Maryland: History, Culture and Tradition

With the size comparable to Belgium, Maryland is the ninth smallest state in United States.However, the state
possesses a varied landscape within its borders, earning her the title, “America In Miniature”.

Geography

Maryland is bordered in north by Pennsylvania & to the east by the Atlantic Ocean & Delaware. The five major
land areas define its landscape namely; Atlantic Coastal, Piedmont, Blue Ridge Region, Appalachian Ridge &
Valley and Appalachian Plateau. Backbone Mountain is the highest point in Maryland.

History

Before the arrival of the Europeans, various Native American tribes have settled in the area.In the early 1600s,
English Captain John Smith explored & mapped the region. It wasn’t until 1632 that the area was chartered
and formally settled
by its proprietors, George Calvert and his sons, Cecilius and Leonard. It’s intended to
be a refuge for English Catholics as they faced religious intolerance and persecution back home as well as the
family’s source of wealth.He named the land after Henrietta Maria or Mary, King Charles I’s wife and made their
1st settlement in what is now known as St. Mary’s City.

maryland_01
Figure 1: The Founding of Maryland

In year 1649, Maryland Assembly passed the Maryland Toleration Act to further calm the religion turmoil in
the area. In 1689, a group of Protestants overthrew the Calverts causing the law to be dissolved. Later, the
colony’s capital was moved to Anne Arundel Town (now Annapolis). In early 1700s, a boundary was made
between Maryland and Pennsylvania in what is known as the Mason-Dixon Line. In 1788, Maryland became
one of the original 13 colonies that ratified the U.S. Constitution.

Culture and Tradition

For centuries,Maryland has been a melting pot of culture. Ethnic groups living in Maryland celebrated their
heritage through colorful festivals.For instance, Native American Indians celebrate Dance On The Pokemoke
in May.

Figure 2: Steeplechasing
Figure 2: Steeplechasing

Marylanders enjoyed distinctive activities such as steeplechasing & jousting on a horseback with a spear.
They also enjoy sailing and crabbing on the bay, shooting wild duck and geese in the marshes of the Eastern
Shore. Maryland has different museums like the Baltimore Museum of Art, National Aquarium and Walters Art
Museum. During late summer, the Maryland State Fair is held.

Language

The majority of the population speaks English. Some areas have a Spanish-speaking population.
Other languages include French and Arabic.