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The Counties of Maryland
Volume 630, Page 3   View pdf image (33K)
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am630 - 0003.htm

THE COUNTIES OF MARYLAND, THEIR ORIGIN,
BOUNDARIES, AND ELECTION DISTRICTS

BY

EDWARD B. MATHEWS

INTRODUCTORY.

The counties in Maryland occupy a far more important position than
do similar political divisions in many other states of the Union. This
prominence of the county is due primarily to the fact that in Maryland it
serves as the unit of division of the territory of the State and is not
formed by the combination of smaller integral units, as is the case in the
North and West, where townships with their own local political organiza-
tion are the units of political division. Where townships exist they are
united to form a county and the county organization is according^ more
general and less complete than is the case in this State. Maryland pos-
sesses incorporated towns and villages analogous to those of other parts of
the United States but the nearest analogue to a township—the election
district—is not a political unit with its own individual government, but
is rather a precinct serving for election and other purposes within the
county. In Virginia the counties are often composed of several Hun-
dreds or Parishes which become the local units in popular consideration if
not in political government.

A second reason why the county is of unusual importance in Maryland
and one or two other states arises from the agricultural occupations of
the people and the widely scattered settlement of individuals of culture
and cosmopolitan interests. These are wont to refer to their residences
as in a given county rather than near some insignificant town or cross-
roads which serves as a post office address. Large towns, as a rule, are
unavailable for such close location of residence.

 

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The Counties of Maryland
Volume 630, Page 3   View pdf image (33K)
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