Maryland Colonies Facts And History You Probably Didn't Know! | Kidadl


Maryland Colonies Facts And History You Probably Didn't Know!

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History is the most outstanding teacher and the most acceptable method of safeguarding a glorifying past.

It is not always a dull, monotonous lecture you were forced to sit in for your history class. Unlike what millennials may feel today, there are many things to learn from the past, especially learning from failures and learning from the mistakes committed by our ancestors.

Thus, history is a chapter of caution and an element of fascination. Knowing about the significance of the place we live in and how it looked in the past is essential and satisfies our appetite for curiosity. Walking into the corridors of the past is often necessary to understand the present. Guided by this fascination for history, we have delved into Maryland’s history throughout this article. We have brought exciting facts about the province of Maryland that you may not have known about. We are confident that these fun facts will pique your interest in the glorified past of Maryland. Afterward, also check Maryland history facts and facts about Baltimore Maryland.

Interesting Facts About The Colony Of Maryland

One of the North American colonies, Maryland, was a British colony from 1632 to 1776. It was one of the southern colonies.

Later on, the Maryland Colony became part of thirteen colonies that actively participated in the revolt against the British. After the American War of Independence, Maryland became the state of Maryland in the United States. The Maryland Colony was established in 1632 when King Charles I accepted its charter.

Cecil Calvert received a charter for the territory in 1632 as a shelter for his fellow Roman Catholics. It was an attempt to escape the constraints imposed in England. The Maryland Colony thus began as a proprietary colony of the English Lord Baltimore, who wished to build a safe place for English Catholics. Francis Scott Key was an American lawyer, author, and amateur poet from Frederick, Maryland. He wrote the American national anthem 'The Star-Spangled Banner'. In March 1634, the first governor of the proprietary colony, Leonard Calvert, also Cecilius' younger brother, landed the founding expedition on St. Clement’s Island in the lower Potomac. Queen Henrietta Maria, the wife of King Charles I, was the inspiration for the name of the colony.

St Mary's City was the first settlement in the Maryland colony and also its capital. It was located in the southern end of St Mary’s City. St Mary’s City is a peninsula in the Chesapeake Bay flanked by four tidal rivers. The colony was named after Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles I.

The early province of Maryland clustered around the banks of rivers and other waterways that drain into the Chesapeake Bay. The state’s economy essentially became dependent on tobacco cultivation which was exported to Europe on a large scale. Governor William Stone, 3rd Proprietary Governor of Maryland, was an early English settler in Maryland.

Aware of the mistakes made by Virginia's original colonists, Maryland's pioneers made peace with the local Native Americans and established farms and trading facilities, initially on the lower Chesapeake Bay coasts and islands. Indentured workers working under their passage were among the field hands, as were African slaves after 1639. Tobacco was the most important crop. There were few roads and settlements, and the only way to get to the English-style manor residences was by boat.

Tobacco prices collapsed, and the Maryland colonies, which were largely dependent on tobacco, faced a severe economic crisis. The crisis was followed by slavery, indentured servitude, forced immigration, and coercive immigration, all expanded in parallel with the demand for cheap labor and later, with the mixed farming economy.

Colonial Maryland also played an active role in the American Revolutionary War and formed thirteen original colonies.

The state of Maryland in Colonial times was far more extensive than the state of Maryland today. The Calverts were given an ill-defined domain north of the Virginia Colony and south of the 40th parallel in the original charter, which could have been as large as 12 million acres.

What religion was the Maryland Colony?

The Maryland Colony is often credited for teaching the lessons of religious tolerance and imparting a message of harmony.

As Maryland's gift to America’s common cause and prolonged struggle for religious tolerance and liberty, the Act Concerning Religion was one of the first statutes passed by the legislative body of an organized colonial government to guarantee any degree of religious freedom. The Act specifically provided all Christians the right to freedom of conscience. Today, the bill is known as the Toleration Act.

In 17th-century England, when Roman Catholics were easily considered adversaries of the crown and potential traitors, Cecil Calvert's conversion to Catholicism was a huge political setback for a nobleman. He wanted to profit from the new colony, as did other aristocratic landowners.

The Calvert family enticed Catholic nobles and Protestant settlers to Maryland by offering large land grants and a religious tolerance policy. In order to attract settlers, each person that accompanied them into the colony, whether as a settler, indentured servant, or slave, immigrants were awarded 50 acres of land. Most of the 200 or so initial settlers who arrived in Maryland on the ships Ark and Dove were Protestants.

The first settlers were sent to the new colony on 22 November 1639. This first settlement is now St Mary’s county. St Mary’s City was the first capital of Maryland. Even though religious toleration propagation and conflict among protestants and Catholics were expected in Maryland, there were significant conflicts and debates among Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Quakers, and Puritans. Maryland enacted the Maryland Toleration Act in 1649, which required religious tolerance. This was the first statute in the New World that mandated religious tolerance.

Protestants finally outnumbered Catholics in the region, and the Great Awakening only added to that number. By the American Revolutionary War, Maryland had become almost exclusively Protestant.

Why was Maryland a successful colony?

Calvert envisioned Maryland as a colony where persecuted English Catholics may freely practice their faith and conduct commerce. Maryland's image as a tolerant sanctuary with rich commercial opportunities eventually drew settlers to the colony.

Increased immigration became essential as Maryland's population and economic prospects developed. The arrival of settlers meant increased business, a better economy, and high job opportunities. This eventually led to making Maryland a highly successful colony. The settlers mainly were attracted to the place for the religious freedom that people enjoyed here. There was also considerable business profit in the area. The forced migration method had also been a contributing factor in accumulating a pool of talent in Maryland. Francis Scott Key witnessed the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814 during the war of 1812.

A variety of advanced Native American cultures lived in the Chesapeake Bay region. Native Americans prospered by fishing and farming in the area's abundant natural resources. Since most early settlements were based on the river, they were mostly indulged in agricultural activities. They grew a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and cattle, but tobacco was the principal cash crop, and it quickly became the province's economy.

By and large, the economy became dependent on tobacco production. The growth of tobacco required many laborers, and all of them were hired at a cheap rate. Once the tobacco prices collapsed, systems of slavery and indentured servants became a common practice in Maryland. It was due to this liberation of religious practice and economic opportunities that  Maryland was considered a thriving colony.

What did Maryland colonists do for fun?

The colonists were primarily busy people engaged in various activities that Maryland offered. The farming family was quite busy. They didn't have a lot of time to play. They produced crops, made meals, and repaired their homes and fences during the day.

If someone in the family could read and write, they would pass their knowledge on to others. They might have played draughts (checkers), chess, or blind-man's bluff if they had the time. Playing cards, dice, or musical instruments seem to have been their favorite toys. Toys for children were traditionally constructed at home from scraps of fabric or wood.

Many women did not have careers like males, so they stayed at home and performed household duties like cleaning, child care, cooking, and laundry. Young girls made corn husk dolls and dolls made of rags for fun, whereas boys made toys out of wood with a knife.

legislative body of an organized colonial government

Government: Maryland Colonies

Maryland was the first proprietary government, meaning that the proprietor was in charge of the executive branch. The first Lord Baltimore, George Calvert, was a Roman Catholic who endured persecution in England.

He requested and received a charter to establish a new colony in North America. A legislative assembly was installed to approve the governor's laws. The governor and his council were housed in the second house, made up of freemen.

Cecil Calvert, thus, established a government in which he formulated laws with the cooperation of the colony's freemen landowners. Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon were surveyors to resolve the border dispute involving Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware in Colonial America. George Calvert was the father of Cecil Calvert and Leonard Calvert. Cecil Calvert, being the elder one, inherited the Maryland Colony from his father. Known as Catholic George Calvert, he appointed Leonard Calvert as Maryland's governor when he wasn't present.

Economy: Maryland Colonies

Maryland's economy was built on one crop, tobacco, during the Colonial period. Slaves and indentured servants both toiled in the fields, and when they were free, they also purchased plots of land and began growing tobacco for the European market.

However, by 1820, manufacturing had surpassed agriculture in economic dominance. Baltimore grew into a giant metropolis due to shipbuilding, metalworking, and commerce and within 60 years, it was a leading manufacturer of men's clothes and home to the United States' largest steel plant.

Today, the history of the province of Maryland is as glorified as ever. There are plenty of things to learn from their glorious past, the prominent of them being the lessons of religious tolerance and the message of peace and harmony. Not only in terms of religious liberty and a considerably larger area of freedom, but Maryland also deserves credit for creating an economy that created job opportunities and attracted settlers from all over the globe.  Kent Island, Fort Mchenry, and Clement's Island are all crucial landmarks in the history of Maryland's journey from a British colony to a free state.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Maryland Colonies Facts And History You Probably Didn't Know! then why not take a look at funny facts about Maryland, or University of Maryland facts.

Written By
Supriya Jain

<p>As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.</p>

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