Maryland, abbreviated MD and Md., Is a state on the east coast of the United States, around Chesapeake Bay. The state borders east to Delaware, south to Virginia, southwest to West Virginia and north to Pennsylvania, and surrounds the District of Columbia with the federal capital of Washington DC. Maryland has a total area of 32 134 km2 and has 6,052,177 residents (US Census, 2017). The capital is Annapolis.
The name Maryland is after Queen Henrietta Maria of England, King Charles 1’s maid. The state is also called The Free State and The Old Line State, the latter following the state’s northern boundary, which coincides with the so-called Mason – Dixon Line.
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Geography and climate
The southern and eastern part of Maryland encompasses parts of the Atlantic coastal plain, which are intersected by the long, wide Chesapeake Bay. To the north and west lies a wavy ridge that reaches into the Appalachians. Backbone Mountain (1102 masl) on the West Virginia border is the state’s highest mountain.
The eastern part of Maryland has a humid, subtropical climate with mild winters and hot summers. The average temperature in Washington DC is 3 °C in January and 26 °C in July, but the summer temperature can go above 40 °C, at times with almost 100 percent humidity. The annual rainfall is about 1000 mm, mostly in the summer.
The population of Maryland grew relatively strongly throughout the 1900s, primarily due to the influx of Baltimore and Washington DC. Most of the state lies within the most interconnected urban belt along the east coast of the United States, and in 2010, 87.2 percent of the population resided in cities and urban areas. Largest urban area is the Washington region.
Maryland sends two senators and eight representatives to Congress in Washington DC.
Maryland’s economy is primarily based on public business and industry, and on commuting to the federal capital of Washington. The industry includes especially the food, iron and metal industries, electrical, transport and chemical factories, and is particularly concentrated in the port city of Baltimore.
Agricultural production includes maize, soybeans, tomatoes and hay. The livestock is large, and most of the agricultural income comes from the production of dairy products and broilers. In Chesapeake Bay, considerable fishing and shellfish catching (especially oysters) is practiced. Higher education institutions include the State University of College Park (outside Washington) and Baltimore, founded in 1807, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the United States Naval War School in the capital Annapolis, founded in 1845.
The coast of Maryland was first explored by John Smith in 1608. The first colonization took place in 1634 at St. Mary’s City, the first capital, and the area was especially colonized by English Catholics. Maryland was one of the 13 original colonies that declared independence in 1776, and the 7th state to ratify the Union Constitution in 1788.
During the American Civil War, Maryland was loyal to the Union, but it expressed strong sympathies for the Southern Confederation, especially in the southern part of the state.