In the 1600s and 1700s, people from different lands didn't get along. The king said everyone had to be Protestant. Sir George Calvert was a rich England man and he wanted Catholics to be in a land that they can have freedom. In 1632, King Charles gave a Calvert family a charter to begin a colony in north of Virginia. Calverts need to use their money that they own to begin their colony, but they need to make all the laws. Its called Maryland because is after King Charles's wife, Henrietta Maria.
George Calvert died before he was able to go to Maryland. George Calvert oldest son named Cecilius want to stay on England, so he sent his bother Leonard in the first voyage to the new land. Leonard sailed across the Atlantic Ocean and landed in Maryland with 200 people. In March 1634. some of the setters were Catholics but not all of them were Catholics. Leonard's father wanted people in different lands to make Maryland their new home.
Only in 25 of Maryland's first 200 people were rich enough to pay their trip to America themselves. People paid the way that other settlers who might become their servants. George Calvert gave the land to the rich people, that brought lots of people to Maryland. The landowner was called lord of a manor. Most of the lords were Catholics, and George Calvert was made sure that the people that were the ones that help George Calvert to make the lands laws.
Most of the Maryland's first settlers are bond servants. After the lord of the manor paid for the lord's servants trip to America, the bond of servants had to work for the lord in seven years. That time is called the servants' indenture. It was very hard time for the bond servants. Their work was difficult, and one of their masters often beat them or they wouldn't let them eat. when the indenture was over, people could buy and work their land for themselves.
The life of Colonial Maryland was a hard time in the 1600s. The people were still learning how to grow the food in the soil and weather that is very different then from their back home from England.People went hungry most of the time. The insects that caused sickness filled with Maryland's swamps, and not many doctors had come to America. There was no one to care for the sick people. In Maryland's early years, many of the adults died young. Almost every child in the Colonial Maryland lost one of their parents. So the children has lots of stepbrothers and stepsisters.
Like the other southern lands, Maryland's main business was farming. People that work on their own small farms were called yeoman farmers. They fenced in the cornfields and other crops, but the pigs and cows were roaming everywhere and even in the streets.Sometimes the people had a hard time telling their own pigs and cows apart from the other people's. The whole families had to work hard every day. They didn't really have machines to help them farm, and the only few horses or oxen. The people had to grow or make everything they needed.
While the yeoman farmers worked small farms on Maryland, the lords had huge plantations. the bond servants worked the plantations until their lords decided that they wanted to use slaves Unlike the bond servants, slaves didn't have to be set free after the seven years, the people had to made the slavery illegal in the early Maryland because they thought is was the wrong to own people. Even though it was illegal, in 1639, the lords started to buy the African slaves to work to their plantations.Most of the lords grew tobacco, which the lords could sell a lot of money.
The Maryland's early colonists had a difficult time from 1644 to 1646. On England, people were fighting against each other on the English Civil War. One of their things that they were fighting is the unfair way that the different lands that they were treated there.The Maryland's governor, Leonard Calvert had to leave America and return back to England. Lenard Calvert brother Cecilius needed help since the Catholics were having trouble because of the war. Many people in both Protestants and Catholics, the fought for control of Maryland while Leonard Calvert was gone. There was no one in charge, lots of people act like there was no laws. People were stealing and fighting.These years were called the plundering time.
When Maryland was different from the other lands. The idea for Maryland to come from Sir George Calvert's wish to start a land that would welcome the Catholics. In 1649, the Maryland's lawmakers that passed the Act of Toleration. The law made it possible for the different kind of Christians and to live and work together. Christians who were not people that could own land or hold the public office. Many other colonies didn't tolerate the different religious beliefs at all. Unfortunately, even with this law, some of the people in Maryland still weren't allowed to practice their own religion. Jews, African slaves, and the Native Americans weren't allowed to worship of their own way. For these times in the history, Maryland's law showed a new way of thinking about the religious freedom.