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Maryland Historical Quick Facts: Foundational Knowledge

Founder(s)

George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, other colonists in


Baltimore.

Date Founded

March 25th, 1634

Type of Colony

Proprietary

Type of Govt./ Role of Politics

Maryland was the first proprietary government.


George Calvert, the first Baron Baltimore, was a
Roman Catholic who was discriminated against in
England. He asked for and was granted a charter
to found a new colony in North America. When he
passed away, his son, the second Baron
Baltimore Cecilius Calvert, also called Lord
Baltimore, founded Maryland in 1634. He created
a government where he made the laws with the
consent of the freemen landowners in the colony.
A legislative assembly was created to consent to
the laws passed by the governor. There were two
houses: one of freemen and the second consisted
of the governor and his council.

Native American Relations

Archihu, chief of the Potomac Indians,


welcomed the colonists with open arms in
1634: "We will eat at the same table; my
followers will too go to hunt for you; and we
will have all things in common. Though the
Native Americans' greeting was warm and
peaceful, King Charles I stated in the
Maryland Charter that the Indians were to be
eliminated. His colonization of Maryland led
to the dissipation of tribes and loss of Native
American heritage. The Native Americans
helped the colonists establish a strong
economy and thriving culture for Maryland,
yet their way of life was destroyed by the
colonists. Since they had such good relations
with the native americans, their colony had
thrived and succeeded while other colonies
were crippled by starvation.

Maryland Historical Quick Facts: Foundational Knowledge


Views on Slavey

The institution of slavery in Maryland would last


around 200 years, from its beginnings in 1642
when the first Africans to brought to St. Mary's
City, Maryland to the final elimination of slavery in
1864 during the second to last year of the
American Civil WarInitially, slavery developed
along very similar lines to neighboring Virginia.
The early settlements and population centers of
the Province tended to cluster around the rivers
and other waterways that empty into the
Chesapeake Bay and, as in Virginia, Maryland's
economy quickly became centered on the farming
of tobacco for sale in Europe. Tobacco demanded
cheap labor to harvest and process the crop, the
more so as tobacco prices declined in the late
1600s, even as farms became ever larger and
more efficient. At first, emigrants from England in
the form of indentured servants supplied much of
the necessary labor but, as Englishmen found
better opportunities at home, the forcible
immigration and enslavement of Africans began to
supply the bulk of the labor force.
By the 18th century Maryland had developed into
a plantation colony, requiring vast numbers of field
hands. In 1700 the Province had a population of
about 25,000, and by 1750 that number had grown
more than 5 times to 130,000. By 1755, about
40% of Maryland's population was black. From this
we can tell that, Maryland was very much in favor
of slavery at the time because of the growing
industry with tobacco.