Stiverson, Gregory A. "'To Maintain Inviolate Our Liberties': Maryland and the Bill of Rights." In The Bill of Rights and the States: The Colonial and Revolutionary Origins of American Liberties. Edited by Patrick T. Conley and John P. Kaminski, 370-97. Madison, WI: Madison House Publishers, 1992.
Annotation / Notes: The tension between the rights of citizens and the authority of the state existed from the founding of Maryland and served as a background for the debate over whether the new federal Constitution required the adoption of a bill of rights to protect the liberties of the people. During the colonial period the issue was whether Maryland settlers enjoyed the rights of Englishmen and what exactly those rights were. In addition, since the Calverts sought to create a colony where Catholics could practice their religion unimpaired, religious toleration was of paramount importance. The Puritan ascendancy during the English Civil War made life difficult for Maryland Catholics and over time religious toleration was the best that could be accomplished. The Maryland Declaration of Rights (1776), predicated on long experience defending liberties from arbitrary government, was a comprehensive written statement of the right of the people to govern themselves and to have their rights defined. Small wonder that Marylanders would feel strongly that adoption of a federal bill of rights was essential and that the Anti-Federalists were able to capitalize on this sentiment.
Tate, Thad W., and David L. Ammerman, eds. The Chesapeake in the Seventeenth Century Essays on Anglo-American Society & Politics. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1979.
Annotation / Notes: A collection of papers presented at a scholarly conference in 1974 covering all aspects of Chesapeake life and politics in the 17th century. Many of these scholars - especially Lois Green Carr, Lorena S. Walsh, Darrett and Anita Rutman, David W. Jordan, and Russell R. Menard - would become the core of a new "Chesapeake School," whose hallmark was to breathe life and insight into mute statistical records. Their influence into our understanding of this period cannot be overstated.
Carr, Lois Green. "Sources of Political Stability and Upheaval in Seventeenth-Century Maryland." Maryland Historical Magazine 79 (Spring 1984): 44-70.
Annotation / Notes: Challenging the prevailing notion that seventeenth century Maryland politics were inherently chaotic, Carr argues that community networks were being formed through which information was exchanged and community oversight imposed, and that County courts emerged as de facto local governments. Local men, who may have been planters or former indentured servants, were appointed as justices. During the hiatus following the Revolution of 1689 local government continued to operate. After discussing the various political crises before and after 1689, Carr concludes that the underlying cause of Maryland's political instability was a failure of leadership of the men at the top of Maryland society.
Annotation / Notes: This is an especially cogent overview by the dean of the modern Chesapeake School of historians of the major issues concerning Maryland's founding and the travails encountered by those who settled there over the remainder of the century. It should also tantalize readers to consult her many other publications.
Everstine, Carl N.The General Assembly of Maryland 1634-1776. Charlottesville, VA: Mitchie Company, 1980.
Annotation / Notes: The first of a three volume institutional study of the Maryland General Assembly based primarily on legislative sources. After establishing the legislative inheritance based upon the English experience, this study focuses on the emergence of the assembly in colonial Maryland as a political force, often in opposition to the Proprietor's efforts to maintain his power and privileges. Among the topics covered are the Glorious Revolution, Maryland as a Royal Colony, the restoration, and the various events leading up to the Revolution and independence. The book ends with a chapter on government by convention between 1774 and 1776 and the departure of Governor Eden.
Jordan, David W.Foundations of Representative Government in Maryland, 1632-1715. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Annotation / Notes: This book makes a real contribution in two different areas: it traces the development of representative government, with special emphasis on the assembly, in a colony where the Proprietor did not want it; and it works from a detailed examination of the assemblymen to show the importance of the emergence of a native political elite on Maryland politics. This individualized analysis is no mean feat considering the lack of personal detail in surviving records. The narrative covers Lord Baltimore's initial effort to create a manor system, the emergence of county as the primary unit of government, the various efforts to challenge his leadership, which ultimately led to the revocation of the Charter and the establishment of a Royal government, and the restoration of the proprietorship.
Menard, Russell R., and Lois Green Carr. "The Lords Baltimore and the Colonization of Maryland." In Early Maryland in a Wider World, edited by David B. Quinn, 167-215. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1982.
Annotation / Notes: This is a richly detailed examination of the English roots of the Charter of 1632 and its implementation on the far shores of the Chesapeake Bay through about 1660. This study traces the voyage of the Ark and the Dove, the efforts of the proprietors to attract large investors through the recreation of the medieval manor system, the investors who joined in this venture, and the expectation that the fur trade would generate immediate revenue for the Proprietor. The goal of the Calvert vision was to create a refuge for Catholic Englishmen. The initial settlement on the St. Mary's River was successful, but the fragility of the experiment was soon apparent. The fur trade proved non-existent and the manorial system did not suit the topological conditions of the region. The county court and the provincial assembly emerged as important embryonic institutions. Much of this essay details how the settlers adapted to this new agricultural environment and the importance of indentured labor.
Terrar, Edward F. Social, Economic, and Religious Beliefs among Maryland Catholic Laboring People during the Period of the English Civil War, 1639-1660. Ph.D. diss., University of California, Los Angeles, 1991.
Meyers, Debra. "The Civic Lives of White Women in Seventeenth-Century Maryland." Maryland Historical Magazine 94 (Fall 1999): 309-27.
Annotation / Notes: Finds that white women in seventeenth century Maryland were active participants in the public sphere. Legal records show that women from all socio-economic levels acted as lawyers, executors of wills, jurors, and litigants. They had recognized legal status and were responsible for their own financial and moral actions. Other records reveal that women served as religious educators, owned property, and managed plantations and other commerical enterprises.
Norton, Mary Beth. "Gender and Defamation in Seventeenth-Century Maryland." William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd. series, 44 (January 1987): 3-39.
Annotation / Notes: Examines 145 defamation suits - over half cases involved women as litigants or witnesses - to assess the basic values of seventeenth-century Marylanders. Both men and married women used the courts to respond to gossip and public accusations that threatened their reputations. Their focus was trustworthiness, but for different reasons. A man's word was central to economic interactions with other men, and to attain a wife he had to be a decent man (cheats and scoundrels need not apply). Charging a single woman with fornification caused no irrepairable damaged, but a married woman had to "retain her husband's good will" to keep her social status.
Yewell, Therese C.Women of Achievement in Prince George's County History. Upper Marlboro, MD: Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Prince George's County Planning Board, 1994.
Annotation / Notes: This is a model of how to present biographical portraits. The biographies of these Prince George's County women are arranged in chronological order. Each chapter begins with an historical narrative that places the biographies in context.
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