named for Queen Henrietta Maria


Maryland was named for Queen Henrietta Maria, the wife of King Charles I of England. In 1632, Charles granted the Maryland region to Cecilius Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore. Calvert, a Roman Catholic, believed in religious freedom and welcomed settlers of all faiths to Maryland. Calvert and his descendants -- the Lords Baltimore -- ruled Maryland during most of the period when it was an English colony. During the Revolutionary War in America (1775-1783), the Second Continental Congress met for about three months in Baltimore. After the war, the Congress of the Confederation met for several months in the Maryland State House in Annapolis. In 1791, Maryland gave part of its land to the federal government for the District of Columbia (or Washington, D.C.), the new national capital.

Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner" while watching the British bombard Baltimore's Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. Maryland, though a Southern state, remained loyal to the Union during the Civil War. Several Civil War battles were fought in Maryland, including the Battle of Antietam -- one of the bloodiest of the war.

Maryland is nicknamed the Old Line State after its heroic "troops of the line." These troops won praise from George Washington, who was commander in chief of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

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