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Maryland State Name Origin

Introduction

Maryland, located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, is one of the original 13 colonies. The state has a rich history that dates back to the colonial era, and its name has an interesting origin that is tied to the history of Lord Baltimore, Charles I, and Cecil Calvert. This article explores the history of Maryland's state name and its ties to the Native Americans who inhabited the region.

Colonial Era

Maryland was founded in 1634 by Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore. The colony was established as a refuge for English Catholics who faced persecution in England. The name 'Maryland' was chosen by Cecil Calvert in honor of Henrietta Maria, the wife of King Charles I. The name was also a nod to the Virgin Mary, who was revered by Catholics.

Lord Baltimore and Charles I

Cecil Calvert was granted a charter by King Charles I to establish the colony of Maryland. The charter gave Calvert and his heirs ownership of the land and the right to govern the colony. Calvert named the colony 'Maryland' in honor of Charles I's wife, Henrietta Maria. The name was also a way for Calvert to show his loyalty to the king, who was facing opposition from Parliament at the time.

Native Americans

Before the arrival of European settlers, Maryland was home to several Native American tribes, including the Piscataway and the Algonquian. The Piscataway were the dominant tribe in the region and had a complex society that included agriculture, trade, and diplomacy. The Algonquian were a confederation of tribes that lived along the Chesapeake Bay and relied on fishing and hunting for their livelihood.

Chesapeake Bay and St. Mary's City

Maryland's location along the Chesapeake Bay played a significant role in its history. The bay provided a natural harbor for ships and was a vital transportation route for goods and people. St. Mary's City, the first capital of Maryland, was established on the banks of the St. Mary's River in 1634. The city served as the center of government and commerce for the colony and was home to the governor's mansion, the statehouse, and the courthouse.

Conclusion

Maryland's state name has an interesting origin that is tied to the history of Lord Baltimore, Charles I, and Cecil Calvert. The name 'Maryland' was chosen to honor Charles I's wife, Henrietta Maria, and to show loyalty to the king. The name also has ties to the Virgin Mary, who was revered by Catholics. Maryland's history is also intertwined with the Native Americans who inhabited the region before the arrival of European settlers. The state's location along the Chesapeake Bay played a significant role in its history and development, and St. Mary's City served as the first capital of the colony.