American Homestay Network – Maryland
Maryland is a state in the Northeastern part of the USA, in the of the Mid-Atlantic region. Annapolis is the capital of Maryland, but the biggest city is Baltimore, just 30 miles north. Thirty miles east of Annapolis is Washington, DC, the nation’s capital and together this area makes one of the top ten largest metropolitan areas in the USA. If you look at a map, you can see how Washington, DC was carved out of Maryland and while the nation’s capital has a lot of influence on Maryland, the state is a vibrant place on its own. Baltimore has its own Beltway, its own sports teams and even its own subway. Maryland’s geography is dominated by the Chesapeake Bay which brings both business and recreation visitors to the state. Waterman harvest crab, oysters and fish from the bay, while boaters and sailors enjoy the many inlets and rivers that feed the bay. The Chesapeake Bay has over 11,000 miles of coastline of which 4,400 miles are in Maryland. Maryland also has ocean coast highlighted by the popular beach resort of Ocean City. The Western end of Maryland is mountainous and forested giving something for everyone.
Fun Facts About Maryland
- The first railroad station in the United States was built in Baltimore in 1830
- The local NFL team, the Baltimore Ravens are named after Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem, The Raven
- Jousting became the official sport of Maryland in 1962; lacrosse became the official team sport of the state in 2004
- There is a town in Maryland named Chevy Chase, named in the 1800’s, long before the actor with that name was born
- Actor David Hasselhoff grew up in Baltimore, Maryland – Chesapeake Baywatch?
- The six-pack, a standard packaging of beverages in the USA started with Baltimore’s local favorite National Bohemian Beer.
Colleges in and around Maryland
Maryland has a wealth of notable colleges and universities. The US Naval Academy is in Annapolis (sorry, only Americans can go here), also Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. The University of Maryland’s main campus is just outside DC, there are also two large campuses in Baltimore and Baltimore County and a wide variety of private and state schools across Maryland.
Like most of the Northeast, there are four distinct seasons of weather. Winters are generally just above freezing and snow storms happen a few times a season. Summer is warm, sunny and the region’s beaches become alive with tourists who flock to the bay and coast. Boating and sailing are very popular activities, even surfing at Ocean City.
First populated by Native Americans, the recorded history of Maryland dates back to when Europeans began exploring the area, starting with John Cabot in 1498. The first European settlements were made in 1634, when the English arrived in significant numbers and created a permanent English colony. Maryland was notable for having been established with religious freedom for Catholics. Like other colonies along the Chesapeake Bay, its economy was based on tobacco, cultivated primarily by African slave labor. Additionally, many young people came from Britain as indentured servants in the early years.
The American Revolution was very active in Maryland, and it became the seventh state in 1778, during. After the war, numerous planters freed their slaves as the economy become industrialized. Baltimore grew to become one of the largest cities in the USA, and a major manufacturing hub and seaport. Maryland was still a slave state in 1860, but by that time nearly half the African American population was already free. Maryland was among the border states that remained in the Union during the American Civil War.
Today Maryland is home to many government sector companies that line the Capital Beltway. Defense contractors are big employers as are firms that do business not only with the US government, but the many governments that have embassies and organizations operating in the region.