World History

Maryland State History – War, Capital, Population, Facts

Native Americans

Before Europeans arrived in Maryland, the land was inhabited by Native Americans. Most Native Americans spoke Algonquian. They lived in wigwam houses with domes built of branches, bark and mud. The men hunted deer and turkey, and the women planted corn and beans. The larger Native American tribes of Maryland included the Nanticoke, Delaware, and Piscataway.

Information about Maryland State:

Capital Annapolis
Population 6,164,660 (Source: 2022 U.S. Census)
Major Cities Baltimore, Columbia, Germantown, Silver Spring, Waldorf
Borders Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington D.C, Atlantic Ocean
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) $488,115.8 million (2023 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis)
Key Industries Agriculture including nursery plants, flowers, dairy products, fishing, corn, and poultry
Transportation, aerospace, biotechnology, healthcare, electronics equipment, and chemicals

Flag of Maryland State:

Europeans Arrive

Early European explorers such as Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524 and his John Smith in 1608 sailed along the Maryland coast. They made a map of the area and reported the results to Europe. The first European settlement was founded in 1631 by English fur trader William Claiborne.


In 1632, King Charles I of England granted George his Calvert a royal charter for the Maryland colony. George died shortly thereafter, but his son Cecil Calvert inherited the land. Cecil Calvert’s brother Leonard led a large group of settlers to Maryland in 1634. They sailed in two ships named Ark and Dove. Leonard wanted Maryland to be a place where people were free to practice their religion. They founded the city of St. Mary’s, which would become the colony’s capital for many years.

Over the next few years the colony grew. As the colony grew, Native American tribes were displaced or died from diseases such as smallpox. Clashes also broke out among the various religious groups that settled in the area, primarily between Catholics and Puritans. In 1767, the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania was drawn by two of his surveyors, Mason and Dixon. This boundary became known as the Mason-Dixon line.

Maryland State Symbols

  • Maryland State Nickname: Old Line State
  • Maryland State Slogan: America in Miniature; (formerly) More Than You Can Imagine
  • Maryland State Motto: Fatti maschii, parole femine (Manly deeds, womanly words)
  • Maryland State flower: Black-eyed Susan
  • Maryland State bird: Baltimore Oriole
  • Maryland State fish: Rockfish
  • Maryland State tree: White Oak
  • Maryland State mammal: Thoroughbred horse, Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • Maryland State foods: Blue Crabs

American Revolution

In 1776, Maryland, along with other American colonies, declared its independence from Great Britain. Few battles were fought in Maryland, but many fought in the Continental Army. Known as brave fighters, the Maryland soldiers were nicknamed the “Maryland Line” and George Washington called them the “Old Line”. Maryland was thus nicknamed the “Old Rhine State”.

Becoming a State

After the war, Maryland ratified the new United States Constitution, becoming her seventh state to join the United States on April 28, 1788.

The Geography of Maine State:

  • Total Size of Maryland: 9,774 sq. miles (source: 2003 Census)
  • Geographical Low Point of Maryland: Atlantic Ocean at Sea Level (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Geographical High Point of Maryland: Backbone Mtn. at 3,360 feet, located in the county/subdivision of Garrett (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Central Point of Maryland: Located in Prince George’s County approx. 4 1/2 miles northwest of Davidsonville (source: U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Counties of Maryland: 24 (source: National Association of Counties)
  • Bodies of Water of Maryland: Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, Potomac River, Lake Oakland

War of 1812

Maryland was also involved in her War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain. Two great battles ensued. The first was the British defeat of Washington, D.C. Captured at the Battle of Bladensburg. The other was the victory that prevented the British fleet from occupying Baltimore. During this battle, as the British bombed Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key wrote the future national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Civil War

Maryland, a slave state, sided with the Union during the Civil War. However, the people of Maryland were divided on which side to support, and the people of Maryland fought on both sides of the war. One of his greatest Civil War battles, the Battle of Antietam, took place in Maryland. It was the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with over 22,000 casualties.

Famous People of Maryland State:

Harriet Tubman Civil rights activist
Pete Sampras Tennis player
Babe Ruth Baseball player
Cal Ripken Jr. Baseball player
Michael Phelps Olympic swimmer and gold medalist
Thurgood Marshall First African-American justice of the Supreme Court
Francis Scott Key Wrote the U.S. national anthem The Star-Spangled Banner
Matthew Henson Explorer who went to the North Pole
Kevin Durant NBA basketball player
John Wilkes Booth Assassin of President Abraham Lincoln

Interesting Facts of Maryland State:

The United States Naval Academy is located in Annapolis, Maryland.

Despite being a small state, Maryland has some great ski and beach resorts.

Maryland is named after Queen Henrietta Maria of England.

The National Aquarium is located in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Old Line State’s nickname comes from George Washington, referring to the bravery of the Maryland National Guard during the Revolutionary War. Two other nicknames for the state are “Chesapeake State” and “Free State”.

The first successful manned ball launch in the United States took place in Baltimore. The driver was a 13-year-old boy named Edward Warren.

The refrigerator was invented by Thomas Moore of Baltimore in 1803.

The first school in the United States was King’s Williams School. It opened in 1696.

Baseball players Babe Ruth and Cal Ripken Jr. were both born in Maryland.

Annapolis briefly became the capital of the United States after the Treaty of Paris was signed.

Timeline Overview:

1631 – The first European settlement is established by trader William Claiborne.
1632 – George Calvert receives royal charter for the Maryland colony.
1634 – Leonard Calvert leads English settlers into the new colony and establishes the town of St Mary’s.
1664 – Laws are passed allowing slavery in Maryland. 1695 – Annapolis becomes the capital.
1729 – City of Baltimore is founded.
1767 – Maryland’s northern border is established by the Mason-Dixon Line.
1788 – Maryland becomes her seventh state to join the Union.
1814 – British attack Fort Henry. Francis Scott Key wrote The Star-Spangled Banner.
1862 – The bloodiest battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Antietam, takes place near Sharpsburg.
1904 – Fire destroys much of downtown Baltimore.