Area12,407 sq mi (32,133 km2)
Official LanguagesNone ( Spoken : English)
Time ZoneEastern: UTC 5/4
Lt. GovernorBoyd Rutherford
U.S. SenatorBarbara Mikulski, Ben Cardin
Joined the UnionApril 28, 1788 (7th)
NicknameOld Line State
Lowest PointAtlantic Ocean
Location and Geography:
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Maryland is one of the states that border Washington DC; the capital of the United States, The other is Virginia. Maryland is located more or less on the intangible geographical and cultural border that divides the Northern and Southern regions of the country, and this has defined much of its history.
Counties and Regions:
Maryland has twenty-three counties, in addition to the city of Baltimore, which is considered equivalent to a county in terms of state administration. Maryland’s general regions can be accounted as follows:
- Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area
- Capital Region
- Central Maryland
- Chesapeake Bay
- Eastern Shore of Maryland
- Southern Maryland
- Western Maryland
With more than 5.9 million people (as per the 2014 estimate) and a relatively small land area, Maryland is the fifth most densely populated state in the country. Many of its people live in or near Baltimore, or the metropolitan area of the District of Columbia, which spills over much of the state.
Major Cities: Baltimore is the most important city in the state of Maryland with more than 2.5 million residents, although its population has been shrinking in recent years. Washington, D.C., although technically not a part of Maryland, has a huge influence on the state’s metropolitan growth. The capital, Annapolis, has about 38,722 people and is technically a part of the greater Baltimore-Washington metro area.
Story Behind the Name:
The colony of Maryland was named after the wife of King Charles I, Henrietta Maria of France. The charter specified both the English name and a Latin equivalent, Terra Mariae, but the latter was never truly used.
History and Colonization:
As one of the Thirteen Original Colonies, Maryland has a longer history than many other states of the. European settlers, many of them from England, established their dominance in the region in the sixteenth century. The local Native American population was decimated by newly introduced diseases and marginalized over time, to the extent that the tribes of Maryland almost vanished. European colonization of the area remained minimal, but intensified in the seventeenth century.
Lord George Calvert, a member of the Catholic English minority, was granted a land in the area. He hoped to turn it into a haven for the oppressed Catholics of England. After being granted the colony, newly christened as Maryland, a plan was put into place to encourage Catholics to migrate to the area. There was much competition, however, from the surrounding Protestant colonies. Fights broke out between factions, even as politics in England led to Catholicism being outlawed in the very colony that had been created to enshrine it. Religious freedom would not permanently return to Maryland until the end of the American Revolutionary War.
Maryland was very active in the American Revolution and in the resulting creation of the United States. Along with Virginia, it donated some of its land to the creation of a new capital, the District of Columbia. Later on, as a border state, Maryland found itself profoundly divided during the onset of the American Civil War. Slavery had been a key institution during the formative years of the colony, but over the years many African-American slaves had been freed by their masters and as such Maryland’s economy was not as dependent on slavery as that of most of the Southern states. Maryland joined the Union during the war, but its support was not absolute and a large number of its citizens joined the Confederate army. Political divisions between Maryland’s people continued to be a problem even in the decades that followed.
The racial demographic of Maryland changed forever during the Great Migration that followed the Civil War, in which African-American citizens moved in large numbers from the Deep South to the Midwestern and Northeastern states. They congregated near the cities of Baltimore and Washington, DC, forming a significant slice of the population to this day. Maryland’s population as a whole is largely urban and suburban, and many important cities are located within or near its borders.
Maryland Facts & Trivia
Last Updated on: September 29th, 2017
- The state of Maryland has many nicknames such as the "Free State," "Old Line State," "America in Miniature," and "Little America".
- The capital city of Maryland is Annapolis and the biggest city is Baltimore.
- The demonym of the state of Maryland is Marylander.
- The tallest point in the state is the Backbone Mountain (elevation is 3,360 feet). The Backbone Mountain is also known as the Hoye Crest. The lowest point in the state is the Atlantic Ocean.
- Maryland shares its boundaries with Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, and Chesapeake Bay.
- The state of Maryland was admitted to the Union on April 28, 1788, and was the seventh state to ratify the US Constitution.
- The official motto is "Manly deeds, womanly words".
- The official bird is the Baltimore Oriole.
- The official tree is the White Oak.
- The official flower is the Black-eyed Susan.
- The official fish is the Rockfish.
- The official song is "Maryland! My Maryland."
- The state’s official mammal is the Chesapeake Bay Retriever and the official cat is the Calico Cat.
- Annapolis is nicknamed as the Sailing Capital of the World.
- Some of the famous people born in Maryland include Babe Ruth, Frederick Douglass, Frank Zappa, and Billie Holiday.
- The official flag of the state was adopted in 1904.
- The official reptile is the Diamondback Terrapin and the official crustacean is the Maryland Blue Crab.
- The official butterfly is the Baltimore Checkerspot.
- Fishing and shipping are the two major industries of the state.
- There are 47 state parks in Maryland. Fort Frederick State Park is one of the most famous state parks.
- Towards the end of the Revolutionary War, Annapolis served as the capital to the newly forming American nation.
- In 1969, Marylanders chose their first Jewish governor, in 1970 their first black congressman, and in 1986 their first female U.S. senator.
- In November 2012, the voters of Maryland approved a referendum that supported the same-sex marriage law that had been enacted earlier in the year.