Maryland is steeped in the history of the American Union. She fiercely defended her position amongst the thirteen original states as a free, independent, and sovereign state. She was the last to accede to The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. The first article of the Maryland Declaration of Rights states, “That all Government of right originates from the People, is founded in compact only, and instituted solely for the good of the whole; and they have, at all times, the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their Form of Government in such manner as they may deem expedient.” [Emphasis added.]
Powerful words indeed!
Maryland’s tradition of self-governance and self-determination was laid bare as state legislatures and conventions met to determine the fate of their role in the Federal Union as conceived by their forefathers. Maryland along with nearly every northern and southern state fully comprehended the right of the people of each state to freely accede to join the Union as well as the right to secede from the Union. Eventually, eleven states seceded from the Union by May 1861.
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