south. The Piedmont province is a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian division...

 which lies in the transition between the humid subtropical climate
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

 zone and the subtropical highland
Oceanic climate
An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...

 zone (Köppen Cfb), with hot, humid summers and cool winters where average annual snowfall exceeds 20 inches (508 mm) and temperatures below 10°F are annual occurrences. This region includes Frederick, Hagerstown, Westminster, Gaithersburg and northern and western greater Baltimore.

Extreme western Maryland, in the higher elevations of Allegany County
Allegany County, Maryland
Allegany County is a county located in the northwestern part of the US state of Maryland. It is part of the Cumberland, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2010, the population was 75,087. Its county seat is Cumberland...

 and Garrett County lie completely in the subtropical highland
Oceanic climate
An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...

 (Köppen Cfb) zone, due to elevation (more typical of the Appalachian mountain region
Appalachian Mountains
The Appalachian Mountains #Whether the stressed vowel is or ,#Whether the "ch" is pronounced as a fricative or an affricate , and#Whether the final vowel is the monophthong or the diphthong .), often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians...

) with milder summers and cool, and snowy winters.

Precipitation in the state is characteristic of the East Coast. Annual rainfall ranges from 35 to 45 in (889 to 1,143 mm) with more in higher elevations. Nearly every part of Maryland receives 3.5 – per month of rain. Average annual snowfall varies from 9 inches (22.9 cm) in the coastal areas to over 100 inches (254 cm) in the western mountains of the state. Maryland's highest recorded temperature is 109 °F (42.8 °C) at Cumberland
Cumberland, Maryland
Cumberland is a city in the far western, Appalachian portion of Maryland, United States. It is the county seat of Allegany County, and the primary city of the Cumberland, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 20,859, and the metropolitan area had a...

 and Frederick
Frederick, Maryland
Frederick is a city in north-central Maryland. It is the county seat of Frederick County, the largest county by area in the state of Maryland. Frederick is an outlying community of the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of a greater...

 both on July 10, 1936 while the coldest recorded temperature is -40 F at Oakland
Oakland, Maryland
Oakland is a town in the west-central part of Garrett County, Maryland, United States. With a population of 1,925 according to United States Census 2010 figures, it is the most populated community in Garrett County...

 on January 13, 1912.

Because of its location near the Atlantic Coast
East Coast of the United States
The East Coast of the United States, also known as the Eastern Seaboard, refers to the easternmost coastal states in the United States, which touch the Atlantic Ocean and stretch up to Canada. The term includes the U.S...

, Maryland is somewhat vulnerable to tropical cyclones, although the Delmarva Peninsula
Delmarva Peninsula
The Delmarva Peninsula is a large peninsula on the East Coast of the United States, occupied by most of Delaware and portions of Maryland and Virginia...

, and the outer banks of North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 to the south provide a large buffer, such that a strike from a major hurricane (category 3 or above) is not very likely but is not impossible. More often, Maryland might get the remnants of a tropical system which has already come ashore and released most of its wind energy. Maryland averages around 30–40 days of thunderstorms a year, and averages around six tornado strikes annually.
Monthly normal high and low temperatures for various Maryland cities
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Hagerstown 38 °F (3.3 °C)
21 °F (-6.1 °C)
42 °F (5.6 °C)
23 °F (-5 °C)
52 °F (11.1 °C)
31 °F (-.6 °C)
63 °F (17.2 °C)
41 °F (5 °C)
74 °F (23.3 °C)
51 °F (10.6 °C)
82 °F (27.8 °C)
60 °F (15.6 °C)
86 °F (30 °C)
64 °F (17.8 °C)
84 °F (28.9 °C)
62 °F (16.7 °C)
77 °F (25 °C)
55 °F (12.8 °C)
66 °F (18.9 °C)
43 °F (6.1 °C)
54 °F (12.2 °C)
35 °F (1.7 °C)
43 °F (6.1 °C)
27 °F (-2.8 °C)
Frederick 41 °F (5 °C)
25 °F (-3.9 °C)
46 °F (7.8 °C)
27 °F (-2.8 °C)
56 °F (13.3 °C)
35 °F (1.7 °C)
67 °F (19.4 °C)
44 °F (6.7 °C)
77 °F (25 °C)
54 °F (12.2 °C)
85 °F (29.4 °C)
62 °F (16.7 °C)
89 °F (31.7 °C)
67 °F (19.4 °C)
87 °F (30.6 °C)
66 °F (18.9 °C)
80 °F (26.7 °C)
59 °F (15 °C)
68 °F (20 °C)
47 °F (8.3 °C)
57 °F (13.9 °C)
38 °F (3.3 °C)
46 °F (7.8 °C)
30 °F (-1.1 °C)
Baltimore 44 °F (6.7 °C)
30 °F (-1.1 °C)
47 °F (8.3 °C)
31 °F (-.6 °C)
57 °F (13.9 °C)
39 °F (3.9 °C)
68 °F (20 °C)
48 °F (8.9 °C)
77 °F (25 °C)
58 °F (14.4 °C)
86 °F (30 °C)
68 °F (20 °C)
91 °F (32.8 °C)
73 °F (22.8 °C)
88 °F (31.1 °C)
71 °F (21.7 °C)
81 °F (27.2 °C)
64 °F (17.8 °C)
70 °F (21.1 °C)
52 °F (11.1 °C)
59 °F (15 °C)
42 °F (5.6 °C)
49 °F (9.4 °C)
33 °F (0.555555555559977 °C)
Ocean City 44 °F (6.7 °C)
28 °F (-2.2 °C)
46 °F (7.8 °C)
30 °F (-1.1 °C)
53 °F (11.7 °C)
35 °F (1.7 °C)
61 °F (16.1 °C)
44 °F (6.7 °C)
70 °F (21.1 °C)
53 °F (11.7 °C)
79 °F (26.1 °C)
62 °F (16.7 °C)
84 °F (28.9 °C)
67 °F (19.4 °C)
83 °F (28.3 °C)
67 °F (19.4 °C)
78 °F (25.6 °C)
62 °F (16.7 °C)
68 °F (20 °C)
51 °F (10.6 °C)
58 °F (14.4 °C)
41 °F (5 °C)
49 °F (9.4 °C)
32 °F (0 °C)
'


Flora



As is typical of states on the East Coast
East Coast of the United States
The East Coast of the United States, also known as the Eastern Seaboard, refers to the easternmost coastal states in the United States, which touch the Atlantic Ocean and stretch up to Canada. The term includes the U.S...

, Maryland's plant life is abundant and healthy. A good dose of annual precipitation helps to support many types of plants, including seagrass
Seagrass
Seagrasses are flowering plants from one of four plant families , all in the order Alismatales , which grow in marine, fully saline environments.-Ecology:...

 and various reeds
Phragmites
Phragmites, the Common reed, is a large perennial grass found in wetlands throughout temperate and tropical regions of the world. Phragmites australis is sometimes regarded as the sole species of the genus Phragmites, though some botanists divide Phragmites australis into three or four species...

 at the smaller end of the spectrum to the gigantic Wye Oak
Wye Oak
The Wye Oak was the honorary state tree of Maryland, and the largest white oak tree in the United States. Located in the town of Wye Mills, Talbot County, Maryland, the Wye Oak was believed to be over 460 years old at the time of its destruction during a severe thunderstorm on June 6, 2002, and...

, a huge example of White oak
White oak
Quercus alba, the white oak, is one of the pre-eminent hardwoods of eastern North America. It is a long-lived oak of the Fagaceae family, native to eastern North America and found from southern Quebec west to eastern Minnesota and south to northern Florida and eastern Texas. Specimens have been...

, the state tree, which can grow in excess of 70 feet (21.3 m) tall.

Middle Atlantic coastal forests
Middle Atlantic coastal forests
The Middle Atlantic coastal forests are a temperate coniferous forests ecoregion of the United States.-Setting:The Middle Atlantic coastal forests stretch along the Atlantic coast of the United States from the Delmarva Peninsula south to the Georgia coast...

, typical of the southeastern Atlantic coastal plain
Atlantic Coastal Plain
The Atlantic coastal plain has both low elevation and low relief, but it is also a relatively flat landform extending from the New York Bight southward to a Georgia/Florida section of the Eastern Continental Divide, which demarcates the plain from the ACF River Basin in the Gulf Coastal Plain to...

, grow around Chesapeake Bay and on the Delmarva Peninsula
Delmarva Peninsula
The Delmarva Peninsula is a large peninsula on the East Coast of the United States, occupied by most of Delaware and portions of Maryland and Virginia...

. Moving west, a mixture of Northeastern coastal forests
Northeastern coastal forests
The Northeastern coastal forests are a temperate broadleaf and mixed forests ecoregion of the northeastern United States. The ecoregion covers an area of 34,630 sq miles encompassing the Piedmont and coastal plain of seven states, extending from northern Maryland and Delaware through southeast...

 and Southeastern mixed forests
Southeastern mixed forests
The Southeastern mixed forests are a temperate coniferous forests ecoregion of the United States.-Setting:This ecoregion covers the Piedmont of the eastern United States, stretching in a broad arc from Maryland southwest to Mississippi. It is distinguished from neighboring ecoregions by elevation...

 cover the central part of the state. The Appalachian Mountains
Appalachian Mountains
The Appalachian Mountains #Whether the stressed vowel is or ,#Whether the "ch" is pronounced as a fricative or an affricate , and#Whether the final vowel is the monophthong or the diphthong .), often called the Appalachians, are a system of mountains in eastern North America. The Appalachians...

 of western Maryland are home to Appalachian-Blue Ridge forests
Appalachian-Blue Ridge forests
The Appalachian-Blue Ridge Forests is a temperate broadleaf and mixed forests ecoregion of the Eastern United States, delineated by the World Wide Fund for Nature.-Setting:...

. These give way to Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests
Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests
The Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests are an ecoregion of mesophytic plants west of the Appalachian Mountains in the southeastern United States.-Setting:...

 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, live oak
Live oak
Live oak , also known as the southern live oak, is a normally evergreen oak tree native to the southeastern United States...

 in the warmer parts of the state, and even hardy palm trees
Hardy palms
Hardy palms are any of the species of palm that are able to withstand colder temperatures and thrive in places not typically considered in the natural range for palms. Several are native to higher elevations in Asia and can tolerate hard freezes with little or no damage...

 in the warmer central and eastern parts of the state. USDA plant hardiness zone
Hardiness zone
A hardiness zone is a geographically defined area in which a specific category of plant life is capable of growing, as defined by climatic conditions, including its ability to withstand the minimum temperatures of the zone...

s in the state range from Zone 5 in the extreme western part of the state to 6 and 7 in the central part, and Zone 8 around the southern part of the coast, the bay area, and most of metropolitan Baltimore
Baltimore Metropolitan Area
The Baltimore-Towson Metropolitan Statistical Area, also known as Central Maryland, is a Metropolitan Statistical Area in Maryland as defined by the United States Office of Management and Budget...

. Invasive plant species, such as kudzu
Kudzu
Kudzu is a plant in the genus Pueraria in the pea family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. It is a climbing, coiling, and trailing vine native to southern Japan and southeast China. Its name comes from the Japanese name for the plant, . It is a weed that climbs over trees or shrubs and grows so...

, tree of heaven
Tree of heaven
Ailanthus altissima , commonly known as tree of heaven, ailanthus, or in Standard Chinese as chouchun , is a deciduous tree in the Simaroubaceae family. It is native to both northeast and central China and Taiwan. Unlike other members of the genus Ailanthus, it is found in temperate climates rather...

, multiflora rose
Multiflora Rose
Rosa multiflora is a species of rose native to eastern Asia, in China, Japan and Korea....

, and Japanese stiltgrass
Microstegium vimineum
Microstegium vimineum, commonly known as Japanese stiltgrass or Nepalese browntop, is an annual grass that is common in a wide variety of habitats and is well adapted to low light levels.-Geographic range:...

, choke out growth of endemic plant life. Maryland's state flower, the Black-eyed Susan
Rudbeckia hirta
Rudbeckia hirta, the Black-eyed Susan, with the other common names of: Brown-eyed Susan, Brown Betty, Brown Daisy , Gloriosa Daisy, Golden Jerusalem, Poorland Daisy, Yellow Daisy, and Yellow Ox-eye Daisy. It is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae...

, grows in abundance in wild flower groups throughout the state. The state insect, the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly, is not common as it is near the southern edge of its range. 435 species of birds have been reported from Maryland.

Fauna



The state harbors a great number of deer
Deer
Deer are the ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. Species in the Cervidae family include white-tailed deer, elk, moose, red deer, reindeer, fallow deer, roe deer and chital. Male deer of all species and female reindeer grow and shed new antlers each year...

, especially in the woody and mountainous west of the state, and overpopulation can become a problem from year-to-year. Mammals can be found ranging from the mountains in the west to the central areas and include bears, bobcats, foxes, coyote, raccoons, and otters.

There is a population of rare wild horses found on Assateague island. Every year during the last week of July wild horses are captured and waded across a shallow bay for sale at Chincoteague, Virginia
Chincoteague, Virginia
Chincoteague is a town on Chincoteague Island in Accomack County, Virginia, United States. The population was 4,317 at the 2000 census. The town is perhaps best known for the Chincoteague Ponies, although these are not actually on the island of Chincoteague but on nearby Assateague Island...

. This conservation technique ensures the tiny island is not overrun by the horses.

A purebred animal from Maryland is the Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a breed of dog belonging to the Retriever, Gundog, and Sporting breed groups. Members of the breed may also be referred to as a Chessie, CBR, or Chesapeake. The breed was developed in the United States Chesapeake Bay area during the 19th century...

 dog. It was bred specifically for water sports, hunting and search and rescue in the Chesapeake area. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever was the first breed recognized by the American Kennel Club
American Kennel Club
The American Kennel Club is a registry of purebred dog pedigrees in the United States. Beyond maintaining its pedigree registry, this kennel club also promotes and sanctions events for purebred dogs, including the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, an annual event which predates the official...

 in 1878. The University of Maryland- Baltimore County (UMBC) bears the Retriever as its mascot.

Maryland's reptile and amphibian population is led by the Diamondback Terrapin
Diamondback terrapin
The diamondback terrapin or simply terrapin, is a species of turtle native to the brackish coastal swamps of the eastern and southern United States. It belongs to the monotypic genus, Malaclemys...

 turtle, which was adopted as the mascot of University of Maryland, College Park
University of Maryland, College Park
The University of Maryland, College Park is a top-ranked public research university located in the city of College Park in Prince George's County, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C...

. The state is the territory of the Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
The Baltimore Oriole is a small icterid blackbird that averages 18 cm long and weighs 34 g. This bird received its name from the fact that the male's colors resemble those on the coat-of-arms of Lord Baltimore...

, which is the official state bird and mascot of the MLB team the Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles are a professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. One of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901, it spent its first year as a major league...

.

Environmental awareness


Maryland is one of the most environmentally friendly states in the country. In 2007, Forbes.com rated Maryland as the fifth "Greenest" state in the country behind three of the Pacific States
Pacific States
The Pacific States form one of the nine geographic divisions within the United States that are officially recognized by that country's census bureau. There are five states in this division — Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington — and, as its name suggests, they all have...

 and Vermont. Maryland ranks 40th in total energy consumption nationwide, and it managed less toxic waste per capita than all but six states in 2005. In April 2007 Maryland joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a regional initiative by states and provinces in the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada regions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions...

 (RGGI)—a regional initiative formed by all of the Northeastern states, Washington D.C., and three Canadian provinces to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

History




In 1629, George Calvert, 1st Lord Baltimore in the Irish House of Lords
Irish House of Lords
The Irish House of Lords was the upper house of the Parliament of Ireland that existed from mediaeval times until 1800. It was abolished along with the Irish House of Commons by the Act of Union.-Function:...

, fresh from his failure further north with Newfoundland's Avalon colony, applied to Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

 for a new royal charter for what was to become the Province of Maryland
Province of Maryland
The Province of Maryland was an English and later British colony in North America that existed from 1632 until 1776, when it joined the other twelve of the Thirteen Colonies in rebellion against Great Britain and became the U.S...

. Calvert's interest in creating a colony derived from his Catholicism
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

 and his desire for the creation of a haven for Catholics in the new world. In addition, he was familiar with the fortunes that had been made in tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

 in Virginia, and hoped to recoup some of the financial losses he had sustained in his earlier colonial venture in Newfoundland. George Calvert died in April 1632, but a charter for "Maryland Colony" (in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

, "Terra Maria") was granted to his son, Cæcilius Calvert, 2nd Lord Baltimore
Cæcilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore
Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, 1st Proprietor and 1st Proprietary Governor of Maryland, 9th Proprietary Governor of Newfoundland , was an English peer who was the first proprietor of the Province of Maryland. He received the proprietorship after the death of his father, George Calvert, the...

, on June 20, 1632. The new colony was named in honor of Henrietta Maria of France
Henrietta Maria of France
Henrietta Maria of France ; was the Queen consort of England, Scotland and Ireland as the wife of King Charles I...

, wife of Charles I of England. The specific name given in the charter was phrased "Terra Mariae, anglice, Maryland". The English name was preferred over the Latin due in part to the undesired association of "Mariae" with the Spanish Jesuit Juan de Mariana
Juan de Mariana
Juan de Mariana, also known as Father Mariana , was a Spanish Jesuit priest, Scholastic, historian, and member of the Monarchomachs....

.

To try to gain settlers, Maryland used what is known as the headright system, which originated in Jamestown
Jamestown, Virginia
Jamestown was a settlement in the Colony of Virginia. Established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 14, 1607 , it was the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States, following several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke...

.

On March 25, 1634, Lord Baltimore sent the first settlers into this area. Although most of the settlers were Protestants, Maryland soon became one of the few regions in the English Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 where Catholics held the highest positions of political authority. Maryland was also one of the key destinations of tens of thousands of English convicts.

The royal charter granted Maryland the land north of the entire length of the Potomac River
Potomac River
The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. The river is approximately long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles...

 up to the 40th parallel
40th parallel north
The 40th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 40 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

. A problem arose when Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 granted a charter for Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

. The grant defined Pennsylvania's southern border as identical to Maryland's northern border, the 40th parallel. But the terms of the grant clearly indicate that Charles II and William Penn
William Penn
William Penn was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was an early champion of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful...

 assumed the 40th parallel would pass close to New Castle, Delaware
New Castle, Delaware
New Castle is a city in New Castle County, Delaware, six miles south of Wilmington, situated on the Delaware River. In 1900, 3,380 people lived here; in 1910, 3,351...

 when in fact it falls north of Philadelphia, the site of which Penn had already selected for his colony's capital city. Negotiations ensued after the problem was discovered in 1681.

A compromise proposed by Charles II in 1682, which might have resolved the issue, was undermined by Penn's receiving the additional grant of what is now Delaware—which previously had been part of Maryland. The dispute remained unresolved for nearly a century, carried on by the descendants of William Penn and Lord Baltimore—the Calvert family
Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore
Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, 1st Proprietor and 1st Proprietary Governor of Maryland, 9th Proprietary Governor of Newfoundland , was an English peer who was the first proprietor of the Province of Maryland. He received the proprietorship after the death of his father, George Calvert, the...

, which controlled Maryland, and the Penn family
William Penn
William Penn was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was an early champion of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful...

, which controlled Pennsylvania. The conflict led to the Cresap's War
Cresap's War
Cresap's War was a border conflict between Pennsylvania and Maryland, fought in the 1730s...

 (also known as the Conojocular War), a border conflict between Pennsylvania and Maryland, fought in the 1730s. Hostilities erupted in 1730 with a series of violent incidents prompted by disputes over property rights and law enforcement, and escalated through the first half of the decade, culminating in the deployment of military forces by Maryland in 1736 and by Pennsylvania in 1737. The armed phase of the conflict ended in May 1738 with the intervention of King George II, who compelled the negotiation of a cease-fire. A provisional agreement had been established in 1732. Negotiations continued until a final agreement was signed in 1760. The agreement defined Maryland's border with what is now Delaware as well as Pennsylvania. The border between Maryland and Pennsylvania was defined as the line of latitude 15 miles (24.1 km) south of the southernmost house of Philadelphia, a line now known as the Mason-Dixon Line
Mason-Dixon line
The Mason–Dixon Line was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in the resolution of a border dispute between British colonies in Colonial America. It forms a demarcation line among four U.S. states, forming part of the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and...

. Maryland's border with Delaware was based on a Transpeninsular Line
Transpeninsular Line
The Transpeninsular Line is a surveyed line, the eastern half of which forms the north-south border between Delaware and Maryland...

 and the Twelve-Mile Circle around New Castle.

After Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 made Anglicanism
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

 the established religion of the colony, numerous Puritans migrated from Virginia to Maryland, and were given land for a settlement called Providence (now Annapolis). In 1650, the Puritans revolted against the proprietary government and set up a new government that outlawed both Catholicism
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 and Anglicanism. In March 1654, the 2nd Lord Baltimore
Cæcilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore
Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, 1st Proprietor and 1st Proprietary Governor of Maryland, 9th Proprietary Governor of Newfoundland , was an English peer who was the first proprietor of the Province of Maryland. He received the proprietorship after the death of his father, George Calvert, the...

 sent an army under the command of Governor William Stone to put down the revolt, which was decisively defeated by a Puritan
Puritan
The Puritans were a significant grouping of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some Marian exiles from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England...

 army near Annapolis in what was to be known as the "Battle of the Severn". During the persecution of Catholics by the Puritan
Puritan
The Puritans were a significant grouping of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some Marian exiles from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England...

 revolt, all of the original Catholic churches of southern Maryland were burned down. The Puritan revolt lasted until 1658 when the Calvert family regained control of the colony and re-enacted the Toleration Act. However, after England's "Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

" of 1688, when William of Orange
William III of England
William III & II was a sovereign Prince of Orange of the House of Orange-Nassau by birth. From 1672 he governed as Stadtholder William III of Orange over Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel of the Dutch Republic. From 1689 he reigned as William III over England and Ireland...

 came to the throne and established the Protestant faith in England, Maryland outlawed Catholicism until after the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

. Many wealthy Catholic planters built chapels on their land to practice their religion in relative secrecy.

St. Mary's City
St. Mary's City, Maryland
St. Mary's City, in St. Mary's County, Maryland, is a small unincorporated community near the southernmost end of the state on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. It is located on the eastern shore of the St. Mary's River, a tributary of the Potomac. St. Mary's City is the fourth oldest...

 was the largest site of the original Maryland colony, and was the seat of the colonial government until 1708. St Mary's is now a historical site, with a small tourist center. In 1708, the seat of government was moved to Providence, which had been renamed Annapolis. The city was renamed in honor of Queen Anne
Anne of Great Britain
Anne ascended the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702. On 1 May 1707, under the Act of Union, two of her realms, England and Scotland, were united as a single sovereign state, the Kingdom of Great Britain.Anne's Catholic father, James II and VII, was deposed during the...

 in 1694.

Most of the English colonists arrived in Maryland as indentured servant
Indentured servant
Indentured servitude refers to the historical practice of contracting to work for a fixed period of time, typically three to seven years, in exchange for transportation, food, clothing, lodging and other necessities during the term of indenture. Usually the father made the arrangements and signed...

s, hiring themselves out as laborers for a fixed period to pay for their passage. In the early years the line between indentured servants and African slaves or laborers was fluid, and white and black laborers lived and worked together.

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

Maryland was one of the thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

. On February 2, 1781, Maryland became the 13th state to approve the ratification of the Articles of Confederation
Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation, formally the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was an agreement among the 13 founding states that legally established the United States of America as a confederation of sovereign states and served as its first constitution...

 which brought into being the United States as a united, sovereign
Sovereign
A sovereign is the supreme lawmaking authority within its jurisdiction.Sovereign may also refer to:*Monarch, the sovereign of a monarchy*Sovereign Bank, banking institution in the United States*Sovereign...

 and national state. It also became the seventh state admitted to the U.S. after ratifying the new Constitution. In December 1790, Maryland donated land selected by President George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 to the federal government for the creation of the new national capital of Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 The land was provided from Montgomery
Montgomery County, Maryland
Montgomery County is a county in the U.S. state of Maryland, situated just to the north of Washington, D.C., and southwest of the city of Baltimore. It is one of the most affluent counties in the United States, and has the highest percentage of residents over 25 years of age who hold post-graduate...

 and Prince George's
Prince George's County, Maryland
Prince George's County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maryland, immediately north, east, and south of Washington, DC. As of 2010, it has a population of 863,420 and is the wealthiest African-American majority county in the nation....

 counties, as well as from Fairfax County
Fairfax County, Virginia
Fairfax County is a county in Virginia, in the United States. Per the 2010 Census, the population of the county is 1,081,726, making it the most populous jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with 13.5% of Virginia's population...

 and Alexandria
Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2009, the city had a total population of 139,966. Located along the Western bank of the Potomac River, Alexandria is approximately six miles south of downtown Washington, D.C.Like the rest of northern Virginia, as well as...

 in Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

; however, the land donated by Virginia was later returned to that state by the District of Columbia retrocession.

During the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

, the British military attempted to capture the port of Baltimore, which was protected by Fort McHenry
Fort McHenry
Fort McHenry, in Baltimore, Maryland, is a star-shaped fort best known for its role in the War of 1812, when it successfully defended Baltimore Harbor from an attack by the British navy in Chesapeake Bay...

. It was during this bombardment that the Star Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key was an American lawyer, author, and amateur poet, from Georgetown, who wrote the lyrics to the United States' national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner".-Life:...

.

As in 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. This contributed to the state's remaining loyal to the Union during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. In addition, Governor Thomas Holliday Hicks
Thomas Holliday Hicks
Thomas Holliday Hicks was an American politician from Maryland. He served as the 31st Governor of Maryland from 1858 until 1862, and as a U.S...

 temporarily suspended the state legislature, and President Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 had many of its fire eaters arrested prior to its reconvening.

Of the 115,000 men who joined the military during the Civil War 85,000, or 77%, joined the Union army
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

, while the remainder joined the Confederate Army. To help ensure Maryland's inclusion in the Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

, President Lincoln suspended several civil liberties, including the writ of habeas corpus, an act deemed illegal by Maryland native Chief Justice Roger Taney. Lincoln ordered U.S. troops to place artillery on Federal Hill
Federal Hill, Baltimore, Maryland
Federal Hill is a neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland, United States that lies just to the south of the city's central business district. Many of the structures are included in the Federal Hill Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970...

 to threaten the city of Baltimore, and helped ensure the election of a new pro-union governor and legislature. Lincoln went so far as to jail certain pro-South members of the state legislature at Fort McHenry
Fort McHenry
Fort McHenry, in Baltimore, Maryland, is a star-shaped fort best known for its role in the War of 1812, when it successfully defended Baltimore Harbor from an attack by the British navy in Chesapeake Bay...

, including the Mayor of Baltimore, George William Brown
George William Brown
George William Brown was the mayor of Baltimore, Maryland from 1860 to 1861.-Pratt Street Riot:Brown played an important role in controlling the Pratt Street Riot on April 19, 1861, at the onset of the American Civil War. After the Pratt Street Riot, some small skirmishes occurred throughout...

. The grandson of Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key was an American lawyer, author, and amateur poet, from Georgetown, who wrote the lyrics to the United States' national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner".-Life:...

 was included in those jailed. The constitutionality of these actions is still debated.

Because Maryland remained in the Union, it was exempted from the anti-slavery provisions of the Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
The Emancipation Proclamation is an executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War using his war powers. It proclaimed the freedom of 3.1 million of the nation's 4 million slaves, and immediately freed 50,000 of them, with nearly...

 (The Emancipation Proclamation only applied to states in rebellion). In 1864 the state held a constitutional convention
Constitutional convention (political meeting)
A constitutional convention is now a gathering for the purpose of writing a new constitution or revising an existing constitution. A general constitutional convention is called to create the first constitution of a political unit or to entirely replace an existing constitution...

 that culminated in the passage of a new state constitution. Article 24 of that document outlawed the practice of slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

. In 1867 the state extended suffrage to non-white males.

Demographics


As of 2006, Maryland has an estimated population of 5,615,727, which is an increase of 26,128, or 0.5%, from the prior year and an increase of 319,221, or 6.0%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 189,158 people (that is 464,251 births minus 275,093 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 116,713 people into the state. Immigration
Immigration to the United States
Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants,...

 from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 129,730 people, and migration within the country produced a net loss of 13,017 people.

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

Most of the population of Maryland lives in the central region of the state, in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area
Baltimore Metropolitan Area
The Baltimore-Towson Metropolitan Statistical Area, also known as Central Maryland, is a Metropolitan Statistical Area in Maryland as defined by the United States Office of Management and Budget...

 and Washington Metropolitan Area
Washington Metropolitan Area
The Washington Metropolitan Area is the metropolitan area centered on Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. The area includes all of the federal district and parts of the U.S...

, both of which are part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area
Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area
The Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area is a combined statistical area consisting of the overlapping labor market region of the cities of Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C.. The region includes Central Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Jefferson County in the Eastern Panhandle of West...

. The Eastern Shore is less populous and more rural, as are the counties of western and southern Maryland.

The two counties of Western Maryland, Allegany
Allegany County, Maryland
Allegany County is a county located in the northwestern part of the US state of Maryland. It is part of the Cumberland, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2010, the population was 75,087. Its county seat is Cumberland...

 and Garrett
Garrett County, Maryland
Garrett County is the westernmost county of the U.S. state of Maryland. Created from Allegany County, Maryland in 1872 it was the last Maryland county to be formed. It was named for John Work Garrett , railroad executive, industrialist, and financier. Garrett served as president of the Baltimore...

, are mountainous and sparsely populated, resembling West Virginia more than they do the rest of Maryland.

The center of population
Center of population
In demographics, the center of population of a region is a geographical point that describes a centerpoint of the region's population...

 of Maryland is located on the county line between Anne Arundel County
Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Anne Arundel County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maryland. It is named for Anne Arundell , a member of the ancient family of Arundells in Cornwall, England and the wife of Cæcilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore. Its county seat is Annapolis, which is also the capital of the state...

 and Howard County
Howard County, Maryland
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*62.2% White*17.5% Black*0.3% Native American*14.4% Asian*0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*3.6% Two or more races*2.0% Other races*5.8% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

, in the unincorporated town of Jessup
Jessup, Maryland
Jessup is an unincorporated town and census-designated place in Howard County, Maryland and Anne Arundel County, Maryland. The population was 7,865 at the 2000 census. The center of population of Maryland is located in Jessup. It was the location of Maryland House of Correction, which was one of...

.

Ethnicity


The five largest reported ancestries in Maryland are German (15.7%), Irish
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

 (11.7%), English (9%), unspecified American (5.8%), and Italian (5.1%).
African-Americans form a sizable portion of the state's population - over a quarter in 2005. Although populous in most of the state, large concentrations of African-American population can be found in Baltimore City, Prince George's County
Prince George's County, Maryland
Prince George's County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maryland, immediately north, east, and south of Washington, DC. As of 2010, it has a population of 863,420 and is the wealthiest African-American majority county in the nation....

, Charles County, Randallstown, and the southern Eastern Shore. Most of the Eastern Shore
Eastern Shore of Maryland
The Eastern Shore of Maryland is a territorial part of the U.S. state of Maryland that lies predominately on the east side of the Chesapeake Bay and consists of nine counties. The origin of term Eastern Shore was derived to distinguish a territorial part of the State of Maryland from the Western...

 and Southern Maryland
Southern Maryland
Southern Maryland in popular usage is composed of the state's southernmost counties on the "Western Shore" of the Chesapeake Bay. This region includes all of Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties and sometimes the southern portions of Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties.- History...

 are populated by Marylanders of British ancestry, with the Eastern Shore traditionally Methodist and the southern counties Catholic. Western and northern Maryland have large German-American populations. Italians, Poles
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

, Czechs and Greeks
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 are centered mostly in the large city of Baltimore. Hispanics are numerous in Hyattsville
Hyattsville, Maryland
Hyattsville is a city in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States. The population was 17,557 at the 2000 census.- History :The city was named for its founder, Christopher Clark Hyatt. He purchased his first parcel of land in the area in March 1845...

/Langley Park
Langley Park, Maryland
Langley Park is an unincorporated area and census-designated place in the Washington, D.C. metro area. It is located inside the Capital Beltway, on the northwest edge of Prince George's County, Maryland, bordering Montgomery County, Maryland....

, Wheaton
Wheaton, Maryland
Wheaton is an unincorporated, urbanized area in Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, north of Washington, D.C., northwest of Silver Spring. Wheaton takes its name from Frank Wheaton , a career officer in the United States Army and volunteer from Rhode Island in the Union Army who rose to the rank of...

, Bladensburg, Riverdale
Riverdale
-Places:United States*Riverdale, California, in Fresno County*Riverdale, Mendocino County, California*Riverdale, Georgia*Riverdale, Chicago, Illinois*Riverdale, Illinois, in Cook County*Riverdale, Iowa*Riverdale, Anne Arundel County, Maryland...

, Gaithersburg
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Gaithersburg is a city in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. The city had a population of 59,933 at the 2010 census, making it the fourth largest incorporated city in the state, behind Baltimore, Frederick, and Rockville...

 and Highlandtown in East Baltimore. Jews are numerous throughout Montgomery County
Montgomery County, Maryland
Montgomery County is a county in the U.S. state of Maryland, situated just to the north of Washington, D.C., and southwest of the city of Baltimore. It is one of the most affluent counties in the United States, and has the highest percentage of residents over 25 years of age who hold post-graduate...

 and in Pikesville
Pikesville, Maryland
Pikesville is a census-designated place in Baltimore County, Maryland, United States. Pikesville is just northwest of the Baltimore city limits. It is the northwestern suburb closest to Baltimore.The population was 29,123 at the 2000 census...

 and Owings Mills northwest of Baltimore. Asian Americans are concentrated in the suburban counties surrounding Washington, D.C. , especially evident by a Korean American
Korean American
Korean Americans are Americans of Korean descent, mostly from South Korea, with a small minority from North Korea...

 and Taiwanese American community in Rockville
Rockville, Maryland
Rockville is the county seat of Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. It is a major incorporated city in the central part of Montgomery County and forms part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. The 2010 U.S...

 and a Filipino American
Filipino American
Filipino Americans are Americans of Filipino ancestry. Filipino Americans, often shortened to "Fil-Ams", or "Pinoy",Filipinos in what is now the United States were first documented in the 16th century, with small settlements beginning in the 18th century...

 community in Fort Washington
Fort Washington, Maryland
Fort Washington, Maryland is an unincorporated area and census-designated place in Prince George's County, Maryland in the suburbs of the capital city of the United States of America, Washington, D.C., south of the downtown district. It is a prosperous community with an African American majority...

. Amish
Amish
The Amish , sometimes referred to as Amish Mennonites, are a group of Christian church fellowships that form a subgroup of the Mennonite churches...

/Mennonite
Mennonite
The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after the Frisian Menno Simons , who, through his writings, articulated and thereby formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders...

 communities are found in St. Mary's
St. Mary's
-In Australia:* St Marys, New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney* St Marys railway station, Sydney* North St Marys, New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney* St. Marys, South Australia, a suburb of Adelaide* St Marys, Tasmania, on the east coast of Tasmania-In Canada:...

 and Garrett
Garrett
-Places:United States* Garrett, Illinois* Garrett, Indiana* Garrett, Pennsylvania* Garrett, Texas* Garrett, Washington* Garrett, Wyoming* Garrett County, Maryland-Other uses:...

 counties.

Maryland has one of the largest proportions of racial minorities in the country, trailing only the four minority-majority states.



Religion



Maryland was founded for the purpose of providing religious toleration of England's Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 minority. Nevertheless, Parliament later reversed that policy and discouraged the practice of Catholicism in Maryland. Due to immigration patterns, Catholics have not been a majority in Maryland since early Colonial times. Nonetheless, Catholicism is the largest single denomination in Maryland. As of the year 2000, the RCMS reported that the second and third largest denominational groups in Maryland are Mainline Protestant, and Evangelical Protestant. The Catholic Church has the highest number of adherents in Maryland (at 952,389), followed by the United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

 with 297,729 members reported. Judaism is the largest non-Christian religion with 241,000 adherents, or 4.3% of the total population. The Islamic community in Maryland is small. The present religious composition of the state is shown below:

Religions in Maryland

Christian

Other
Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

56% Roman Catholic 23% Jewish
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

4%
Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

18% Other Christian 3% Muslim
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

0.1%
Methodist
Methodism
Methodism is a movement of Protestant Christianity represented by a number of denominations and organizations, claiming a total of approximately seventy million adherents worldwide. The movement traces its roots to John Wesley's evangelistic revival movement within Anglicanism. His younger brother...

11% Other Religions 1%
Lutheran
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

6% Non-Religious 11%
Other Protestant 21%


Despite the Protestant majority, Maryland has been prominent in U.S. Catholic tradition, partially because it was intended by George Calvert as a haven for English Catholics. Baltimore was the seat of the first Catholic bishop in the U.S. (1789), and Emmitsburg was the home and burial place of the first American-born citizen to be canonized, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Georgetown University
Georgetown University
Georgetown University is a private, Jesuit, research university whose main campus is in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1789, it is the oldest Catholic university in the United States...

, the first Catholic University, was founded in 1789 in what was then part of Maryland. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Baltimore was the first Roman Catholic cathedral built in the United States, and the Archbishop of Baltimore is, albeit without formal primacy, the United States' quasi-primate
Primate (religion)
Primate is a title or rank bestowed on some bishops in certain Christian churches. Depending on the particular tradition, it can denote either jurisdictional authority or ceremonial precedence ....

, and often a Cardinal.

Economy




The Bureau of Economic Analysis
Bureau of Economic Analysis
The Bureau of Economic Analysis is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that provides important economic statistics including the gross domestic product of the United States. Its stated mission is to "promote a better understanding of the U.S...

 estimates that Maryland's gross state product in 2006 was US$257 billion. According to the U.S. Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, Maryland households are currently the wealthiest in the country, with a 2009 median household income of $69,272 which puts it ahead of New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 and Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

, which are second and third respectively. Two of Maryland's counties, Howard and Montgomery, are the third and tenth wealthiest counties in the nation
Highest-income counties in the United States
There are 3,141 counties in the United States. The source of the data is the U.S. Census Bureau and the data is current as of the indicated year. Independent cities are considered county-equivalent by the Census Bureau.-2011:...

 respectively. Also, the state's poverty rate of 7.8% is the lowest in the country. Per capita personal income in 2006 was US$43,500, 5th in the nation.

As of January 2010, the state's unemployment rate was 7.5%.

Maryland's economic activity is strongly concentrated in the tertiary service sector, and this sector, in turn, is strongly influenced by location. One major service activity is transportation, centered on the Port of Baltimore and its related rail and trucking access. The port ranked 17th in the U.S. by tonnage in 2008. Although the port handles a wide variety of products, the most typical imports are raw materials and bulk commodities, such as iron ore, petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

, sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

, and fertilizer
Fertilizer
Fertilizer is any organic or inorganic material of natural or synthetic origin that is added to a soil to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants. A recent assessment found that about 40 to 60% of crop yields are attributable to commercial fertilizer use...

s, often distributed to the relatively close manufacturing centers of the inland Midwest via good overland transportation. The port also receives several different brands of imported motor vehicles and is the number two auto port in the U.S.

A second service activity takes advantage of the close location of the center of government in Washington, D.C. and emphasizes technical and administrative tasks for the defense/aerospace industry and bio-research laboratories, as well as staffing of satellite government headquarters in the suburban or exurban Baltimore/Washington area. In addition, many educational and medical research institutions are located in the state. In fact, the various components of The Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University, commonly referred to as Johns Hopkins, JHU, or simply Hopkins, is a private research university based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States...

 and its medical research facilities are now the largest single employer in the Baltimore area. Altogether, white collar
White-collar worker
The term white-collar worker refers to a person who performs professional, managerial, or administrative work, in contrast with a blue-collar worker, whose job requires manual labor...

 technical and administrative workers comprise 25% of Maryland's labor force
Labor force
In economics, a labor force or labour force is a region's combined civilian workforce, including both the employed and unemployed.Normally, the labor force of a country consists of everyone of working age In economics, a labor force or labour force is a region's combined civilian workforce,...

, attributable in part to nearby Maryland being a part of the Washington Metro Area where the federal government office employment is relatively high.

Maryland has a large food-production sector. A large component of this is commercial fishing, centered in Chesapeake Bay, but also including activity off the short Atlantic seacoast. The largest catches by species are the blue crab, oysters, striped bass
Striped bass
The striped bass is the state fish of Maryland, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and the state saltwater fish of New York, Virginia, and New Hampshire...

, and menhaden
Menhaden
Menhaden, also known as mossbunker, bunker and pogy, are forage fish of the genera Brevoortia and Ethmidium, two genera of marine fish in the family Clupeidae.-Description:...

. The Bay also has uncounted millions of overwintering waterfowl in its many wildlife refuges. While not, strictly speaking, a commercial food resource, the waterfowl support a tourism sector of sportsmen.

Maryland has large areas of fertile agricultural land in its coastal and Piedmont zones, although this land use is being encroached upon by urbanization. Agriculture is oriented to dairy farming (especially in foothill and piedmont areas) for nearby large city milksheads plus specialty perishable horticulture crops, such as cucumber
Cucumber
The cucumber is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, which includes squash, and in the same genus as the muskmelon. The plant is a creeping vine which bears cylindrical edible fruit when ripe. There are three main varieties of cucumber: "slicing", "pickling", and...

s, watermelon
Watermelon
Watermelon is a vine-like flowering plant originally from southern Africa. Its fruit, which is also called watermelon, is a special kind referred to by botanists as a pepo, a berry which has a thick rind and fleshy center...

s, sweet corn, tomato
Tomato
The word "tomato" may refer to the plant or the edible, typically red, fruit which it bears. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler...

es, muskmelon
Muskmelon
Muskmelon is a species of melon that has been developed into many cultivated varieties. These include smooth skinned varieties such as honeydew, crenshaw and casaba, and different netted cultivars...

s, squash
Squash (fruit)
Squashes generally refer to four species of the genus Cucurbita, also called marrows depending on variety or the nationality of the speaker...

, and peas
PEAS
P.E.A.S. is an acronym in artificial intelligence that stands for Performance, Environment, Actuators, Sensors.-Performance:Performance is a function that measures the quality of the actions the agent did....

 (Source:USDA Crop Profiles). In addition, the southern counties of the western shoreline of Chesapeake Bay are warm enough to support a tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

 cash crop
Cash crop
In agriculture, a cash crop is a crop which is grown for profit.The term is used to differentiate from subsistence crops, which are those fed to the producer's own livestock or grown as food for the producer's family...

 zone, which has existed since early Colonial times but declined greatly after a state government buyout in the 1990s. There is also a large automated chicken
Chicken
The chicken is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the Red Junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals, and with a population of more than 24 billion in 2003, there are more chickens in the world than any other species of bird...

-farming sector in the state's southeastern part; Salisbury
Salisbury, Maryland
-Demographics:Salisbury is the principal city of the Salisbury-Ocean Pines CSA, a Combined Statistical Area that includes the Salisbury metropolitan area and the Ocean Pines micropolitan area , which had a combined population of 176,657 at the 2010 census.As of the census of 2000, there were...

 is home to Perdue Farms
Perdue Farms
Perdue Farms is a major chicken processing company based in Salisbury, Maryland, United States with annual sales in excess of $4.6B.-Origin and war era:...

. Maryland's food-processing plants are the most significant type of manufacturing by value in the state.

Manufacturing, while large in dollar value, is highly diversified with no sub-sector contributing over 20% of the total. Typical forms of manufacturing include electronics, computer equipment, and chemicals. The once mighty primary metals sub-sector, which at one time included what was then the largest steel factory in the world at Sparrows Point
Sparrows Point
Sparrows Point is an unincorporated area in Baltimore County, Maryland, adjacent to Dundalk, Maryland. Named for Thomas Sparrow, landowner, it was the site of a very large industrial complex owned by Bethlehem Steel, known for steelmaking and shipbuilding....

, still exists, but is pressed with foreign competition, bankruptcies
Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a legal status of an insolvent person or an organisation, that is, one that cannot repay the debts owed to creditors. In most jurisdictions bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor....

, and company mergers. During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 the Glenn L. Martin Company
Glenn L. Martin Company
The Glenn L. Martin Company was an American aircraft and aerospace manufacturing company that was founded by the aviation pioneer Glenn L. Martin. The Martin Company produced many important aircraft for the defense of the United States and its allies, especially during World War II and the Cold War...

 (now part of Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin is an American global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology company with worldwide interests. It was formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta in March 1995. It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, in the Washington Metropolitan Area....

) airplane factory near Essex, MD employed some 40,000 people.

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

Maryland imposes 5 income tax
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

 brackets, ranging from 2% to 6.25% of personal income. The city of Baltimore and Maryland's 23 counties levy local "piggyback" income taxes at rates between 1.25% and 3.2% of Maryland taxable income. Local officials set the rates and the revenue is returned to the local governments quarterly. The top income tax bracket of 9.45% is the fifth highest combined state and local income tax rates in the country, behind only New York City's 11.35%, California’s 10.3%, Rhode Island’s 9.9%, and Vermont’s 9.5%. Maryland's state sales tax
Sales tax
A sales tax is a tax, usually paid by the consumer at the point of purchase, itemized separately from the base price, for certain goods and services. The tax amount is usually calculated by applying a percentage rate to the taxable price of a sale....

 is 6%. All real property in Maryland is subject to the property tax
Property tax
A property tax is an ad valorem levy on the value of property that the owner is required to pay. The tax is levied by the governing authority of the jurisdiction in which the property is located; it may be paid to a national government, a federated state or a municipality...

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

Baltimore City is the eighth largest port in the nation, and was at the center of the February 2006 controversy
Dubai Ports World controversy
The Dubai Ports World controversy began in February 2006 and rose to prominence as a national security debate in the United States. At issue was the sale of port management businesses in six major U.S...

 over the Dubai Ports World
Dubai Ports World
DP World is a major operator of marine ports with 49 terminals in operation and a further 9 under development across 31 countries. In 2010, DP World handled nearly 50 million TEU across its portfolio from the Americas to Asia...

 deal because it was considered to be of such strategic importance. The state as a whole is heavily industrialized, with a booming economy and influential technology centers. Its computer industries are some of the most sophisticated in the United States, and the federal government has invested heavily in the area. Maryland is home to several large military bases and scores of high level government jobs.

Biotechnology


Maryland is a major center for life sciences
Life sciences
The life sciences comprise the fields of science that involve the scientific study of living organisms, like plants, animals, and human beings. While biology remains the centerpiece of the life sciences, technological advances in molecular biology and biotechnology have led to a burgeoning of...

 research and development. With more than 400 biotechnology companies located there, Maryland is the fourth-largest nexus in this field in the United States.

Institutions and government agencies with an interest in research and development located in Maryland include the Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University, commonly referred to as Johns Hopkins, JHU, or simply Hopkins, is a private research university based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States...

, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, more than one campus of the University System of Maryland
University System of Maryland
The University System of Maryland is a public corporation and charter school system comprising 12 Maryland institutions of higher education. It is the 12th-largest university system in the United States, with over 125,000 undergraduate, 43,000 graduate and roughly 13,000 combined full-time and...

, Goddard Space Flight Center
Goddard Space Flight Center
The Goddard Space Flight Center is a major NASA space research laboratory established on May 1, 1959 as NASA's first space flight center. GSFC employs approximately 10,000 civil servants and contractors, and is located approximately northeast of Washington, D.C. in Greenbelt, Maryland, USA. GSFC,...

, the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the National Institutes of Health
National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health are an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and are the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research. Its science and engineering counterpart is the National Science Foundation...

 (NIH), the National Institute of Standards and Technology
National Institute of Standards and Technology
The National Institute of Standards and Technology , known between 1901 and 1988 as the National Bureau of Standards , is a measurement standards laboratory, otherwise known as a National Metrological Institute , which is a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce...

 (NIST), the National Institute of Mental Health
National Institute of Mental Health
The National Institute of Mental Health is one of 27 institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of Health...

 (NIMH), the federal Food and Drug Administration
Food and Drug Administration
The Food and Drug Administration is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, one of the United States federal executive departments...

 (FDA), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Howard Hughes Medical Institute is a United States non-profit medical research organization based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. It was founded by the American businessman Howard Hughes in 1953. It is one of the largest private funding organizations for biological and medical research in the United...

, the Celera Genomics
Celera Genomics
Celera Corporation was a business unit of the Applera Corporation, but was spun off in July 2008 to become an independent publicly traded company. In May 2011 Quest Diagnostics Incorporated completed the acquisition of Celera, which thus became a wholly owned subsidiary...

 company, Human Genome Sciences
Human Genome Sciences
Human Genome Sciences is a biopharmaceutical corporation founded in 1992. It uses the human DNA sequence to develop protein and antibody drugs. As of 2008, it has drugs under development to treat such diseases as hepatitis C, systemic lupus erythmatosis, anthrax disease, cancer, rheumatoid...

 (HGS),the J. Craig Venter Institute
J. Craig Venter Institute
The J. Craig Venter Institute is a non-profit genomics research institute founded by J. Craig Venter, Ph.D. in October 2006. The Institute was the result of consolidating four organizations: the Center for the Advancement of Genomics, The Institute for Genomic Research, the Institute for...

 (JCVI), and MedImmune
MedImmune
MedImmune, LLC, headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, became a wholly owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca in 2007. Since being acquired, MedImmune has remained a Maryland-based biotechnology development enterprise...

 - recently purchased by AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca plc is a global pharmaceutical and biologics company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's seventh-largest pharmaceutical company measured by revenues and has operations in over 100 countries...

.

Transportation


The Maryland Department of Transportation
Maryland Department of Transportation
The Maryland Department of Transportation is a government agency in the U.S. state of Maryland. MDOT is overseen by Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley, who replaced John Porcari in 2009 upon the latter's appointment as Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of...

, headquartered in the Hanover
Hanover, Maryland
Hanover, Maryland is a locality in unincorporated northwestern Anne Arundel County, Maryland in the United States, located south of Baltimore near the Howard County line....

 area of unincorporated
Unincorporated area
In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not a part of any municipality.To "incorporate" in this context means to form a municipal corporation, a city, town, or village with its own government. An unincorporated community is usually not subject to or taxed by a municipal government...

 Anne Arundel County
Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Anne Arundel County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maryland. It is named for Anne Arundell , a member of the ancient family of Arundells in Cornwall, England and the wife of Cæcilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore. Its county seat is Annapolis, which is also the capital of the state...

, oversees transportation in the state.

Roads




Maryland's Interstate highways
Interstate Highway System
The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, , is a network of limited-access roads including freeways, highways, and expressways forming part of the National Highway System of the United States of America...

 include 110 miles (177 km) of I-95
Interstate 95 in Maryland
Interstate 95 in Maryland is a major highway that runs diagonally from northeast to southwest, from Maryland's border with Delaware, to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, briefly entering the District of Columbia before reaching Virginia...

, which enters the northeast portion of the state, goes through Baltimore
Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

, and becomes part of the eastern section of the Capital Beltway
Interstate 495 (Capital Beltway)
Interstate 495 is a Interstate Highway that surrounds the United States' capital of Washington, D.C., and its inner suburbs in adjacent Maryland and Virginia. I-495 is widely known as the Capital Beltway or simply the Beltway, especially when the context of Washington, D.C., is clear...

 to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge
Woodrow Wilson Bridge
The Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge is a bascule bridge that spans the Potomac River between the independent city of Alexandria, Virginia and Oxon Hill in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States. While over the water near the Virginia shore, it crosses the southern tip of the District of...

. I-68
Interstate 68
Interstate 68 is a Interstate highway in the U.S. states of West Virginia and Maryland, connecting in Morgantown to in Hancock. is also Corridor E of the Appalachian Development Highway System. From 1965 until the freeway's construction was completed in 1991, it was designated as...

 runs 81 miles (130.4 km) connecting the western portions of the state to I-70
Interstate 70
Interstate 70 is an Interstate Highway in the United States that runs from Interstate 15 near Cove Fort, Utah, to a Park and Ride near Baltimore, Maryland. It was the first Interstate Highway project in the United States. I-70 approximately traces the path of U.S. Route 40 east of the Rocky...

 at the small town of Hancock. I-70
Interstate 70
Interstate 70 is an Interstate Highway in the United States that runs from Interstate 15 near Cove Fort, Utah, to a Park and Ride near Baltimore, Maryland. It was the first Interstate Highway project in the United States. I-70 approximately traces the path of U.S. Route 40 east of the Rocky...

 enters from Pennsylvania north of Hancock and continues east for 93 miles (149.7 km) to Baltimore, connecting Hagerstown
Hagerstown, Maryland
Hagerstown is a city in northwestern Maryland, United States. It is the county seat of Washington County, and, by many definitions, the largest city in a region known as Western Maryland. The population of Hagerstown city proper at the 2010 census was 39,662, and the population of the...

 and Frederick
Frederick, Maryland
Frederick is a city in north-central Maryland. It is the county seat of Frederick County, the largest county by area in the state of Maryland. Frederick is an outlying community of the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of a greater...

 along the way.

I-83
Interstate 83
Interstate 83 is an Interstate Highway in the eastern United States. Its southern terminus is in Baltimore, Maryland at the Fayette Street exit; its northern terminus is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at Interstate 81....

 has 34 miles (54.7 km) in Maryland and connects Baltimore to southern central Pennsylvania (Harrisburg
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Harrisburg is the capital of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 49,528, making it the ninth largest city in Pennsylvania...

 and York, Pennsylvania
York, Pennsylvania
York, known as the White Rose City , is a city located in York County, Pennsylvania, United States which is in the South Central region of the state. The population within the city limits was 43,718 at the 2010 census, which was a 7.0% increase from the 2000 count of 40,862...

). Maryland also has an 11 miles (17.7 km) portion of I-81
Interstate 81
Interstate 81 is an Interstate Highway in the eastern part of the United States. Its southern terminus is at Interstate 40 in Dandridge, Tennessee; its northern terminus is on Wellesley Island at the Canadian border, where the Thousand Islands Bridge connects it to Highway 401, the main freeway...

 that runs through the state near Hagerstown. I-97
Interstate 97
Interstate 97 is an intrastate Interstate Highway located entirely within Anne Arundel County, Maryland, United States. It runs from Annapolis at the overlapped section of US 50, US 301, and the unsigned I-595 to Baltimore at the city's beltway...

, fully contained within Anne Arundel County and the second shortest (17.6 miles) one- or two-digit Interstate highway which connects the Baltimore area to the Annapolis area. Hawaii has one that is shorter.

There are also several auxiliary Interstate highways in Maryland. Among them are two beltways encircling the major cities of the region: I-695
Interstate 695 (Maryland)
Interstate 695 is a -long full beltway Interstate Highway extending around Baltimore, Maryland, USA. I-695 is officially designated the McKeldin Beltway, but is colloquially referred to as either the Baltimore Beltway or 695...

, the McKeldin (Baltimore) Beltway, which encircles Baltimore; and a portion of I-495
Interstate 495 (Capital Beltway)
Interstate 495 is a Interstate Highway that surrounds the United States' capital of Washington, D.C., and its inner suburbs in adjacent Maryland and Virginia. I-495 is widely known as the Capital Beltway or simply the Beltway, especially when the context of Washington, D.C., is clear...

, the Capital Beltway, which encircles Washington, D.C. I-270
Interstate 270 (Maryland)
Interstate 270 is a auxiliary Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Maryland that travels between Interstate 495 just north of Bethesda, Montgomery County and Interstate 70 in the city of Frederick in Frederick County. It consists of the mainline as well as a spur that provides access to and...

, which connects the Frederick area with Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia through major suburbs to the northwest of Washington, is a major commuter route and is as wide as fourteen lanes at points. Both I-270 and the Capital Beltway are currently extremely congested
Traffic congestion
Traffic congestion is a condition on road networks that occurs as use increases, and is characterized by slower speeds, longer trip times, and increased vehicular queueing. The most common example is the physical use of roads by vehicles. When traffic demand is great enough that the interaction...

; however, the ICC
Intercounty Connector
Maryland Route 200 , more commonly known as the Intercounty Connector or ICC, is a partially completed toll freeway under construction in Maryland which connects Gaithersburg in Montgomery County and Laurel in Prince George's County. When completed, it will reach the community of Konterra just...

 or Intercounty Connector, which began construction in November 2007, is hoped to alleviate some of the congestion over time. Construction of the ICC was a major part of the campaign platform of former Governor Robert Ehrlich
Robert Ehrlich
Robert Leroy "Bob" Ehrlich, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 60th Governor of Maryland from 2003 to 2007. A Republican, he became governor after defeating Democratic opponent Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a member of the Kennedy family, 51% to 48% in the 2002 elections...

, who was in office from 2003 until 2007, and of Governor Martin O'Malley
Martin O'Malley
Martin Joseph O'Malley is an American Democratic politician who is currently serving as the 61st Governor of Maryland. Previously, he served as the mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007. He is currently the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.-Early life, education and career:O'Malley...

, who succeeded him.

Maryland also has a state highway
State highway
State highway, state road or state route can refer to one of three related concepts, two of them related to a state or provincial government in a country that is divided into states or provinces :#A...

 system that contains routes numbered from 2 through 999, however most of the higher-numbered routes are either not signed or are relatively short. Major state highways include Routes 2
Maryland Route 2
Maryland Route 2 is the longest state highway in the U.S. state of Maryland. The route runs from Solomons Island in Calvert County north to an intersection with U.S. Route 1 and U.S. Route 40 Truck in Baltimore...

 (Governor Ritchie Highway/Solomons Island Road/Southern Maryland Blvd.), 4
Maryland Route 4
Maryland Route 4 is a state highway in the U.S. state of Maryland. The state highway runs from MD 5 in Leonardtown north to Southern Avenue at the Washington, D.C. border, past which the highway continues as Pennsylvania Avenue...

 (Pennsylvania Avenue
Pennsylvania Avenue
Pennsylvania Avenue is a street in Washington, D.C. that joins the White House and the United States Capitol. Called "America's Main Street", it is the location of official parades and processions, as well as protest marches...

/Southern Maryland Blvd./Patuxent Beach Road/St. Andrew's Church Road), 5
Maryland Route 5
Maryland Route 5 is a long state highway that runs north–south in the U.S. state of Maryland. The highway runs from Point Lookout in St. Mary's County north to the Washington, D.C. border in Suitland, Prince George's County....

 (Branch Avenue/Leonardtown Road/Point Lookout Road), 32
Maryland Route 32
Maryland Route 32 is a state highway in the U.S. state of Maryland. The state highway runs from Interstate 97 and MD 3 in Millersville west and north to Washington Road in Westminster. The east–west portion of MD 32 is the Patuxent Freeway, a four- to six-lane...

, 45
Maryland Route 45
Maryland Route 45 is a state highway in the U.S. state of Maryland. Known for most of its length as York Road, the state highway runs from U.S. Route 1 in Baltimore north to the Pennsylvania state line in Maryland Line, where the highway continues as SR 3001...

 (York Road), 97
Maryland Route 97
Maryland Route 97 is a state highway in the U.S. state of Maryland. The route runs from U.S. Route 29 in Silver Spring, Montgomery County north to the Pennsylvania border in Carroll County, where the road continues into that state as Pennsylvania Route 97...

 (Georgia Avenue), 100
Maryland Route 100
Maryland Route 100 is a major east–west highway connecting U.S. Route 29 in Ellicott City and MD 177 in Pasadena. MD 100 also connects to Interstate 95 , US 1, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway , and I-97...

 (Paul T. Pitcher Memorial Highway), 210
Maryland Route 210
Maryland Route 210 , or Indian Head Highway, is a state highway in Prince George's and Charles counties in Maryland. At its northern end, MD 210 starts from the end of South Capitol Street in Washington, D.C., connecting the U.S. Capitol with Indian Head, Maryland...

 (Indian Head Highway), 235
Maryland Route 235
Maryland Route 235 is a state highway in the U.S. state of Maryland. Known as Three Notch Road, the state highway runs between its southern intersection with MD 5 in Ridge and its northern intersection with MD 5 near Mechanicsville...

 (Three Notch Road), 295 (Baltimore-Washington Parkway), 355
Maryland Route 355
Maryland Route 355 is a north–south road in western central Maryland in the United States. The southern terminus of the route is at the Washington, D.C. border in Friendship Heights, Montgomery County, where it continues south as Wisconsin Avenue into Washington. The northern terminus is...

 (Wisconsin Avenue/Rockville Pike/Frederick Road), 404
Maryland Route 404
Maryland Route 404 is a major highway on Maryland's Eastern Shore in the United States. It runs from Maryland Route 662 in Wye Mills on the border of Queen Anne's and Talbot Counties, southeast to the Delaware state line in Caroline County, where the road continues as Delaware Route 404 to Nassau...

 (Queen Anne Highway/ Shore Highway), and
650
Maryland Route 650
Maryland Route 650 is a state highway in the U.S. state of Maryland. Known as New Hampshire Avenue for most of its length, the state highway runs from Eastern Avenue at the Washington, D.C. border north to MD 108 in Etchison...

 (New Hampshire Avenue).

Airports



Maryland's largest airport is Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is an international airport serving the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area in the United States. It is commonly called BWI, BWI Airport or BWI Marshall, BWI being an initialism for "Baltimore/Washington International" and the...

 (formerly known as Friendship Airport and recently renamed for Baltimore-born former and first African-American Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall
Thurgood Marshall
Thurgood Marshall was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, serving from October 1967 until October 1991...

). The only other airports with commercial service are at Hagerstown
Hagerstown Regional Airport
Hagerstown Regional Airport , also known as Richard A. Henson Field, is a county-owned public-use airport in Washington County, Maryland, United States. It is located four nautical miles north of the central business district of Hagerstown, about a half mile from the Maryland/Pennsylvania border....

 and Salisbury
Wicomico Regional Airport
Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional Airport , or, more succinctly Wicomico Regional Airport, is located in unincorporated Wicomico County, Maryland, 5 miles from downtown Salisbury, Maryland. This airport is the only commercially served airport on the Delmarva peninsula and brings on average...

. The Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. are also serviced by the other two airports in the region, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is a public airport located south of downtown Washington, D.C., in Arlington County, Virginia. It is the commercial airport nearest to Washington, D.C. For many decades, it was called Washington National Airport, but this airport was renamed in 1998 to...

 and Dulles International Airport, both in Northern Virginia
Northern Virginia
Northern Virginia consists of several counties and independent cities in the Commonwealth of Virginia, in a widespread region generally radiating southerly and westward from Washington, D.C...

. The College Park Airport
College Park Airport
College Park Airport is a public airport located in the City of College Park, in Prince Georges County, Maryland, USA. It is the world's oldest continuously operated airport.-History:...

 is the nation's oldest, founded in 1909, and is still utilized. Wilbur Wright trained military aviators at this location.

Rail



Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 trains, including the high speed Acela Express
Acela Express
The Acela Express is Amtrak's high-speed rail service along the Northeast Corridor in the Northeast United States between Washington, D.C., and Boston via Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York...

 serve Baltimore's Penn Station
Pennsylvania Station (Baltimore)
Pennsylvania Station is the main train station in Baltimore, Maryland. Designed by New York architect Kenneth MacKenzie Murchison , it was constructed in 1911 in the Beaux-Arts style of architecture for the Pennsylvania Railroad. It is located at 1515 N...

, BWI Airport
BWI Rail Station
The Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport Rail Station is an Amtrak and MARC commuter rail train station in Linthicum, an unincorporated area in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, United States....

, New Carrollton
New Carrollton (Washington Metro)
New Carrollton rail station is a joint Washington Metro, MARC, and Amtrak station in New Carrollton, Prince George's County, Maryland at the eastern end of the Orange Line and planned Purple Line, and adjacent to the Capital Beltway. The Amtrak waiting room is located beneath the Metro station...

, and Aberdeen
Aberdeen (Amtrak station)
Aberdeen Station is an Amtrak station in Aberdeen, Maryland on the Northeast Corridor and MARC Penn Line. It is served by Amtrak's Northeast Regional train.. The station was originally built by the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad approximatley in 1900, and inherited by the...

 along the Washington D.C. to Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 Northeast Corridor
Northeast Corridor
The Northeast Corridor is a fully electrified railway line owned primarily by Amtrak serving the Northeast megalopolis of the United States from Boston in the north, via New York to Washington, D.C. in the south, with branches serving other cities...

. In addition, train service is provided to Rockville
Rockville, Maryland
Rockville is the county seat of Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. It is a major incorporated city in the central part of Montgomery County and forms part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. The 2010 U.S...

 and Cumberland
Cumberland, Maryland
Cumberland is a city in the far western, Appalachian portion of Maryland, United States. It is the county seat of Allegany County, and the primary city of the Cumberland, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 20,859, and the metropolitan area had a...

 by Amtrak's Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, to Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 Capitol Limited
Capitol Limited (Amtrak)
Amtrak's Capitol Limited is one of the railroad's two routes connecting Washington, D.C. to Chicago, running via Cleveland, Ohio . Service began in 1981 and was named after the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Capitol Limited which ended in 1971 upon the formation of Amtrak...

. MARC
MARC Train
MARC , known prior to 1984 as Maryland Rail Commuter Service, is a regional rail system comprising three lines in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. MARC is administered by the Maryland Transit Administration , a Maryland Department of Transportation agency, and is operated under contract...

 commuter trains, operated by the Maryland Transit Administration
Maryland Transit Administration
The Maryland Transit Administration is a state-operated mass transit administration in Maryland, and is part of the Maryland Department of Transportation. It is better known as MTA Maryland to avoid confusion with other cities' transit agencies who share the initials MTA. The MTA operates a...

 (MTA), connect nearby Washington, D.C., Frederick
Frederick County, Maryland
Frederick County is a county located in the western part of the U.S. state of Maryland, bordering the southern border of Pennsylvania and the northeastern border of Virginia. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 233,385....

, Baltimore, and intermediate towns. The WMATA Washington Metro
Washington Metro
The Washington Metro, commonly called Metro, and unofficially Metrorail, is the rapid transit system in Washington, D.C., United States, and its surrounding suburbs. It is administered by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority , which also operates Metrobus service under the Metro name...

 rapid transit
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

/subway and bus system serves Montgomery and Prince George's counties, as well as BWI Airport. The MTA's Light Rail
Baltimore Light Rail
The Maryland Transit Administration Light Rail is a light rail system serving Baltimore, Maryland, United States, and the surrounding suburbs.In downtown Baltimore it uses city streets...

 and Metro Subway systems serve Baltimore City and adjacent suburbs.

Freight rail transport is handled principally by two Class I railroad
Class I railroad
A Class I railroad in the United States and Mexico, or a Class I rail carrier in Canada, is a large freight railroad company, as classified based on operating revenue.Smaller railroads are classified as Class II and Class III...

s, as well as several smaller regional and local carriers. CSX Transportation
CSX Transportation
CSX Transportation operates a Class I railroad in the United States known as the CSX Railroad. It is the main subsidiary of the CSX Corporation. The company is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, and owns approximately 21,000 route miles...

 has more extensive trackage
Rail tracks
The track on a railway or railroad, also known as the permanent way, is the structure consisting of the rails, fasteners, sleepers and ballast , plus the underlying subgrade...

 throughout the state, with 560 miles (901.2 km), followed by Norfolk Southern Railway
Norfolk Southern Railway
The Norfolk Southern Railway is a Class I railroad in the United States, owned by the Norfolk Southern Corporation. With headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, the company operates 21,500 route miles in 22 eastern states, the District of Columbia and the province of Ontario, Canada...

. Major rail yard
Rail yard
A rail yard, or railroad yard, is a complex series of railroad tracks for storing, sorting, or loading/unloading, railroad cars and/or locomotives. Railroad yards have many tracks in parallel for keeping rolling stock stored off the mainline, so that they do not obstruct the flow of traffic....

s are located in Baltimore and Cumberland, with an intermodal
Intermodal freight transport
Intermodal freight transport involves the transportation of freight in an intermodal container or vehicle, using multiple modes of transportation , without any handling of the freight itself when changing modes. The method reduces cargo handling, and so improves security, reduces damages and...

 terminal (rail, truck and marine) in Baltimore.

Shipping canals


The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal
Chesapeake and Delaware Canal
The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal is a 14-mile long, 450-foot wide and 40-foot deep ship canal that cuts across the states of Maryland and Delaware, in the United States. It connects the waters of the Delaware River with those of the Chesapeake Bay and the Port of Baltimore...

 is a 14 miles (22.5 km) canal
Canal
Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:#Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying people, further subdivided into two kinds:...

 on the Eastern Shore that connects the waters of the Delaware River with those of the Chesapeake Bay, and in particular with the Port of Baltimore, carrying 40 percent of the port's ship traffic.

Law and government



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

 is conducted according to the state constitution
Maryland Constitution
The current Constitution of the State of Maryland, which was ratified by the people of the state on September 18, 1867, forms the basic law for the U.S. state of Maryland. It replaced the short-lived Maryland Constitution of 1864 and is the fourth constitution under which the state has been...

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

Power in Maryland is divided among three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial. The Maryland General Assembly
Maryland General Assembly
The Maryland General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Maryland. It is a bicameral body. The upper chamber, the Maryland State Senate, has 47 representatives and the lower chamber, the Maryland House of Delegates, has 141 representatives...

 is composed of the Maryland House of Delegates
Maryland House of Delegates
The Maryland House of Delegates is the lower house of the General Assembly, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Maryland, and is composed of 141 Delegates elected from 47 districts. The House chamber is located in the state capitol building on State Circle in Annapolis...

 and the Maryland Senate. Maryland's governor
Governor of Maryland
The Governor of Maryland heads the executive branch of the government of Maryland, and he is the commander-in-chief of the state's National Guard units. The Governor is the highest-ranking official in the state, and he has a broad range of appointive powers in both the State and local governments,...

 is unique in the United States as the office is vested with significant authority in budgeting. The legislature may not increase the governor's proposed budget expenditures. Unlike most other states, significant autonomy is granted to many of Maryland's counties
County (United States)
In the United States, a county is a geographic subdivision of a state , usually assigned some governmental authority. The term "county" is used in 48 of the 50 states; Louisiana is divided into parishes and Alaska into boroughs. Parishes and boroughs are called "county-equivalents" by the U.S...

.

Most of the business of government is conducted in Annapolis
Annapolis, Maryland
Annapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Anne Arundel County. It had a population of 38,394 at the 2010 census and is situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, south of Baltimore and about east of Washington, D.C. Annapolis is...

, the state capital. Virtually all state and county election
Election
An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy operates since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the...

s are held in even-numbered years not divisible by four, in which the President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 is not elected – this, as in other states, is intended to divide state and federal
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 politics.

The judicial branch of state government consists of one united District Court of Maryland that sits in every county and Baltimore City, as well as 24 Circuit Courts sitting in each County and Baltimore City, the latter being courts of general jurisdiction for all civil disputes over $30,000.00, all equitable jurisdiction and major criminal proceedings. The intermediate appellate court is known as the "Court of Special Appeals
Maryland Court of Special Appeals
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals is the intermediate appellate court for the U.S. state of Maryland. The Court of Special Appeals was created in 1966 in response to the rapidly growing caseload in the Maryland Court of Appeals. Like the state's highest court, the tribunal meets in the Robert C...

" and the state supreme court
State supreme court
In the United States, the state supreme court is the highest state court in the state court system ....

 is the "Court of Appeals
Maryland Court of Appeals
The Court of Appeals of Maryland is the supreme court of the U.S. state of Maryland. The court, which is composed of one chief judge and six associate judges, meets in the Robert C. Murphy Courts of Appeal Building in the state capital, Annapolis...

". The appearance of the judges of the Maryland Court of Appeals is unique in that Maryland is the only state whose judges wear red robes.

Elections


Since before the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, Maryland's elections have been largely controlled by the Democrats, even as the party's platform has changed considerably in that time. State elections are dominated by Baltimore and the populous suburban counties bordering Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

: Montgomery
Montgomery County, Maryland
Montgomery County is a county in the U.S. state of Maryland, situated just to the north of Washington, D.C., and southwest of the city of Baltimore. It is one of the most affluent counties in the United States, and has the highest percentage of residents over 25 years of age who hold post-graduate...

 and Prince George's. Forty-three percent of the state's population resides in these three jurisdictions, each of which contain large, traditionally Democratic voting bloc(s)
Voting bloc
A voting bloc is a group of voters that are so motivated by a specific concern or group of concerns that it helps determine how they vote in elections. The divisions between voting blocs are known as cleavage...

: African Americans in Baltimore and Prince George's, federal
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 employees in Prince George's and Montgomery, and postgraduates
Postgraduate education
Postgraduate education involves learning and studying for degrees or other qualifications for which a first or Bachelor's degree generally is required, and is normally considered to be part of higher education...

 in Montgomery. The remainder of the state, particularly Western Maryland
Western Maryland
Western Maryland is the portion of the U.S. state of Maryland that consists of Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett counties. The region is bounded by the Mason-Dixon line to the north, Preston County, West Virginia to the west, and the Potomac River to the south. There is dispute over the...

 and the Eastern Shore
Eastern Shore of Maryland
The Eastern Shore of Maryland is a territorial part of the U.S. state of Maryland that lies predominately on the east side of the Chesapeake Bay and consists of nine counties. The origin of term Eastern Shore was derived to distinguish a territorial part of the State of Maryland from the Western...

, is more supportive of Republicans
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

.

Maryland has supported the Democratic nominee in each of the last five presidential elections, by an average margin of 15.4%. In 1980, it was one of only six states to vote for Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

. Maryland has been among the Democratic nominees' best states. In 1992, Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 fared better in Maryland than any other state except his home state of Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

. In 1996, Maryland was Clinton's sixth best, in 2000 Maryland ranked fourth for Gore and in 2004 John Kerry
John Kerry
John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

 showed his fifth best performance in Maryland.

Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 won the state's 10 electoral votes in 2008 with 61.9% of the vote to John McCain's
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 36.5%.
Both of Maryland's U.S. Senators and six of its eight Representatives in Congress are Democrats, and Democrats hold supermajorities
Supermajority
A supermajority or a qualified majority is a requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level or type of support which exceeds a simple majority . In some jurisdictions, for example, parliamentary procedure requires that any action that may alter the rights of the minority has a supermajority...

 in the state Senate and House of Delegates. The previous Governor, Robert Ehrlich
Robert Ehrlich
Robert Leroy "Bob" Ehrlich, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 60th Governor of Maryland from 2003 to 2007. A Republican, he became governor after defeating Democratic opponent Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a member of the Kennedy family, 51% to 48% in the 2002 elections...

, was the first Republican to be elected to that office in four decades, and after one term lost his seat to Baltimore Mayor
Mayor
In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

 Martin J. O'Malley, a Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

. Ehrlich ran again for Governor in 2010, losing again to O'Malley.

U.S. Congressman Steny Hoyer
Steny Hoyer
Steny Hamilton Hoyer is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1981. The district includes a large swath of rural and suburban territory southeast of Washington, D.C.. He is a member of the Democratic Party....

 (MD-5
Maryland's 5th congressional district
Maryland's 5th congressional district comprises all of Charles, St. Mary's, and Calvert Counties, as well as portions of Prince George's and Anne Arundel Counties. The district is currently represented by Democrat Steny Hoyer, the House Minority Whip....

), a Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

, was elected as Majority Leader
Majority leader
In U.S. politics, the majority floor leader is a partisan position in a legislative body.In the federal Congress, the role differs slightly in the two houses. In the House of Representatives, which chooses its own presiding officer, the leader of the majority party is elected the Speaker of the...

 for the 110th Congress
110th United States Congress
The One Hundred Tenth United States Congress was the meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, between January 3, 2007, and January 3, 2009, during the last two years of the second term of President George W. Bush. It was composed of the Senate and the House of...

 of the House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

, and 111th Congress
111th United States Congress
The One Hundred Eleventh United States Congress was the meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government from January 3, 2009 until January 3, 2011. It began during the last two weeks of the George W. Bush administration, with the remainder spanning the first two years of...

, serving in that post from 2007 to 2011. His district covers parts of Anne Arundel
Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Anne Arundel County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maryland. It is named for Anne Arundell , a member of the ancient family of Arundells in Cornwall, England and the wife of Cæcilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore. Its county seat is Annapolis, which is also the capital of the state...

 and Prince George's
Prince George's County, Maryland
Prince George's County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maryland, immediately north, east, and south of Washington, DC. As of 2010, it has a population of 863,420 and is the wealthiest African-American majority county in the nation....

 counties, in addition to all of Charles
Charles County, Maryland
Charles County is a county in the south central portion of the U.S. state of Maryland.As of 2010, the population was 146,551. Its county seat is La Plata. This county was named for Charles Calvert , third Baron Baltimore....

, Calvert
Calvert County, Maryland
Calvert County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maryland. It occupies the Calvert Peninsula which is bordered on the east by the Chesapeake Bay and on the west by the Patuxent River. Calvert County is part of the Southern Maryland region. Calvert County's residents are among the highest...

 and St. Mary's
Saint Mary's County, Maryland
Saint Mary's County is a county located in the U.S. state of Maryland.As of 2010, the population was 105,151. Its county seat is Leonardtown...

 counties in southern Maryland
Southern Maryland
Southern Maryland in popular usage is composed of the state's southernmost counties on the "Western Shore" of the Chesapeake Bay. This region includes all of Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties and sometimes the southern portions of Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties.- History...

.

The 2006 election brought no significant change in this pattern of Democratic dominance. After Democratic Senator Paul Sarbanes
Paul Sarbanes
Paul Spyros Sarbanes , a Democrat, is a former United States Senator who represented the state of Maryland. Sarbanes was the longest-serving senator in Maryland history, having served from 1977 until 2007. He did not seek re-election in 2006, when he was succeeded by fellow Democrat Ben Cardin...

 announced that he was retiring, Democratic Congressman Benjamin Cardin defeated Republican Lieutenant Governor Michael S. Steele
Michael S. Steele
Michael Stephen Steele is an American politician who served as the first African-American chairman of the Republican National Committee from January 2009 until January 2011. From 2003 to 2007, he was the seventh Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, the first African American elected to statewide...

, with 55% of the vote, against Steele's 44%. The governorship was also a point of interest, as Republican incumbent Robert Ehrlich
Robert Ehrlich
Robert Leroy "Bob" Ehrlich, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 60th Governor of Maryland from 2003 to 2007. A Republican, he became governor after defeating Democratic opponent Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a member of the Kennedy family, 51% to 48% in the 2002 elections...

 was defeated by Democratic challenger Martin O'Malley
Martin O'Malley
Martin Joseph O'Malley is an American Democratic politician who is currently serving as the 61st Governor of Maryland. Previously, he served as the mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007. He is currently the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.-Early life, education and career:O'Malley...

, the Mayor of Baltimore, 53% to 46%. Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan
Doug Duncan
Douglas M. Duncan is a Democratic politician from Maryland who served as County Executive of Montgomery County from 1994 to 2006. At three terms, Duncan held the office longer than any other County Executive in Montgomery County's history...

, another leading candidate for the Democratic slot, pulled out of the highly anticipated primary, announcing his withdrawal on June 22, 2006, citing clinical depression
Clinical depression
Major depressive disorder is a mental disorder characterized by an all-encompassing low mood accompanied by low self-esteem, and by loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities...

.

While Maryland is a Democratic Party stronghold, perhaps its best known political figure is a Republican – former Governor Spiro Agnew
Spiro Agnew
Spiro Theodore Agnew was the 39th Vice President of the United States , serving under President Richard Nixon, and the 55th Governor of Maryland...

, who served as United States Vice President under Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

. He was Vice President from 1969 to 1973, when he resigned in the aftermath of revelations that he had taken bribes while he was Governor of Maryland. In late 1973, a court found Agnew guilty of violating tax laws.

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

Primary and secondary education



Public primary and secondary education in Maryland is overseen by the Maryland State Department of Education
Maryland State Department of Education
Maryland State Department of Education is a division of the state government of Maryland in the United States. The agency oversees public school districts. The agency is headquartered at 200 West Baltimore Street in Baltimore...

, which is headquartered in Baltimore. The highest educational official in the state is the State Superintendent of Schools
Superintendent (education)
In education in the United States, a superintendent is an individual who has executive oversight and administration rights, usually within an educational entity or organization....

, currently Dr. Nancy Grasmick
Nancy Grasmick
Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick was the Maryland State Superintendent of schools, until June 30, 2011.-Education:She received her doctorate from the Johns Hopkins University, her master's degree from Gallaudet University, and her bachelor's degree from Towson University.-Career:Grasmick began as a teacher of...

, who is appointed by the State Board of Education
Board of education
A board of education or a school board or school committee is the title of the board of directors or board of trustees of a school, local school district or higher administrative level....

 to a four-year term of office. The Maryland General Assembly has given the Superintendent and State Board autonomy to make educationally related decisions, limiting its own influence on the day to day functions of public education. Each county and county-equivalent in Maryland has a local Board of Education charged with running the public schools in that particular jurisdiction.

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

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
Seventh-day Adventist Church
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Christian denomination distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week, as the Sabbath, and by its emphasis on the imminent second coming of Jesus Christ...

 schools, and Jewish
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 schools. In 2003, Maryland law was changed to allow for the creation of publicly funded charter schools, although the charter schools must be approved by their local Board of Education and are not exempt from state laws on education, including collective bargaining laws.

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

Colleges and universities


Maryland has several historic and renowned private colleges and universities, the most prominent of which is Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University, commonly referred to as Johns Hopkins, JHU, or simply Hopkins, is a private research university based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States...

, founded in 1876 with a grant from Baltimore entrepreneur Johns Hopkins
Johns Hopkins
Johns Hopkins was a wealthy American entrepreneur, philanthropist and abolitionist of 19th-century Baltimore, Maryland, now most noted for his philanthropic creation of the institutions that bear his name, namely the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the Johns Hopkins University and its associated...

.

The first public university in the state is the University of Maryland, Baltimore
University of Maryland, Baltimore
University of Maryland, Baltimore, was founded in 1807. It comprises some of the oldest professional schools in the nation and world. It is the original campus of the University System of Maryland. Located on 60 acres in downtown Baltimore, Maryland, it is part of the University System of Maryland...

, which was founded in 1807 and contains the University of Maryland's only public academic health, human services, and law center
University of Maryland School of Law
The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law is the second-oldest law school in the United States by date of establishment and third-oldest by date of first classes. The school is located on the campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore in Downtown Baltimore's West Side...

. Seven professional and graduate schools train the majority of the state's physicians, nurses, dentists, lawyers, social workers, and pharmacists. The largest undergraduate institution in Maryland is the University of Maryland, College Park
University of Maryland, College Park
The University of Maryland, College Park is a top-ranked public research university located in the city of College Park in Prince George's County, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C...

 which was founded as the Maryland Agricultural College in 1856 and became a public land grant college in 1864. Towson University
Towson University
Towson University, often referred to as TU or simply Towson for short, is a public university located in Towson in Baltimore County, Maryland, U.S...

, founded in 1866, is the state's second largest university. Baltimore is home to the Maryland Institute College of Art
Maryland Institute College of Art
Maryland Institute College of Art is an art and design college in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. It was founded in 1826 as the Maryland Institute for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts, making it one of the first and oldest art colleges in the United States. In 2008, MICA was ranked #2 in the nation...

. The majority of public universities in the state are affiliated with the University System of Maryland
University System of Maryland
The University System of Maryland is a public corporation and charter school system comprising 12 Maryland institutions of higher education. It is the 12th-largest university system in the United States, with over 125,000 undergraduate, 43,000 graduate and roughly 13,000 combined full-time and...

. Two state-funded institutions, Morgan State University
Morgan State University
Morgan State University, formerly Centenary Biblical Institute , Morgan College and Morgan State College , is a historically black college in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Morgan is Maryland's designated public urban university and the largest HBCU in the state of Maryland...

 and St. Mary's College of Maryland
St. Mary's College of Maryland
St. Mary's College of Maryland, established in 1840, is a public, secular liberal arts college located in St. Mary's City, Maryland. It is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges and designated as a Public Honors College . St. Mary's College is a small college, with about 2,000...

, as well as two federally funded institutions, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences is a health science university run by the U.S. federal government. The primary mission of the school is to prepare graduates for service to the U.S. at home and abroad in the medical corps....

 and the United States Naval Academy
United States Naval Academy
The United States Naval Academy is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located in Annapolis, Maryland, United States...

, are not affiliated with the University System of Maryland.

St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland
Annapolis, Maryland
Annapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Anne Arundel County. It had a population of 38,394 at the 2010 census and is situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, south of Baltimore and about east of Washington, D.C. Annapolis is...

 and Washington College
Washington College
Washington College is a private, independent liberal arts college located on a campus in Chestertown, Maryland, on the Eastern Shore. Maryland granted Washington College its charter in 1782...

 in Chestertown, Maryland
Chestertown, Maryland
Chestertown is a town in Kent County, Maryland, United States. The population was 4,746 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Kent County. The ZIP code is 21620 and the area codes are 410 and 443...

, both private institutions, are the two oldest colleges in the state, and are among the oldest in the country. Other private institutions include Mount St. Mary's University, McDaniel College
McDaniel College
McDaniel College is a private four-year liberal arts college in Westminster, Maryland, located 30 miles northwest of Baltimore. The college also has a satellite campus located in Budapest, Hungary. Until July 2002, it was known as Western Maryland College...

 (formerly known as Western Maryland College), Hood College
Hood College
Hood College is a co-educational liberal arts college located in Frederick, Maryland. The college serves approximately 1,050 graduate students and more than 1,400 undergraduate students.-Early History :...

, Stevenson University (formerly known as Villa Julie College), Loyola University Maryland, and Goucher College
Goucher College
Goucher College is a private, co-educational, liberal arts college located in the northern Baltimore suburb of Towson in unincorporated Baltimore County, Maryland, on a 287 acre campus. The school has approximately 1,475 undergraduate students studying in 31 majors and six interdisciplinary...

, among others.

Sports




With two major metropolitan areas, Maryland has a number of major and minor professional sports franchises. Two National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

 teams play in Maryland, the Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens are a professional football franchise based in Baltimore, Maryland.The Baltimore Ravens are officially a quasi-expansion franchise, having originated in 1995 with the Cleveland Browns relocation controversy after Art Modell, then owner of the Cleveland Browns, announced his...

 in Baltimore City and the Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins
The Washington Redskins are a professional American football team and members of the East Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The team plays at FedExField in Landover, Maryland, while its headquarters and training facility are at Redskin Park in Ashburn,...

 in Landover, Maryland
Landover, Maryland
Landover is an unincorporated community in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States, within the census-designated place of Greater Landover. The Prince Georges County Sports and Learning Complex is in Landover...

. The Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles are a professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. One of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901, it spent its first year as a major league...

 are the state's Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 franchise, with the Washington Nationals
Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals are a professional baseball team based in Washington, D.C. The Nationals are a member of the Eastern Division of the National League of Major League Baseball . The team moved into the newly built Nationals Park in 2008, after playing their first three seasons in RFK Stadium...

 located nearby in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 The National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

's Washington Capitals
Washington Capitals
The Washington Capitals are a professional ice hockey team based in Washington, D.C. They are members of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . Since their founding in 1974, "The Caps" have won one conference championship to reach the 1998 Stanley Cup...

 and the National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

's Washington Wizards
Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards are a professional basketball team based in Washington, D.C., previously known as Washington Bullets. They play in the National Basketball Association .-Early years:...

 formerly played in Maryland, until the construction of an arena in Downtown D.C. in 1997 (originally known as MCI Center, renamed Verizon Center
Verizon Center
Verizon Center is a sports and entertainment arena in Washington, D.C., USA, named after telecommunications sponsor Verizon Communications, and has been nicknamed the "Phone Booth" because of its association with telecommunications companies...

 in 2006). Maryland enjoys considerable historical repute for the talented sports players of its past, including: Cal Ripken Jr. and Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth
George Herman Ruth, Jr. , best known as "Babe" Ruth and nicknamed "the Bambino" and "the Sultan of Swat", was an American Major League baseball player from 1914–1935...

.

Other professional sports franchises in the state include five affiliated minor league baseball
Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses...

 teams, one independent league baseball team, the Baltimore Blast
Baltimore Blast (current)
Baltimore Blast is an American professional indoor soccer team based in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Founded in 1992, the team plays in the Major Indoor Soccer League....

 indoor soccer team, two indoor football teams, and three low-level outdoor soccer teams. Maryland is also home to one of the three races in horse racing's annual Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes
Preakness Stakes
The Preakness Stakes is an American flat Thoroughbred horse race for three-year-olds held on the third Saturday in May each year at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a Grade I race run over a distance of 9.5 furlongs on dirt. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds ; fillies 121 lb...

, which is run every spring at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

The official state sport of Maryland, since 1962, is jousting
Jousting
Jousting is a martial game or hastilude between two knights mounted on horses and using lances, often as part of a tournament.Jousting emerged in the High Middle Ages based on the military use of the lance by heavy cavalry. The first camels tournament was staged in 1066, but jousting itself did not...

; the official team sport since 2004 is lacrosse
Lacrosse
Lacrosse is a team sport of Native American origin played using a small rubber ball and a long-handled stick called a crosse or lacrosse stick, mainly played in the United States and Canada. It is a contact sport which requires padding. The head of the lacrosse stick is strung with loose mesh...

. In 2008, intending to promote physical fitness for all ages, walking became the official state exercise. Maryland is the first state with an official state exercise.

See also


  • List of National Register of Historic Places in Maryland

  • U.S. state
    U.S. state
    A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

  • Culture of Maryland
    Culture of Maryland
    The culture of Maryland is an eclectic mix of southern and northern American cultures. Historically, Maryland was founded as a Catholic colony. Over the years, it has become a melting pot of southern and northern ideals.-Languages:...

  • List of Governors of Maryland


External links




Related information