Metropolis of Maryland, located at the latitude of 39 ° 18 ′ N. and the longitude of 76 ° 37 ′ W, is the eighth largest city in the United States by population. It counted, at the 1920 census, 733,826 inhabitants, who lived on an area equal to 233 square kilometers.
Located on the Patapsco River at 23 m. on the sea, it is 22 kilometers from the Chesapeake Bay, which connects it with the Atlantic Ocean, and is in direct communication with Philadelphia to the northeast and Washington to the southwest.
The rise of Baltimore offers one of the most typical cases of the influence exerted on the human will by the special geographical and environmental conditions. The territory, on which the future metropolis was built, does not differ greatly, in terms of configuration and geological structure, from that on which the other large cities of the northern Atlantic coasts were built: that is, it is made up of ancient rocks, to which more recent rocks accompany the coast; the whole territory was and still is variously crossed by waterways such as the Herring’s Run, the Jone’s and Gwynn’s Falls and the Patapsco River, which flow into a wide gulf full of headlands and inlets: the area to the east of these rivers was chosen precisely, for its special geographical position, to found a city of traffic. On July 14, 1729, a petition was presented to the Provincial Assembly of Maryland asking that a port be established on the north bank of the Patapsco to clear the traffic of the thriving province. Three weeks later the permit was granted (see below: History).
According to acronymmonster, the city grew in importance and size, immediately putting itself on a par with the other Atlantic centers. The war for independence and the civil war later caused serious damage to the city and its trade, briefly halting its rise; but the firm will of the citizens, the trade of the port, the rise of large industries quickly filled the gaps caused by the political and military upheavals, bringing the city to a first-rate position in the complex North American organization.
Regarding the climate, the city is influenced both by the presence of the sea and by the latitude. The average annual temperature fluctuates around 12 ° -13 ° Celsius The average winter temperature is 1 °, 5 °, the summer one 25 °, the coldest month 0 °, 8 °, the hottest month 25 °, 2, with an annual excursion of 24 °, 4. It should be noted that in winter there are very few days with a temperature equal to or below 0 °; the minimum reached was -16 °, 5 on 10 February 1899. The average annual rainfall fluctuates around 1100 mm., distributed in each month of the year, a regime that brings us back to an oceanic climate type; the wettest month, July, with 120 mm. on average, the least rainy in November, with 68 mm. In the months from January to April and from October to December northwest winds prevail;
The center of Baltimore is divided into two almost equal parts by the small stream called Jone’s Falls, which rises about 30 km. north and flows through the city. The area of this river has been changed into a wide carriage road about 23 meters wide and goes by the name of Fallsway. The portion of the city located to the east of this street is still called Old Town while the south-east part has the characteristics of a maritime center. On the right bank of the Jone’s Falls (Locust Point) a thin peninsula stretches ending at Fort McHenry, equipped with piers and railway lines, one of the busiest areas of the entire metropolis.
The city is called the Monumental City because it has the great Washington Monument, located in Mount Vernon Place, a magnificent work of art, composed of a 40-meter high column, surmounted by a huge statue of the great leader, which rests on a high pedestal 10 meters.
It is full of parks and gardens. The most notable are: Druid Hill Park with an area of over 270 hectares, Gwynn’s Falls Park, Clifton Park, Wyman Park, Carroll Park, Patterson Park, etc. Druid Hill Park is rightly considered one of the most beautiful parks in the United States: it is graced by the Druid Lake artificial lake basin which is part of the complex system of works of art and public utility.
The city also contains some ancient cemeteries, which are of great importance for: the illustrious men who are buried there; to remember the Greenmount Cemetery on the left bank of the Jone’s Falls, with the graves of John Mc Donogh, Johns Hopkins, Sidney Lanier; in the Westminster cemetery, one of the smallest but the oldest, rests the body of Edgar Allan Poe.
The demographic increase of Baltimore took place all in the century. XIX and with marvelous speed. In fact, in 1790 the city had only 13,503 inhabitants, at the time occupying the fourth place after New York, Philadelphia and Boston. In 1800 with 26,514 residents the city was taken to 3rd place, overtaking Boston. In 1810 with 46,555 residents Baltimore is always in third place after New York and Philadelphia; in 1820 it had 62,738, in 1830, 80,620 inhabitants, surpassing even Philadelphia; in 1840, 102,313 inhabitants, in 1850, 169,054 inhabitants; in 1860, 212,418 residents overtaken again by Philadelphia; in 1870, 267.354 inhabitants; in 1880, 332,313; in 1890, 434,439; in 1900, 508,957; in 1910, 558,485; in 1920, 733,826 inhabitants; in 1928 (calculation), 830,400 inhabitants.
The periods of greatest increase are between 1840 and 1850, therefore, on the eve of the civil war; between 1880 and 1890 and finally between 1910 and 1928. If we then compare the population increase of Baltimore with that of two of the main coastal centers of the Atlantic, Philadelphia and Boston, we observe that in the last decade Baltimore has in this field the absolute and relative primacy (3.17% annual average, against 1.77% and 1.16%).
As for the ethnic group, Baltimore in 1920 included: 625,130 Whites (85%), 108,322 Negroes (14.8%) and then a small number of Indians, Chinese and Japanese.
With regard to industrial activity, in which 143,000 residents (1920), in 1909 Baltimore owned 2502 factories with 71,444 salaried workers; in 1914, at the beginning of the European war, it had 2502 factories with 73.709 workers, in 1919 2797 factories with 97.814 employees. It can be said that every branch of industrial activity is represented: in 1919, clothing factories, cotton mills, mechanical workshops, confectionery factories, tobacco factories, printers, chemical products factories, etc. From the above figures it is easy to deduce how Baltimore, despite being a decent industrial center, does not however have a well identified industrial specialization, in the sense that each branch of
Baltimore has much greater importance in terms of traffic and trade, especially with its port, one of the most important in the United States. In 1920, 34,000 people were employed in transportation and 47,500 in commerce.
The port of Baltimore benefits from the estuary of the Patapsco River: this originates in Maryland, and in its entire course it has no great commercial importance, while it assumes an extraordinary one when it enters the estuary (into which its tributaries are also thrown), which has an oscillating width of 1200 m. at 6-7 km. The estuary has three main branches: the Northwest Branch, the Middle Branch and the Curtis Bay.
To facilitate navigation from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay to the port of Baltimore, canals have been dredged to allow access even to deep-draft vessels. The port is visited periodically by the tides; it has 358 piers and anchorages, of which 35 are used for ocean traffic, 4 for coastal traffic, 17 for river and immediate inland traffic, 22 for the storage of timber coming especially from Virginia and North Carolina; 3 for the export of coal; 3 for the export of cereals; 136 for mixed traffic etc.
The traffic of the port of Baltimore is one of the most notable in the United States: in 1923 among the ports located on the sea it held the 4th place, coming after New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles. The figures relating to the period 1915-1924 show us how the overall traffic of the port is increasing, albeit through significant fluctuations: the average for the decade was 15,000,000 short tons, equal to 13,750,000 metric tons.
Among the imports, raw minerals, petroleum, molasses, sulfur, wood pulp held the first places; exports include cereals, coal, iron and steel.
Baltimore’s foreign traffic can be said to cover almost all parts of the world, but it is preferably oriented in the Atlantic Ocean, both on the American coasts and on the European ones. The European states most concerned with Baltimore are England, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Italy, etc. In America, the states of the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile; in Asia, Japan, the Philippines, India.
The city largely provides public assistance with government means and private donations. There are numerous hospitals, including Johns Hopkins Hospital, one of the best in the world, and a very active Pasteur Institute.
History – At first Baltimore was but a name; it was given in honor of the Catholics Lord Baltimore, founders and later governors and owners of the province of Maryland (1633; v.), to various localities, none of which, however, managed to develop into cities. But in 1729, the provincial government saw the need to give, beyond the century-old Annapolis, another outlet for the prosperous trade in the region by establishing a stopover in an innermost part of the Chesapeake Bay. Thus Baltimore was born: but the principles were very slow, the development late: fifty years later the village did not exceed 6000 inhabitants, and until 1797 it always lived in a certain dependence on Annapolis. During the war of independence it had some importance, if only for having hosted the Congress for some time. It then had its heroic moment in 1814, when it was blocked by the British, and Fort McHenry was bombed; which did not prevent the city from developing thanks to the trade and enterprising spirit of its inhabitants, well known especially as shipowners and captains of the clippers, fast sailing ships, used for trade with China and the Indies. Major impetus came from railway communications. It was preserved from the troubles of the Civil War, being out of the area of operations; but, a city closest to the southerners by tendencies, it felt from the beginning the effects of the Nordic preponderance and was held by the feds almost like a conquered city. This is explained by the strong influence that the Catholic element has always exercised in Baltimore, since the early days of colonization. Maryland’s Catholicism was born on the foundation of religious freedom; the colony of the lords Baltimore was a refuge for persecuted Catholics in England, and was the first to recognize the legal principle of religious tolerance. If then the reaction came, due to a new Protestant majority, it was not complete: Catholicism has meant in Maryland, and especially in Baltimore, liberal thought and breadth of intellectual sympathies, and its influence is reflected in journalism, literature and worldly life. The diocese of Baltimore, the oldest in the United States (the first Catholic seminary was also founded in Baltimore), had very distinguished archbishops and cardinals; notable in the long series, John Carroll (1790-1815), Samuel Eccleston (1834-1851) and James Gibbons (1878-1921). Baltimore had some part in the religious address of the Americanism (v.), not because this was a distinctly Baltimore phenomenon, but because the papal letter Testem benevolentiae, which condemned that attitude of the Catholic spirit, was addressed to Baltimore and proclaimed by Cardinal Gibbons. In Baltimore, the long-standing Catholic element is an integral part of the life of the city, not a group apart, as is necessarily the case in all American cities in the South, except for New Orleans, both Catholic and French. Baltimore Cathedral dates back to the period 1806-1821.
The cultural tradition in Baltimore, home of John Hopkins University, the first true American university, which from 1880 onwards transformed the entire American system of higher education into a rigorously scientific sense, previously organized on an amateur basis and on moral concerns, is very noble. John Hopkins University School of Medicine and Hospital are world-renowned. The University of Maryland, which dates from 1807, also includes particular schools of engineering, medicine, economics, pedagogy, etc.; it has a library of about 270,000 volumes and 40,000 possesses the medical-surgical faculty. Other cultural institutes include: Goucher College, a women’s institute of higher education; the thriving Baltimore Medical College, the Maryland Academy of Sciences, with an ethnological section and an important astronomical observatory; and the Maryland Historical Society (since 1844), which has about 100,000 volumes and several thousand manuscripts, and publishes a great many memoirs and monographs. Among the newspapers the Sun has national influence.