The Public Honors College

SMCM Newsroom

Why Maryland Religious History Was Pivotal in 1600s

March 14, 2011
Press Release #11-046


In recognition of Maryland Day, St. Mary’s College of Maryland welcomes Boston College Professor Owen Stanwood to discuss religious tolerance in early America at 2 p.m. Friday, March 25, in Cole Cinema of the Campus Center.   

“In histories of English America, Maryland usually receives little attention. This is unfortunate, as the colony stood at the center of political and religious intrigues that changed not just Maryland but the entire region during the late 1600s,” said Stanwood. “When the Calvert family founded their colony in 1634, they intended it as a haven for persecuted people, especially their Catholic coreligionists. In the end, however, Maryland’s legacy was not religious toleration but a particularly virulent form of anti-popery that poisoned politics in the country.”

His book, From Rebels to Subjects: The Glorious Revolution and the Imperial Transformation of British America, examines how fears of Catholicism galvanized and transformed Anglo-American political culture during the last decades of the 17th century. This event is sponsored by the Center for the Study of Democracy, the History Department, and Historic St. Mary’s City.

St. Mary's College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best public liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. More than 2,000 students attend the college, nestled on the St. Mary's River in Southern Maryland.