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Maryland Manual, 1948-49
Volume 162, Page 14   View pdf image (33K)
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to being the first civil regime to recognize freedom of con-
science. The fact that within sixty years after the passage
of this law Catholics were severely repressed under an
"Act to prevent the growth of popery" does not detract
from the boldness of Lord Baltimore's action in the mid-
seventeeth century..

The downfall of Charles I and the rise of the Common-
wealth were more serious events for the Maryland resi-
dents than for other colonists in America. But Oliver
Cromwell left Lord Baltimore 1n undisturbed charge of the

Emboldened by this, Governor William Stone attempted
to reduce the Puritan settlements on the Severn but came
close to losing his life by execution after a decisive victory
for the settlers in Providence (Annapolis)..

Growth and Expansion.

The newcomers to other parts of the geographical charter
limits of the Province, Proprietary, or Palatinate (as it
was sometimes called) were not so bellicose as those in
Providence. Settlement soon went far afield from the old
Yaocomico village. By the end of the seventeenth century
eight counties had established themselves, each with its
court and complement of officials. The towns were few;
great estates abounded, from whose river fronts trade and
traffic departed. The great commerce was in tobacco, which
even substituted for currency during much of the seven-
teenth and eighteenth centuries. Until custom-house centers
were set up (1683), there was nothing to break the power of
the landed gentry. Gradually what Indian troubles had ex-
isted were smoothed out by treaty, such as that of 1652
when the Susquehannocks submitted under the poplar tree
said to be the one still to be seen in Annapolis, on the St. John's
College campus. The Proprietors, always a line of Calverts
with the title "Lord Baltimore," continued, until the death
of the sixth and last in 1771. In the time of James II, who
desired to have all lands under the Crown, and again in the
"Revolution" (before William and Mary held the throne
securely), the Calverts had difficulties, but these were not
reflected in any disadvantage to the Province. Neither the
virtual outlawry of the Proprietors after 1691 (lifted with
the accession of the Fourth Lord Baltimore) nor the estab-
lishment of the Church of England as the "official" religion
proved too disturbing. If Puritanism waned, there was cer-
tainly room made for the settlement of other dissenters,
notably Quakers. Culturally the three most important.


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Maryland Manual, 1948-49
Volume 162, Page 14   View pdf image (33K)
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