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Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J.; Moore, Timothy D. (Historian); Lannér-Cusin, Johanna E.; Schoenleber, Charles H.; Reid, Jonathan M.; Flamingo, Margaret R.; Fields, David P. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Maryland (1)
(2015)

Introduction,   pp. xxi-lvi


Page xxii

INTRODUCTION
to Sweet, Maryland was founded on the principle of toleration "in spite
of his [Baltimore's] religion rather than because of it." Cecil Calvert's
idea of toleration, much like his father's, would be enshrined in the
colony's Act of Toleration (1649), which protected Christians' religious
practice. By honoring all Christian professions-instead of preferring
one-the proprietor hoped to inspire faithfulness to the civil govern-
ment by everyone.3
In the final decades of the seventeenth century, the Church of En-
gland grew in stature in Maryland. Some Anglican clergy began making
appeals to the archbishop of Canterbury to strengthen the Protestant
religion in Maryland. Canterbury passed their concerns to the bishop
of London, who oversaw ecclesiastical conditions in the American col-
onies. Maryland had boasted a significant Protestant population from
early on, and the continued growth of that community made their pleas
progressively difficult to ignore. By 1692, in the aftermath of England's
Glorious Revolution (1688-89), which led to the ouster of James II, a
Catholic, and the coronation of Protestant monarchs William and Mary,
Maryland had become a royal colony. Though the proprietorship would
be restored in 1715, that act was only accomplished on the conversion
of Benedict Leonard Calvert, the fourth baron of Baltimore, to the
Anglican Church. Maryland Catholics faced significant disabilities dur-
ing the eighteenth century, including a restriction on holding office.
Ironically, to use Sweet's words, Maryland, which had been established
"for the sake of religious freedom by the toil and treasure of Roman
Catholics," would be made open to all Christians "save Roman Cath-
olics. "4
Maryland's eventual internal tensions mirrored the clash that took
hold in England between the Crown and Parliament in the seventeenth
century. That period was marked by a series of civil wars between sup-
porters and opponents of monarchical prerogative and included the
execution of Charles I, the destruction of the monarchy and the House
of Lords, the restoration of the House of Lords and the monarchy
under Charles II, and the Glorious Revolution, which finally affirmed
Parliament's supremacy and led to the expulsion of James II. While
England's conflict was about the proper limits of monarchy, Maryland's
revolution was about the limits of proprietary governance. The propri-
etor had considerable latitude in crafting a government and shaping
its policies, but Maryland's colonial charter had provided for "the Ad-
vice, Assent, and Approbation" of the colony's freemen, who proprie-
tors agreed to call together "for the framing of Laws, when, and as
often as Need shall require."5
The generations following Maryland's founding were marked by real
efforts to discern a balance between freemen, who constituted the lower
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