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831
MARYLAND

tax, fines, forfeitures and fees; and the penitentiary yields an annual net revenue of about $40,000. There is no provision for a general periodic assessment, but a state tax commissioner appointed by the governor, treasurer and comptroller assesses the corporations, and the county commissioners (in the counties) and the appeal tax court (in the city of Baltimore) revise valuations of real property every two years. From 1820 to 1836 Maryland, in its enthusiasm over internal improvements, incurred an indebtedness of more than $16,000,000. To meet the interest, such heavy taxes were levied that anti-tax associations were formed to resist the collection, and in 1842 the state failed to pay what was due; but the accumulated interest had been funded by 1848 and was paid soon afterwards, the expenses of the government were curtailed by the constitution of 1851, and after the Civil War the amount of indebtedness steadily decreased until in 1902 the funded debt was $6,909,326 and the net debt only $2,797,269.13, while on the 1st of October 1908 the net debt was $366,643.91. As a result of incurring the large debt, a clause in the constitution prohibits the legislature from contracting a debt without providing by the imposition of taxes for the payment of the interest annually and the principal within fifteen years, except to meet a temporary deficiency not exceeding $50,000. The first bank of the state was established in 1790, and by 1817 there was one in each of twelve counties and several in Baltimore; in 1818-1820 and in 1837-1839 there were several serious bank failures, but there have been no serious failures since. A constitutional provision makes each stockholder in a state bank liable to the amount of his share or shares for all the bank’s debts and liabilities. A savings bank is taxed on its deposits, and a state bank is taxed on its capital-stock.

History.—The history of Maryland begins in 1632 with the procedure of Charles I. to grant a charter conveying almost unlimited territorial and governmental rights therein to George Calvert, first Lord Baltimore (1580?-1632), and styling him its absolute lord and proprietor. George Calvert died before the charter had passed the great seal, but about two months later in the same year it was issued to his eldest son, Cecilius. In November 1633 two vessels, the “Ark” and the “Dove,” carrying at least two hundred colonists under Leonard Calvert (c. 1582-1647), a brother of the proprietor, as governor, sailed from Gravesend and arrived in Maryland late in March of the following year. Friendly relations were at the outset established with the Indians, and the province never had much trouble with that race; but with William Claiborne (1589?-1676?), the arch-enemy of the province as long as he lived, it was otherwise. He had opposed the grant of the Maryland charter, had established a trading post on Kent Island in Chesapeake Bay in 1631, and when commanded to submit to the new government he and his followers offered armed resistance. A little later, during his temporary absence in England, his followers on the island were reduced to submission; but in 1644, while the Civil War in England was in progress, he was back in the province assisting Richard Ingle, a pirate who claimed to be acting in the interest of parliament, in raising an insurrection which deprived Governor Calvert of his office for about a year and a half. Finally, the lord proprietor was deprived of his government from 1654 to 1658 in obedience to instructions from parliament which were originally intended to affect only Virginia, but were so modified, through the influence of Claiborne and some Puritan exiles from Virginia who had settled in Maryland, as to apply also to “the plantations within Chesapeake Bay.” Then the long continued unrest both in the mother country and in the province seems to have encouraged Josias Fendall, the proprietor’s own appointee as governor, to strike a blow against the proprietary government and attempt to set up a commonwealth in its place; but this revolt was easily suppressed and order was generally preserved in the province from the English Restoration of 1660 to the English Revolution of 1688.

Meanwhile an interesting internal development had been in progress. The proprietor was a Roman Catholic and probably it was his intention that Maryland should be an asylum for persecuted Roman Catholics, but it is even more clear that he was desirous of having Protestant colonists also. To this end he promised religious toleration from the beginning and directed his officers accordingly; this led to the famous toleration act passed by the assembly in 1649, which, however, extended its protection only to sects of Trinitarian Christianity. Again, although the charter reserved to the proprietor the right of calling an assembly of the freemen or their delegates at such times and in such form and manner as he should choose, he surrendered in 1638 his claim to the sole right of initiating legislation. By 1650 the assembly had been divided into two houses, in one of which sat only the representatives of the freemen without whose consent no bill could become a law, and annual sessions as well as triennial elections were coming to be the usual order. When suffrage had thus come to be a thing really worth possessing, the proprietor, in 1670, sought to check the opposition by disfranchising all freemen who did not have a freehold of fifty acres or a visible estate of forty pounds sterling. But this step was followed by more and more impassioned complaints against him, such as: that he was interfering with elections, that he was summoning only a part of the delegates elected, that he was seeking to overawe those summoned, that he was abusing his veto power, and that he was keeping the government in the hands of Roman Catholics, who were mostly members of his own family. About this time also the north and east boundaries of the province were beginning to suffer from the aggressions of William Penn. The territory now forming the state of Delaware was within the boundaries defined by the Maryland charter, but in 1682 it was transferred by the duke of York to William Penn and in 1685 Lord Baltimore’s claim to it was denied by an order in council, on the ground that it had been inhabited by Christians before the Maryland charter was granted. In the next place, although it was clear from the words of the charter that the parallel of 40° N. was intended for its north boundary, and although Penn’s charter prescribed that Pennsylvania should extend on the south to the “beginning of the fortieth degree of Northern Latitude,” a controversy arose with regard to the boundary between the two provinces, and there was a long period of litigation; in 1763-1767 Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, two English mathematicians, established the line named from them (see Mason and Dixon Line), which runs along the parallel 39° 43′ 26″.3 N. and later became famous as the dividing line between the free states and the slave states. While the proprietor was absent defending his claims against Penn the English Revolution of 1688 was started. Owing to the death of a messenger there was long delay in proclaiming the new monarchs in Maryland; this delay, together with a rumor of a Popish plot to slaughter the Protestants, enabled the opposition to overthrow the proprietary government, and then the crown, in the interest of its trade policy, set up a royal government in its place, in 1692, without, however, divesting the proprietor of his territorial rights. Under the royal government the Church of England was established, the people acquired a strong control of their branch of the legislature and they were governed more by statute law and less by executive ordinance. The proprietor having become a Protestant, the proprietary government was restored in 1715. Roman Catholics were disfranchised immediately afterward. In 1730 Germans began to settle in considerable numbers in the west-central part of the colony, where they greatly promoted its industrial development but at the same time added much strength to the opposition. The first great dispute between proprietor and people after the restoration of 1715 was with regard to the extension of the English statutes to Maryland, the popular branch of the legislature vigorously contending that all such statutes except those expressly excluded extended to the province, and the lord proprietor contending that only those in which the dominions were expressly mentioned were in force there. Many other disputes speedily followed and when the final struggle between the English and French for possession in America came, although appropriations were made at its beginning to protect her own west frontier from the attacks of the enemy, a dead-lock between the two branches of the assembly prevented Maryland from responding to repeated appeals from the mother country for aid in the latter part of that struggle. This failure was used as an argument in favour of imposing the famous Stamp Act. Nevertheless, popular clamour against parliament on account of that measure was even greater than it had been against the proprietor. The stamp distributor was driven out, and the arguments of Daniel Dulany (1721-1797), the ablest lawyer in the province, against the act were quoted by speakers in parliament for its repeal.