The Province of Maryland was one of the 13 colonies that went on to establish the United States.
The charter for Maryland Colony, an English territory in North America, was granted to Cęcilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, on June 20, 1632. Some historians view this as a form of compensation for his father's being stripped of his title of Secretary of State upon announcing his Roman Catholicism in 1625. The charter had originally been granted first to Calvert's father, George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore, but the father had died before it could be executed. The charter of the Province of Maryland was signed by Charles I and was named after his Queen Consort, Henrietta Maria.
The Maryland Toleration Act
Lord Baltimore was a staunch Catholic, which was extremely stigmatic for a nobleman in 17th century England, where Roman Catholics were enemies of the crown and of the country. Baltimore's two goals were to create a haven for British Catholics but at the same time turn a profit. Without Protestant settlers to provide the backbone of the colony's population, it would most likely fail. For this reason, Lord Baltimore instructed his brother Leonard Calvert, who was to be the colony's governor, to keep the religion of the Catholic settlers quiet to avoid dissent. The first settlers arrived on March 25, 1634 aboard the Ark and Dove. About 150 settlers survived the voyage. Land was quickly purchased from the Yaocomico Indians, and St. Mary's City was founded.
The foundational charter of Maryland created a feudal state, one ruled by the Palatine lord, Lord Baltimore. As ruler, he owned directly all of the land granted in the charter (almost 6,000,000 acres [24,000 km²]), possessing absolute authority over his domain and requiring settlers to swear allegiance to him, and not the King of England. The charter created an upper aristocracy of lords of the manor, who bought 6,000 acres (24 km²) from Baltimore and held legal and social privileges over the common settlers.
Maryland colony is sometimes described as one of the Middle Colonies and sometimes described as one of the Southern Colonies. Maryland was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence from Britain in 1776.