Maryland

By Hunter Jones

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The Founding of Maryland

The southern colony Maryland was settled in March 25, 1634 by a carefully selected group of Catholics and Protestants as a haven for anyone persecuted in England. The charter to use Maryland was given to George Calvert by King Charles. Before Maryland was settled George Calvert died, and his son Cecilius was put in charge.


Economy

The economy of Maryland relied heavily upon selling and trading crops. Many plantations were grown and worked by slaves and indentured servants. A few of the crops grown in Maryland were rice, wheat, indigo, corn, and tobacco. Tobacco was the main crop, being a cash crop at the time which they relied on until the middle of the 1600's as the demand shrunk.


Geography

Maryland was specifically chosen to settle due to its good farming land, and fertile soil. It is split into two major land masses down the middle by the Chesapeake Bay. It has 3 distinctive sections, the Appalachian Plains, the Blue Ridge Region, and the fertile Piedmont valleys.

Government

Maryland had a proprietary government, in which colonists elect representatives of a lower house, and governors, chosen by King Charles vote for the upper house. Both the upper and lower house use a checks and balances system, so that the governors input and the people's input are evened out. Maryland was granted more power than other colonies, including the ability to create laws without consent of the king, and choose whether or not to pay taxes.




Maryland Act of Toleration

"Forasmuch as in a well-governed and Christian commonwealth, matters concerning religion and the honor of God ought in the first place to be taken into serious consideration and endeavored to be settled, be it therefore ordered and enacted, by the Right Honorable Cecilius, Lord Baron of Baltimore, Absolute Lord and Proprietary of this province, with the advice and consent of this General Assembly, that whatsoever Person or persons within this province and the islands thereunto belonging shall henceforth blaspheme God, that is, curse Him, or deny our Savior Jesus Christ to be the Son of God, or shall deny the Holy Trinity - the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost - or the Godhead or any of the said three Persons of the Trinity or the unity of the Godhead, or shall use or utter any reproachful speeches, words, or language concerning the said Holy Trinity, or any of the said three Persons thereof, shall be punished with death and confiscation or forfeiture of all his or her lands and goods to the Lord Proprietary and his heirs."


Assented by the freemen of the Maryland General Assembly this 21 April 1649.

This shows that religion was a severe importance in Maryland. In a modern society this law would not work, due to the wider array of religions. It also shows that proprietary government can allow for stricter control of citizen's land.

Who does the colony need

The colony of Maryland would benefit from any farmers or indentured servants of Catholic faith.