Portal:Maryland

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Maryland (US: /ˈmɛrələnd/ (About this sound listen) MERR-əl-ənd) is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east. The state's largest city is Baltimore, and its capital is Annapolis. Among its occasional nicknames are Old Line State, the Free State, and the Chesapeake Bay State. The state is named after the English queen Henrietta Maria of France.

One of the original Thirteen Colonies, Maryland is considered the birthplace of religious freedom in America. The state was founded by George Calvert, a trusted foreign minister and personal friend of King James I. When Calvert converted to Catholicism in 1625 it meant his disqualification from holding public office, but his friendship with King James remained. Calvert had had an early interest in the administration of colonial affairs and petitioned James for a charter to provide a religious haven for Catholics persecuted in England as well as to extend the territories of the English Empire. Consequently, in 1632 James’ son, Charles, granted Calvert a charter to settle lands in America held by the Crown, to wit: to "transport ... a numerous Colony of the English Nation" to settle there. Unlike the Pilgrims and Puritans, who began enforcing conformity with their beliefs as soon as they settled in America, Calvert envisioned a colony where people of different religious sects would coexist under the principle of toleration. Some historians believe that Calvert's aspiration towards such a society may have been inspired by the works of Thomas More, most notably the book Utopia. Accordingly, in 1649 the Maryland General Assembly passed an Act Concerning Religion, which enshrined the principle of toleration by penalizing anyone who "reproached" a fellow Marylander as a "heritick, Scismatick, Idolator, puritan, Independant, Prespiterian popish prest, Jesuite, Jesuited papist, Lutheran, Calvenist, Anabaptist, Brownist, Antinomian, Barrowist, Roundhead [or] Separatist."

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Hurrican Isabel from space

The effects of Hurricane Isabel in Maryland and Washington, D.C., were among the worst from a tropical cyclone in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, United States. Hurricane Isabel formed from a tropical wave on September 6, 2003, in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. It moved northwestward, and within an environment of light wind shear and warm waters, it steadily strengthened to reach peak winds of 165 mph (265 km/h) on September 11. After fluctuating in intensity for four days, Isabel gradually weakened and made landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina with winds of 105 mph (165 km/h) on September 18. It quickly weakened over land and became extratropical over western Pennsylvania the next day.

On September 19, Tropical Storm Isabel passed through extreme western Maryland, though its large circulation produced tropical storm force winds throughout the state. About 1.24 million people lost power throughout the state. The worst of its effects came from its storm surge, which inundated areas along the coast and resulted in severe beach erosion. In Eastern Maryland, hundreds of buildings were damaged or destroyed, primarily in Queen Anne's County from tidal flooding. Thousands of houses were affected in Central Maryland, with severe storm surge flooding reported in Baltimore and Annapolis. Washington, D.C., sustained moderate damage, primarily from the winds. Throughout Maryland and Washington, damage totaled about $820 million (2003 USD, $915 million 2006 USD), with only one fatality due to flooding.

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Lord Baltimore by John Alfred Vinter.

George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore (c. 1580 – 15 April 1632) was an English politician and coloniser. He achieved domestic political success as a Member of Parliament and later Secretary of State under King James I, though he lost much of his political power after his support for a failed marriage alliance between Prince Charles and the Spanish royal family. Rather than continue in politics, he resigned all of his political offices in 1625 except for his position on the Privy Council and declared his Catholicism publicly. He was granted the title of 1st Baron Baltimore in the Irish peerage upon his resignation.

Calvert took an interest in the colonization of the New World, at first for commercial reasons and later to create a refuge for English Catholics. He became the proprietor of Avalon, the first sustained English settlement on the island of Newfoundland. Discouraged by the climate and the sufferings of the settlers there, Calvert looked for a more suitable spot further south and sought a new royal charter to settle the region that was to become the state of Maryland. Calvert died five weeks before the new charter was sealed, leaving the settlement of the Maryland colony to his son Cæcilius. Historians have long recognized George Calvert as the founder of Maryland, in spirit if not in fact.

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