The "Maryland Line" was a formation within the Continental Army and authorized by the Second Continental Congress, meeting in the "Old Pennsylvania State House" in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in June 1775. Col. George Washington, delegate and of the "Virginia Regiment" of the colonial militia, served as commander-in-chief of the colonial forces and he assumed command at Cambridge, Massachusetts outside of Boston, of the various units from several of the American colonies which surrounded Boston, laying siege to the British Army in June 1775. Washington's previous military experience had been during the late Indian War. Not all Continental infantry regiments raised in a state were part of a state quota. On December 27, 1776, the Second Continental Congress gave commanding General George Washington temporary control over certain military decisions that the Congress ordinarily regarded as its own prerogative; these "dictatorial powers" included the authority to recruit and raise sixteen additional Continental infantry regiments at large.
Forman's, Gist's, Grayson's, Hartley's Regiments were drawn from Maryland. Other Continental infantry regiments and smaller units unrelated to a state quota, were raised as needed for special or temporary service. Under the assumption that paid soldiers furnished with rations and suits of clothes would be better soldiers, on 18 January 1776, the Maryland Provincial Convention established the Maryland Line as a regiment of uniformed regulars. According to Maryland State Archivist Ryan Polk, what distinguished the Maryland troops from other colonial levies was the time they spent drilling before joining the ranks of the Continental Army; this resulted in a disciplined, cohesive unit. The term "Maryland Line" referred to the quota of numbered infantry regiments assigned to Maryland at various times by the Continental Congress. These, together with similar contingents from the other twelve colonies, formed the "Continental Line"; the concept was important in relation to the promotion of commissioned officers.
Officers of the Continental Army below the rank of brigadier general were ordinarily ineligible for promotion except in the line of their own state. The "Maryland Line" was assigned a quota of eight regiments in 1777, reduced to five in 1781; the regiments of the line were: 1st Maryland Regiment, disbanded in 1783 2nd Maryland Regiment, disbanded in 1783 3rd Maryland Regiment, disbanded in 1783 4th Maryland Regiment, disbanded in 1783 5th Maryland Regiment, disbanded in 1783 6th Maryland Regiment, disbanded in 1781 7th Maryland Regiment, disbanded in 1781 German Battalion, disbanded in 1781 Maryland and Virginia Rifle Regiment, disbanded in 1781 2nd Independent Maryland Company – Somerset County absorbed into the 2nd Maryland Regiment in 1781According to popular tradition, Washington expressed his high esteem for the Maryland Line after their heroic stand at the Battle of Long Island. Because of the long service of the high quality regiments, General Washington referred to the Maryland units as his "Old Line", giving the State of Maryland one of its nicknames as "The Old Line State".
The Maryland Line protected the evacuation of Washington's troops across the East River to Manhattan at the Battle of Long Island. On August 27, 1776 members of the 1st Maryland Regiment under the command of Major Mordecai Gist charged a numerically superior British force, allowing General Washington to evacuate the bulk of his troops to Manhattan. Of the 270 men of the so-called Maryland 400, fewer than a dozen made it back to the American lines. Two months at the Battle of White Plains, William Smallwood's 1st Maryland Regiment, along with regiments from New York and Delaware, reinforced Chatterton's Hill, covering the retreat of other troops across the Bronx River. In the Battle of Camden, August 16, 1780, Major General Horatio Gates, a former British officer, placed Mordecai Gist's 2nd Maryland on right flank, in traditional British deployment, the place of honor; the 1st Maryland Regiment under William Smallwood was held in reserve. One hundred eighty Marylanders saw action at the January 1781 Battle of Cowpens.
Maryland 400 Polk, Ryan. "Holding the Line: The Origin of the'the Old Line State'". Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, 2005 Wright, Robert K. - "The Continental Army", Washington, D. C.: United States Army Center of Military History, 1983. Available on internet website: online. "Bibliography of the Continental Army in Maryland", Washington, D. C.: compiled by the United States Army Center of Military History. Available on internet website
A battalion is a military unit. The use of the term "battalion" varies by branch of service. A battalion consists of 300 to 800 soldiers and is divided into a number of companies. A battalion is commanded by a lieutenant colonel. In some countries, the word "battalion" is associated with the infantry; the term was first used in Italian as battaglione no than the 16th century. It derived from the Italian word for battaglia; the first use of battalion in English was in the 1580s, the first use to mean "part of a regiment" is from 1708. A battalion is the smallest military unit capable of "limited independent operations", meaning it includes an executive, staff with a support and services unit; the battalion must have a source of re-supply to enable it to sustain operations for more than a few days. This is because a battalion's complement of ammunition, expendable weapons, rations, lubricants, replacement parts and medical supplies consists of only what the battalion's soldiers and the battalion's vehicles can carry.
In addition to sufficient personnel and equipment to conduct operations, as well as a limited administrative and logistics capability, the commander's staff coordinates and plans operations. A battalion's subordinate companies and their platoons are dependent upon the battalion headquarters for command, control and intelligence, the battalion's service and support structure; the battalion is part of a brigade, or group, depending on the branch of service. A battalion's companies are of one type, although there are exceptions such as combined arms battalions in the U. S. Army. A battalion includes a headquarters company and some sort of combat service support, combined in a combat support company; the term battalion is used in the British Army Infantry and some corps including the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, intelligence corps. It was used in the Royal Engineers, was used in the now defunct Royal Army Ordnance Corps and Royal Pioneer Corps. Other corps use the term "regiment" instead.
An infantry battalion is numbered ordinarily within its regiment. It has a headquarters company, support company, three rifle companies; each company is commanded by a major, the officer commanding, with a captain or senior lieutenant as second-in-command. The HQ company contains signals, catering, administration, training and medical elements; the support company contains anti-tank, machine gun, mortar and reconnaissance platoons. Mechanised units have an attached light aid detachment of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers to perform field repairs on vehicles and equipment. A British battalion in theatre during World War II had around 845 men, whereas, as of 2012, a British battalion had around 650 soldiers. With successive rounds of cutbacks after the war, many infantry regiments were reduced to a single battalion. Important figures in a battalion headquarters include: Commanding officer Second-in-command Adjutant Quartermaster Quartermaster Medical officer Administrative officer Padre Operations officer Regimental sergeant major Regimental quartermaster sergeant Regimental quartermaster sergeant Battalions of other corps are given separate cardinal numbers within their corps.
A battle group consists of an infantry battalion or armoured regiment with sub-units detached from other military units acting under the command of the battalion commander. In the Canadian Forces, most battalions are reserve units of between 100–200 soldiers that include an operationally ready, field-deployable component of a half-company apiece; the nine regular force infantry battalions each contain three or four rifle companies and one or two support companies. Canadian battalions are commanded by lieutenant-colonels, though smaller reserve battalions may be commanded by majors; those regiments consisting of more than one battalion are: The Royal Canadian Regiment Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Royal 22e Régiment The Royal Newfoundland Regiment Tactically, the Canadian battalion forms the core of the infantry battle group, which includes various supporting elements such as armour, combat engineers and combat service support. An infantry battle group will be commanded by the commander of the core infantry battalion around which it is formed and can range in size from 300 to 1,500 or more soldiers, depending on the nature of the mission assigned.
In the Royal Netherlands Army, a mechanised infantry battalion consists of one command- and medical company, three mechanised infantry companies, one support company
Battle of Long Island
The Battle of Long Island is known as the Battle of Brooklyn and the Battle of Brooklyn Heights. The victory over the Americans gave the British control of strategically important New York City, it was fought on August 27, 1776, was the first major battle of the American Revolutionary War to take place after the United States declared its independence on July 4, 1776. In troop deployment and combat, it was the largest battle of the entire war. After defeating the British in the Siege of Boston on March 17, 1776, commander-in-chief General George Washington brought the Continental Army to defend the port city of New York, located at the southern end of Manhattan Island. Washington understood that the city's harbor would provide an excellent base for the Royal Navy, so he established defenses there and waited for the British to attack. In July, the British under the command of General William Howe landed a few miles across the harbor from Manhattan on the sparsely-populated Staten Island, where they were reinforced by ships in Lower New York Bay during the next month and a half, bringing their total force to 32,000 troops.
Washington knew the difficulty in holding the city with the British fleet in control of the entrance to the harbor at the Narrows, he moved the bulk of his forces to Manhattan, believing that it would be the first target. On August 22, the British landed on the shores of Gravesend Bay in southwest Kings County, across the Narrows from Staten Island and more than a dozen miles south from the established East River crossings to Manhattan. After five days of waiting, the British attacked U. S. defenses on the Guan Heights. Unknown to the Americans, Howe had brought his main army around their rear and attacked their flank soon after; the Americans panicked, resulting in twenty percent losses through casualties and capture, although a stand by 400 Maryland and Delaware troops prevented a more substantial portion of the army from being lost. The remainder of the army retreated to the main defenses on Brooklyn Heights; the British dug in for a siege but, on the night of August 29–30, Washington evacuated the entire army to Manhattan without the loss of supplies or a single life.
Washington and the Continental Army were driven out of New York after several more defeats and forced to retreat through New Jersey and into Pennsylvania. In the first stage of the war, the British Army was trapped in the peninsular city of Boston and they abandoned it on March 17, sailing to Halifax, Nova Scotia to await reinforcements. Washington began to transfer regiments to New York City which he believed the British would next attack because of its strategic importance. Washington left Boston on April 4, arrived at New York on April 13, established headquarters at the former home of Archibald Kennedy on Broadway facing Bowling Green. Washington had sent his second in command Charles Lee ahead to New York the previous February to establish the city's defenses. Lee remained in New York City until March. Troops were in limited supply, so Washington found the defenses incomplete, but Lee had concluded that it would be impossible to hold the city with the British commanding the sea, he reasoned that the defenses should be located with the ability to inflict heavy casualties upon the British if any move was made to take and hold ground.
Barricades and redoubts were established in and around the city, the bastion of Fort Stirling across the East River in Brooklyn Heights, facing the city. Lee saw that the immediate area was cleared of Loyalists. Washington began moving troops to Brooklyn in early May, there were several thousand of them there in a short time. Three more forts were under construction on the eastern side of the East River to support Fort Stirling, which stood to the west of the hamlet of Brooklyn Heights; these new fortifications were Fort Putnam, Fort Greene, Fort Box. They lay from north to south, with Fort Putnam farthest to the north, Greene to the southwest, Box farther southwest; each of these defensive structures was surrounded by a large ditch, all connected by a line of entrenchments and a total of 36 cannons. Fort Defiance was being constructed at this time, located farther southwest, past Fort Box, near present-day Red Hook. In addition to these new forts, a mounted battery was established on Governors Island, cannons were placed at Fort George facing Bowling Green, more cannons placed at the Whitehall Dock, which sat on the East River.
Hulks were sunk at strategic locations to deter the British from entering the East River and other waterways. Washington had been authorized by Congress to recruit an army of up to 28,501 troops, but he had only 19,000 when he reached New York. Military discipline was inadequate. Petty internal conflict was common under the strain of a large number of people from different environments and temperaments in relative closeness. Commander of the artillery Henry Knox persuaded Washington to transfer 400 to 500 soldiers, who lacked muskets or guns, to crew the artillery. In early June and Greene inspected the land at the north end of Manhattan and decided to establish Fort Washington. Fort Constitution renamed Fort Lee, was planned opposite Fort Washington on the Hudson River; the forts were hoped to discourage the British ships from sailing up the Hudson River. On June 28, Washington learned that the British fleet had set sail from Halifax on June 9 and were heading toward New York. On June 29, signals were sent from men stationed on
Maryland Historical Society
The Maryland Historical Society, founded on March 1, 1844, is the oldest cultural institution in the U. S. state of Maryland. The society "collects and interprets objects and materials reflecting Maryland's diverse heritage". MdHS has a museum, holds educational programs, publishes scholarly works on Maryland; the campus of the Maryland Historical Society is located in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland at 201 West Monument Street. This location is the main building of the Maryland Historical Society, housed at the Enoch Pratt House since 1919; the house was built in 1847 and was presented to MdHS in 1916 by Ms. Mary Washington Keyser as a tribute to her husband, H. Irvine Keyser, a member of MdHS from 1873 until his death in 1916. Enoch Pratt is a well known philanthropist who created the Enoch Pratt Free Library and gave substantial contributions to the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, the Maryland Science Center, the Maryland School for the Deaf; the MdHS has published a quarterly journal.
The Maryland Historical Magazine is a peer-reviewed journal boasting one of the largest readerships among state historical society journals. The society publishes books on Maryland history that are distributed through a partnership with the Johns Hopkins University Press, including Crime and Punishment in Early Maryland written by former MdHS librarian Raphael Semmes. MdHS has over 100 titles in the Library of Congress. Notables in exhibition at the MdHS are the original manuscript of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and the letters and journals of Benjamin Banneker; the MdHS showcases include 231 weapons, 866 pieces of jewelry, 2,200 Native American prehistoric archaeological objects, 15,000 musical scores as well as a remarkable collection of 18th- and 19th-century paintings and silver, maritime artifacts, Maryland painted and inlaid furniture, costumes, ceramics and toys. Exhibits include Maryland in art and furniture in Maryland life; the H. Furlong Baldwin Library's collections are both substantive.
The library enables researchers and students to see for themselves the records of the past, to study and learn from its many treasures. The library’s collections include 60,000 books, 800,000 photographs, 5 million manuscripts, 6,500 prints and broadsides, 1 million pieces of printed ephemera, extensive genealogy indexes, more, reflecting the history of Maryland and its people; these collections are accessible to visitors on-line and at the MdHS campus in Baltimore. On July 9, 2011, Barry Landau and Jason Savedoff were arrested and indicted for the theft of 60 society documents. "Tradition and Generosity". Maryland Historical Magazine. 101, 4. Winter 2006. 467-203. "H. Irvine Keyser". Historical marker database Accessed November 21, 2008. "Enoch Pratt House". Historical marker database. Accessed November 21, 2008. "Publications". Maryland Historical Society. Accessed November 21, 2008. Official website "Maryland Historical Society". New International Encyclopedia. 1905
Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis
Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis KG, PC, styled Viscount Brome between 1753 and 1762 and known as The Earl Cornwallis between 1762 and 1792, was a British Army general and official. In the United States and the United Kingdom he is best remembered as one of the leading British generals in the American War of Independence, his surrender in 1781 to a combined American and French force at the Siege of Yorktown ended significant hostilities in North America. He served as a civil and military governor in Ireland and India. Born into an aristocratic family and educated at Eton and Cambridge, Cornwallis joined the army in 1757, seeing action in the Seven Years' War. Upon his father's death in 1762 he entered the House of Lords. From 1766 until 1805 he was Colonel of the 33rd Regiment of Foot, he next saw military action in 1776 in the American War of Independence. Active in the advance forces of many campaigns, in 1780 he inflicted an embarrassing defeat on the American army at the Battle of Camden.
He commanded British forces in the March 1781 Pyrrhic victory at Guilford Court House. Cornwallis surrendered his army at Yorktown in October 1781 after an extended campaign through the Southern states, marked by disagreements between him and his superior, General Sir Henry Clinton. Despite this defeat, Cornwallis retained the confidence of successive British governments and continued to enjoy an active career. Knighted in 1786, he was in that year appointed to be Governor-General and commander-in-chief in India. There he enacted numerous significant reforms within the East India Company and its territories, including the Cornwallis Code, part of which implemented important land taxation reforms known as the Permanent Settlement. From 1789 to 1792 he led British and Company forces in the Third Anglo-Mysore War to defeat the Mysorean ruler Tipu Sultan. Returning to Britain in 1794, Cornwallis was given the post of Master-General of the Ordnance. In 1798 he was appointed Lord Lieutenant and Commander-in-chief of Ireland, where he oversaw the response to the 1798 Irish Rebellion, including a French invasion of Ireland, was instrumental in bringing about the Union of Great Britain and Ireland.
Following his Irish service, Cornwallis was the chief British signatory to the 1802 Treaty of Amiens and was reappointed to India in 1805. He died in India not long after his arrival. Cornwallis was born in Grosvenor Square in London, he was the eldest son of 5th Baron Cornwallis. His mother, was the daughter of Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend, niece of Sir Robert Walpole, his uncle, was Archbishop of Canterbury. Frederick's twin brother, was a military officer, colonial governor, founder of Halifax, Nova Scotia, his brother William became an Admiral in the Royal Navy. His other brother, James inherited the earldom from Cornwallis's son, Charles; the family was established at Brome Hall, near Eye, Suffolk, in the 14th century, its members would represent the county in the House of Commons over the next three hundred years. Frederick Cornwallis, created a Baronet in 1627, fought for King Charles I, followed King Charles II into exile, he was made Baron Cornwallis, of Eye in the County of Suffolk, in 1661, by judicious marriages his descendants increased the importance of his family.
Cornwallis was educated at Clare College, Cambridge. While at Eton, he received an injury to his eye by an accidental blow while playing hockey, from Shute Barrington Bishop of Durham, he obtained his first commission as Ensign in the 1st Foot Guards, on 8 December 1757. He sought and gained permission to engage in military studies abroad. After travelling on the continent with a Prussian officer, Captain de Roguin, he studied at the military academy of Turin. Upon completion of his studies in Turin in 1758, he traveled to Geneva, where he learned that British troops were to be sent to the Continent in the Seven Years' War. Although he tried to reach his regiment before it sailed from the Isle of Wight, he learnt upon reaching Cologne that it had sailed, he managed instead to secure an appointment as a staff officer to Lord Granby. A year he participated at the Battle of Minden, a major battle that prevented a French invasion of Hanover. After the battle, he purchased a captaincy in the 85th Regiment of Foot.
In 1761, he was promoted to Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel. He led his regiment in the Battle of Villinghausen on 15–16 July 1761, was noted for his gallantry. In 1762 his regiment was involved in heavy fighting during the Battle of Wilhelmsthal. A few weeks they defeated Saxon troops at the Battle of Lutterberg and ended the year by participating in the Siege of Cassel. In January 1760 Cornwallis became a Member of Parliament, entering the House of Commons for the village of Eye in Suffolk, he succeeded his father as 2nd Earl Cornwallis in 1762, which resulted in his elevation to the House of Lords. He became a protege of the leading Whig magnate, future Prime Minister, Lord Rockingham, he was one of five peers. In the following years, he maintained a strong degree of support for the colonists during the tensions and crisis that led to the War of Independence. On 14 July 1768 he married daughter of a regimental colonel; the union was, by all accounts, happy. They settled in Culford, where their children and Charles were born.
Maryland is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, the District of Columbia to its south and west. The state's largest city is Baltimore, its capital is Annapolis. Among its occasional nicknames are Old Line State, the Free State, the Chesapeake Bay State, it is named after the English queen Henrietta Maria, known in England as Queen Mary. Sixteen of Maryland's twenty-three counties border the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay estuary and its many tributaries, which combined total more than 4,000 miles of shoreline. Although one of the smallest states in the U. S. it features a variety of climates and topographical features that have earned it the moniker of America in Miniature. In a similar vein, Maryland's geography and history combines elements of the Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic regions of the country. One of the original Thirteen Colonies of Great Britain, Maryland was founded by George Calvert, a Catholic convert who sought to provide a religious haven for Catholics persecuted in England.
In 1632, Charles I of England granted Calvert a colonial charter, naming the colony after his wife, Queen Mary. Unlike the Pilgrims and Puritans, who enforced religious conformity in their settlements, Calvert envisioned a colony where people of different religious sects would coexist under the principle of toleration. Accordingly, in 1649 the Maryland General Assembly passed an Act Concerning Religion, which enshrined this principle by penalizing anyone who "reproached" a fellow Marylander based on religious affiliation. Religious strife was common in the early years, Catholics remained a minority, albeit in greater numbers than in any other English colony. Maryland's early settlements and population centers clustered around rivers and other waterways that empty into the Chesapeake Bay, its economy was plantation-based, centered on the cultivation of tobacco. The need for cheap labor led to a rapid expansion of indentured servants, penal labor, African slaves. In 1760, Maryland's current boundaries took form following the settlement of a long-running border dispute with Pennsylvania.
Maryland was an active participant in the events leading up to the American Revolution, by 1776 its delegates signed the Declaration of Independence. Many of its citizens subsequently played key military roles in the war. In 1790, the state ceded land for the establishment of the U. S. capital of Washington, D. C. Although a slave state, Maryland remained in the Union during the U. S. Civil War, its strategic location giving it a significant role in the conflict. After the war, Maryland took part in the Industrial Revolution, driven by its seaports, railroad networks, mass immigration from Europe. Since the Second World War, the state's population has grown to six million residents, it is among the most densely populated states in the nation; as of 2015, Maryland had the highest median household income of any state, owing in large part to its close proximity to Washington, D. C. and a diversified economy spanning manufacturing, higher education, biotechnology. Maryland has been ranked as one of the best governed states in the country.
The state's central role in American history is reflected by its hosting of some of the highest numbers of historic landmarks per capita. Maryland is comparable in overall area with Belgium, it is the 42nd largest and 9th smallest state and is closest in size to the state of Hawaii, the next smaller state. The next larger state, its neighbor West Virginia, is twice the size of Maryland. Maryland possesses a variety of topography within its borders, contributing to its nickname America in Miniature, it ranges from sandy dunes dotted with seagrass in the east, to low marshlands teeming with wildlife and large bald cypress near the Chesapeake Bay, to rolling hills of oak forests in the Piedmont Region, pine groves in the Maryland mountains to the west. Maryland is bounded on its north by Pennsylvania, on its west by West Virginia, on its east by Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean, on its south, across the Potomac River, by West Virginia and Virginia; the mid-portion of this border is interrupted by District of Columbia, which sits on land, part of Montgomery and Prince George's counties and including the town of Georgetown, Maryland.
This land was ceded to the United States Federal Government in 1790 to form the District of Columbia.. The Chesapeake Bay nearly bisects the state and the counties east of the bay are known collectively as the Eastern Shore. Most of the state's waterways are part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, with the exceptions of a tiny portion of extreme western Garrett County, the eastern half of Worcester County, a small portion of the state's northeast corner. So prominent is the Chesapeake in Maryland's geography and economic life that there has been periodic agitation to change the state's official nickname to the "Bay State", a nickname, used by Massachusetts for decades; the highest point in Maryland, with an elevation of 3,360 feet, is Hoye Crest on Backbone Mountain, in the southwest corner of Garrett County, near the bo
The public domain consists of all the creative works to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable; the works of William Shakespeare and Beethoven, most early silent films, are in the public domain either by virtue of their having been created before copyright existed, or by their copyright term having expired. Some works are not covered by copyright, are therefore in the public domain—among them the formulae of Newtonian physics, cooking recipes, all computer software created prior to 1974. Other works are dedicated by their authors to the public domain; the term public domain is not applied to situations where the creator of a work retains residual rights, in which case use of the work is referred to as "under license" or "with permission". As rights vary by country and jurisdiction, a work may be subject to rights in one country and be in the public domain in another; some rights depend on registrations on a country-by-country basis, the absence of registration in a particular country, if required, gives rise to public-domain status for a work in that country.
The term public domain may be interchangeably used with other imprecise or undefined terms such as the "public sphere" or "commons", including concepts such as the "commons of the mind", the "intellectual commons", the "information commons". Although the term "domain" did not come into use until the mid-18th century, the concept "can be traced back to the ancient Roman Law, as a preset system included in the property right system." The Romans had a large proprietary rights system where they defined "many things that cannot be owned" as res nullius, res communes, res publicae and res universitatis. The term res nullius was defined as things not yet appropriated; the term res communes was defined as "things that could be enjoyed by mankind, such as air and ocean." The term res publicae referred to things that were shared by all citizens, the term res universitatis meant things that were owned by the municipalities of Rome. When looking at it from a historical perspective, one could say the construction of the idea of "public domain" sprouted from the concepts of res communes, res publicae, res universitatis in early Roman law.
When the first early copyright law was first established in Britain with the Statute of Anne in 1710, public domain did not appear. However, similar concepts were developed by French jurists in the 18th century. Instead of "public domain", they used terms such as publici juris or propriété publique to describe works that were not covered by copyright law; the phrase "fall in the public domain" can be traced to mid-19th century France to describe the end of copyright term. The French poet Alfred de Vigny equated the expiration of copyright with a work falling "into the sink hole of public domain" and if the public domain receives any attention from intellectual property lawyers it is still treated as little more than that, left when intellectual property rights, such as copyright and trademarks, expire or are abandoned. In this historical context Paul Torremans describes copyright as a, "little coral reef of private right jutting up from the ocean of the public domain." Copyright law differs by country, the American legal scholar Pamela Samuelson has described the public domain as being "different sizes at different times in different countries".
Definitions of the boundaries of the public domain in relation to copyright, or intellectual property more regard the public domain as a negative space. According to James Boyle this definition underlines common usage of the term public domain and equates the public domain to public property and works in copyright to private property. However, the usage of the term public domain can be more granular, including for example uses of works in copyright permitted by copyright exceptions; such a definition regards work in copyright as private property subject to fair-use rights and limitation on ownership. A conceptual definition comes from Lange, who focused on what the public domain should be: "it should be a place of sanctuary for individual creative expression, a sanctuary conferring affirmative protection against the forces of private appropriation that threatened such expression". Patterson and Lindberg described the public domain not as a "territory", but rather as a concept: "here are certain materials – the air we breathe, rain, life, thoughts, ideas, numbers – not subject to private ownership.
The materials that compose our cultural heritage must be free for all living to use no less than matter necessary for biological survival." The term public domain may be interchangeably used with other imprecise or undefined terms such as the "public sphere" or "commons", including concepts such as the "commons of the mind", the "intellectual commons", the "information commons". A public-domain book is a book with no copyright, a book, created without a license, or a book where its copyrights expired or have been forfeited. In most countries the term of protection of copyright lasts until January first, 70 years after the death of the latest living author; the longest copyright term is in Mexico, which has life plus 100 years for all deaths since July 1928. A notable exception is the United States, where every book and tale published prior to 1924 is in the public domain.