Maryland 〔For those who distinguish them, ''Maryland'' is pronounced as in ''merry'' , not as in the name ''Mary'' . ''(Random House Dictionary)''〕 is a state located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east. The state's largest city is Baltimore, and its capital is Annapolis. It has three occasionally used nicknames: the ''Old Line State'', the ''Free State'', and the ''Chesapeake Bay State''.
One of the original Thirteen Colonies, Maryland is considered to be the birthplace of religious freedom in America,〔"Religious Freedom Byway Would Recognize Maryland's Historic Role", Megan Greenwell, Washington Post, Thursday, August 21, 2008 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/15/AR2008081504104.html〕〔"George Calvert and Cecilius Calvert, Barons Baltimore" William Hand Browne, Nabu Press (August 1, 2010), ISBN 117662539X ISBN 978-1176625396〕〔"Reconstructing the Brick Chapel of 1667" Page 1, See section entitled "The Birthplace of Religious Freedom" http://stmaryscity.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Chapel-Reconstruction.pdf〕 when it was formed in the early 17th century as a refuge for persecuted Catholics from England by George Calvert,〔〔〔Cecilius Calvert, "Instructions to the Colonists by Lord Baltimore, (1633)" in Clayton Coleman Hall, ed., Narratives of Early Maryland, 1633–1684 (NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1910), 11–23.〕 the first Lord Baltimore, and the first English proprietor of the then-Maryland colonial grant.〔〔 Maryland was the seventh state to ratify the United States Constitution.
Maryland is one of the smallest states in terms of area, as well as one of the most densely populated, home to nearly 6 million residents. With its close proximity to Washington, D.C., and a highly diversified economy spanning manufacturing, services, and biotechnology, Maryland has the highest median household income of any state.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=State Median Household Income Patterns: 1990–2010 )〕
The state is officially claimed to be named after Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles I of England and mother of Charles II and James II, by George Calvert, 1st Lord Baltimore, prior to his death in 1632.
Maryland has an area of and is comparable in overall area with Belgium (). It is the 42nd largest and 9th smallest state and is closest in size to the state of Hawaii (), the next smallest state. The next largest state, its neighbor West Virginia, is almost twice the size of Maryland ().
Maryland possesses a variety of topography within its borders, contributing to its nickname ''America in Miniature''. It ranges from sandy dunes dotted with seagrass in the east, to low marshlands teeming with wildlife and large bald cypress near the Chesapeake Bay, to gently rolling hills of oak forests in the Piedmont Region, and pine groves in the mountains to the west.
Maryland is bounded on its north by Pennsylvania, on its west by West Virginia, on its east by Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean, and on its south, across the Potomac River, by West Virginia and Virginia. The mid-portion of this border is interrupted by Washington, D.C., which sits on land originally part of Montgomery and Prince George's counties, including the town of Georgetown, Maryland, that was ceded to the Federal Government in 1790 to form the District of Columbia. (The Commonwealth of Virginia gave land south of the Potomac, including the town of Alexandria, Virginia, however Virginia retroceded its portion in 1846). The Chesapeake Bay nearly bisects the state and the counties east of the bay are known collectively as the ''Eastern Shore''.
Most of the state's waterways are part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, with the exceptions of a tiny portion of extreme western Garrett County (drained by the Youghiogheny River as part of the watershed of the Mississippi River), the eastern half of Worcester County (which drains into Maryland's Atlantic coastal bays), and a small portion of the state's northeast corner (which drains into the Delaware River watershed). So prominent is the Chesapeake in Maryland's geography and economic life that there has been periodic agitation to change the state's official nickname to the ''Bay State'', a nickname that has been used by Massachusetts for decades.
The highest point in Maryland, with an elevation of , is Hoye Crest on Backbone Mountain, in the southwest corner of Garrett County, near the border with West Virginia and near the headwaters of the North Branch of the Potomac River. Close to the small town of Hancock, in western Maryland, about two-thirds of the way across the state, there is between its borders. This geographical curiosity makes Maryland the narrowest state, bordered by the Mason–Dixon line to the north, and the northwards-arching Potomac River to the south.
Portions of Maryland are included in various official and unofficial geographic regions. For example, the Delmarva Peninsula is composed of the Eastern Shore counties of Maryland, the entire state of Delaware, and the two counties that make up the Eastern Shore of Virginia, whereas the westernmost counties of Maryland are considered part of Appalachia. Much of the Baltimore–Washington corridor lies just south of the Piedmont in the Coastal Plain,〔http://dnrweb.dnr.state.md.us/download/gp_coastal_west.pdf〕 though it straddles the border between the two regions.
There are no natural lakes, though there are numerous natural ponds. During the latter Ice Ages, the glaciers did not reach as far south as Maryland, and therefore they did not carve out the deep natural lakes that exist in states farther north. There are numerous man-made lakes, the largest of these being the Deep Creek Lake, a reservoir in Garrett County in westernmost Maryland. The lack of a glacial history also accounts for Maryland's soil, which is sandier and muddier than the rocky soils farther to the north and northeast.
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