Maryland State Overview

By | October 5, 2022

In the east of the United States lies the smaller state of Maryland, which was founded in the 17th century as a British colony. This federal state lies in the Chesapeake Bay and is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Maryland borders the states of Pennsylvania, Virginia, East Virginia, and Delaware. The first settlers arrived in these parts in 1634 on the ship Ark and Dove. They bought the local land from the original Yaocomico Indian tribe and started farming. Maryland got its name after the wife of the English king Charles I. – Henrietta Maria.

Maryland was one of 13 states that signed the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776. On April 27, 1788, Maryland became the 7th state of the Union to ratify the Constitution of the United States of America. In the past, there were several battles between Maryland and the neighboring enemy Virginia. In 1812, the British tried to capture the positions of American troops here. However, this attack was repulsed at Fort McHenry in Baltimore.

The landscape of Maryland is slightly undulating, and in the west of the country the spurs of the Appalachian Mountains rise. It is the Allegheny Mountains with the highest peak, Backbone Mountain, measuring 1,024 meters above sea level. East of the Chesapeake Bay lies the swampy and flat landscape of the Eastern Shore. Important rivers include the Potomac River, Patapsco River, Patuxent River and Susquehanna River. There are also large lakes such as Lake Oakland, Deep Creek Lake, Prettyboy Reservoir and Loch Raven Reservoir.

A humid maritime climate with mild winters and annual rainfall of around 1000 mm is typical. Temperatures average around 25°C in June and around 0°C in January.

Maryland covers an area of 32,160 km² and is home to more than 5 million people. Whites predominate, but blacks, Asians and Indians are also numerous groups. Almost 82% of the population is Christian. The largest representation here is the Roman Catholic Church, Protestants, but there is also a large Jewish community.

Agriculture and industry are important sectors of the economy, services and trade also stand out. In agriculture, great emphasis is placed on the cultivation of corn, soybeans, tobacco and vegetables. They also raise cattle, pigs, fish, catch crabs and oysters. Among the main industries we include electrotechnical, engineering, shipbuilding and food industries. The famous NASA Goddard Center is located in the town of Greenbelt.

The capital of Maryland is Annapolis, which is also the county seat of Anne Arundel County. Today, the city has around 37,000 inhabitants and the United States Naval Academy is located here. However, Baltimore is a much larger city, which is a kind of strategic center of the country with 750 thousand inhabitants. It is made up of skyscrapers, but also the historical part of the city. Other major cities in the country are Frederick, Gaithersburg, Bowie, Rockville, Hagerstown, College Park, Salisbury, and Cumberland.

Antietam National Battlefield

Between 1861 and 1865, the American Civil War took place on the North American continent, when the states of the Union of the United States of America and the states of the so-called Confederacy, which was a coalition of eleven states that voluntarily seceded from the Union, faced each other. The Confederate States were located in the southeastern part of the Union, which is why this war is often referred to as the war of the North against the South.

The main cause of this several-year dispute was allegedly the dispute over the abolition of slavery, but there were certainly many more causes. It was also significant that the South favored considerably more autonomy for individual states than was allowed by the northern states of the Union. Rather, the North advocated a stronger central government. The issue of slavery was thus more of a pretext and usually stood in the background of most disputes.

During the American Civil War, many major battles took place in which thousands of soldiers lost their lives on both the Union and Confederate sides. On September 17, 1862, the Battle of Antietam (today’s Sharpsburg) took place in Maryland. General Lee with 45,000 troops defeated General McClean’s 87,000 troops here.

Antietam thus went down in history as the place where one of the bloodiest battles of the War between the North and the South took place. It was the most terrible day of this war, the Union recorded almost 12 thousand dead and wounded and the Confederacy just over 11 thousand. After this battle, on September 22, 1862, US President Abraham Lincoln issued a preliminary proclamation, according to which all slaves in the Union territories were finally to be free from January 1, 1863. The definitive emancipation of slaves did not occur until after the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in 1865.

Antietam National Battlefield