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The Chesapeake, Maryland
Cecilius Calvert, Baron Baltimore, religious toleration, royal charter, Protestants
In 1634 Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, founded Maryland under a royal charter, which made the colony Baltimore’s personal property. Baltimore, a Catholic nobleman, hoped to establish a refuge for English Catholics and sell large estates to individuals who would operate as feudal lords.
Neither the plans for feudalism nor for a Catholic refuge worked out, however. More Protestants than Catholics immigrated to Maryland. In 1649 Baltimore granted religious toleration to all Christians, but Protestants did not stop opposing him. They even overthrew Baltimore’s government on several occasions. Baltimore’s dreams of feudalism failed as well. Freed servants preferred farming on their own to staying on as tenants, and the colony quickly evolved as Virginia had: Planters (many of them former servants) imported servants from England and grew tobacco.
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