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In 1629, George Calvert, 1st Lord Baltimore in the Irish House of Lords, fresh from his failure further north with Newfoundland's Avalon colony, applied to Charles I for a new royal charter for what was to become the Province of Maryland. Calvert's interest in creating a colony derived from his Catholicism and his desire for the creation of a haven for Catholics in the new world. In addition, he was familiar with the fortunes that had been made in tobacco in Virginia, and hoped to recoup some of the financial losses he had sustained in his earlier colonial venture in Newfoundland. George Calvert died in April 1632, but a charter for "Maryland Colony" (in Latin, "Terra Maria") was granted to his son, Cęcilius Calvert, 2nd Lord Baltimore, on June 20, 1632. The new colony was named in honor of Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I of England. The specific name given in the charter was phrased "Terra Mariae, anglice, Maryland". The English name was preferred over the Latin due in part to the undesired association of "Mariae" with the Spanish Jesuit Juan de Mariana. Leonard, Cęcilius' younger brother, was put in charge of the expedition because Cęcilius did not want to go.

The first settlers to Maryland arrived in 1634. Although many of the arrivals were Protestant, many of the highest positions were held by Catholics. Tens of thousands of British convicts were also sent to Maryland. In 1649, Maryland Toleration Act was passed with ordered religious tolerance of all Trinitarian Christians.

In 1681 a dispute arose between the settlers of Pennsylvania and the settlers of Maryland over the border, the 40th parallel. The dispute might have ended with a compromise in 1682, however, Pennsylvania then received a charter for Delaware, which had previously been considered part of Maryland. For the next century, the Penn family and Calvert family continued to feud. The outcome of the feud defined the border with what we know as the Mason-Dixon Line.

Maryland is surrounded by the District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware.




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