The first people to live in what is now Maryland arrived at least 13,000 years ago, although people may have been in the area as early as 21,000 years ago. Archaeologists know this because they have found arrowheads, beads and other ancient objects in and around the Chesapeake Bay. Native American tribes have inhabited for centuries, including the Lenape, Nanticoke, Powathan, Susquehannock, and Shawnee tribes. In 1608, Captain John Smith became one of the first Europeans to arrive in the area. Then, in 1632, the Englishman George Calvert received permission from the King of England to establish a colony in Maryland (although George died before the colony was settled; instead, his son Cecilius organized an expedition of colonists). However, British rule would not last: Maryland signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. After the US won the Revolutionary War in 1783, Annapolis, Maryland, became the capital of the new nation—but for less than a year. In 1788, Maryland became the seventh state of the United States, and two years later left some of its land to help create Washington, DC.

Geography of Maryland

In 1850, Maryland would become an important part of the Underground Railroad thanks to Harriet Tubman, a Maryland native who fled the state to escape slavery but returned to save and lead others to freedom. Eleven years later, tensions between northern and southern states, especially over slavery, led to a civil war. Although Maryland was south of the Mason-Dixon line—the name of the border between Pennsylvania and Maryland that was considered the line separating North and South—it was on the Union side in the North. The bloodiest battle of the war, Antietam, took place in Sharpsburg, Maryland. In 1864, slavery was finally abolished in Maryland. Maryland was named after Queen Henrietta Mary of England. She was married to King Charles I, who allowed Maryland to become a colony. Legend has it that Maryland is nicknamed the Old Line State in honor of the 400 Revolutionary War soldiers who fought against 10,000 British soldiers in a battle in 1776. These soldiers, called the “Maryland Line”, held the British long enough to allow the rest of the American army – led by George Washington – to escape.

Geography of Maryland

According to, Maryland is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north, Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Atlantic Ocean and Virginia to the south, and West Virginia to the west. The state can be divided into five geographical regions. The Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain extends across the south and east of the state. It is a low area with swamps along the east coast and fertile farmland along the west coast. This region contains the Battle Creek Cypress Swamp, a wooded wetland. The Piedmont cuts across northeastern Maryland and has low hills, ridges, valleys, and streams. The Blue Ridge region is a narrow mountainous region west of Piedmont. It was named after its trees, which have a bluish haze when viewed from a distance. The Appalachian Ridge and Valley is a thin strip of land in the north. It is mostly forested and contains farmland and steep ridges. The Appalachian Plateau covers the northwestern corner of the state. The Allegheny Mountains and the highest point in Maryland, Trunk Mountain, are located here.

Wildlife of Maryland

Black bears, bobcats, and Appalachian cottontails are some of the mammals that live in Maryland. Ospreys, shrimp (the largest type of falcon) and Baltimore orioles are some of the native birds. The state’s amphibians include dusky salamanders on Mount Allegheny and barking tree frogs. And here live reptiles, such as marsh turtles, milk snakes of the Coastal Plain and eastern lizards. Maryland’s native trees include bald cypress, lobule pine, juniper, walnut, and white oak (the state tree). The state’s wildflowers include the Maryland golden aster, the beauty of the Maryland meadows, and the lady’s curls, an orchid that looks like a strand of hair.


Population: 38.394 thousand people (2010)
Area: 19.7 sq. km
Founded: 1649
City status since: 1708
Time zone: UTC-5, summer UTC-4

Located in central Maryland, Annapolis is the state capital. It lies on the coast of the Chesapeake Bay, at the confluence of the Severn River. See Maryland cities.

Annapolis was founded by Puritans who left Virginia under the leadership of William Stone in 1649. The city was originally called Providence. It developed rapidly through the slave trade, tobacco cultivation and oyster fishing. In 1694, the capital of the Maryland colony was moved here and, on the occasion, Providence was renamed Annapolis – in honor of the English princess Anne. After the end of the American Revolutionary War, Annapolis was the capital of the United States for several months in 1783-84. The abolition of slavery, the Civil War and the subsequent decline of the plantation economy had a negative impact on the city’s economy. In today’s Annapolis, government agencies, health care, and education dominate the city.

Among the most interesting objects of Annapolis are the US Naval Academy, the Capitol building, the city council, several museums and the waterfront.

Geography of Maryland
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