The 2010 population of the city was 620,961; Baltimore County, of which the city is independent, had 805,029. The Baltimore Metropolitan Area had 2.7 million residents, making it the 20th largest in the country. The Washington-Baltimore metropolitan area has a population of 8.3 million.
The city's population rose from 20% black in 1940 to 60% today and includes many German Americans, Italian Americans, American Jews and Polish Americans. From the 1840s to the 1950s the city was dominated by German Americans. However the German-American community was split along lines of religion and, apart from opposing prohibition, seldom voted as a unified bloc.
In the 1940s Jews were concentrated in northwest Baltimore. Germans, Poles, and Italians —operatives and skilled workers in the city's diversified industries - lived in the south and east, near the harbor. The immigrants' well-defined row house neighborhoods in East Baltimore and Highland-town gave the city its ethnic flavor. The rowhouses in the south and southwest parts of the city, collectively known as South Baltimore, were homes to well-established Germans and Irish.
Until 1964, Jim Crow was enforced both legally and socially, although the schools were integrated in the late 1950s.
Baltimore was the first city to use manufactured coal gas for energy following the creation of the Gas Light Company of Baltimore, Maryland, in 1816. Thereafter, gas plants were developed throughout the United States.
From 1860 to 1960, Baltimore was an important center of the men's ready-to-wear clothing industries. German-speaking Jews created many businesses that manufactured and sold underwear, men's suits, and specialty items such as hats and umbrellas. The most prominent Jewish businessmen operated at the retail level: Hutzler's, Hochschild Kohn's, and Hecht's were the city's major department stores from the late 19th century through the 1970s.
The new Maryland state constitution of 1864 ended slavery and provided for the education of all children, including blacks. The Baltimore Association for the Moral and Educational Improvement of the Colored People established schools for blacks that were taken over by the public school system, which then restricted education for blacks beginning in 1867 when Democrats regained control of the city. Establishing an unequal system that prepared white students for citizenship while using education to reinforce black subjugation, Baltimore's postwar school system exposed the contradictions of race, education, and republicanism in an age when African Americans struggled to realize the ostensible freedoms gained by emancipation.
In 1889 the university opened the Johns Hopkins Hospital Training School for Nurses. It was new and it revolutionized American health care by professionalizing nursing, then characterized by low pay, low status, long hours, and heavy work by working-class women. Johns Hopkins, as well as other nursing institutions in the United States, based their reforms on Florence Nightingale's work at St. Thomas's Hospital's nursing school founded in London in 1860.
Baltimore is the home of two professional sports teams: the Baltimore Orioles of the American League and the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL (the latter relocated from Cleveland but, as part of the relocation, could not take the team name or its franchise history).
Baltimore is the site of the Johns Hopkins University (1876), a premier research institution best known for its medical school. Other notable schools are Loyola University Maryland, the College of Notre Dame of Maryland (1873), Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University (formerly the Peabody Conservatory of Music; founded 1857), and Goucher College (1885) in suburban Towson. Much of the work of higher education is done by the University of Maryland-Baltimore, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, the University of Maryland, and Towson University. Morgan State University is a historically black school. The Baltimore Museum of Art, the Peale Museum, and the Walters Art Gallery have notable collections of art, and the B & O Railroad Museum houses an impressive collection of railroad memorabilia. The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, founded in the 1990s, attempts a 'balancing act' by highlighting the importance, endurance, and vitality of African American history and culture, while emphasizing the destructive effects of slavery and racism. The Morris Mechanic Theater, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Opera Company, and Fort McHenry (its successful defense against the British in 1814, inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner") are other major attractions. Nearby Pimlico Race Track is the site of the Preakness Stakes, a major event in horse racing. Druid Hill Park contains the city zoo and a natural history museum. The U.S.S. Constellation, launched in 1854 is a major tourist attraction in the harbor.
The story of the Patapsco Forest Reserve (later renamed the Patapsco Valley State Park) near Baltimore reveals notable connections between the Progressive-era movements for forest conservation and urban park planning. In 1903, the Patapsco Valley site, although outside the city boundary, was nevertheless identified by the Olmstead Brothers landscape architecture firm as an ideal site to acquire property for future park development. At the same time, the Maryland State Board of Forestry, seeking to establish scientific forestry research, received donated land for this purpose in the Patapsco Valley. Over subsequent decades, a powerful alliance of urban elites, state managers, and city officials assembled thousands of acres along the Patapsco River. The site evolved into a unique hybrid of forest preserve and public park that reflected both its location on the urban fringe and its dual heritage in the conservation and parks movements.
Baltimore was settled in the early 17th century and founded as a town in 1729. It was named after Lord Baltimore, the founder of Maryland. Baltimore was incorporated by 1745, and over the next two decades it acquired nine parcels of land to become an important and substantial community on the Patapsco River. Through the rest of the century Baltimore drained and filled in marshes, built canals around the falls and through the center of town, and expanded southeastward. The American Revolution stimulated the domestic market for wheat and iron ore, and in Baltimore flour milling increased along the Jones and Gwynn Falls. Iron ore transport greatly boosted the local economy. The British naval blockade hurt Baltimore's shipping, but also freed merchants and traders from British debts, which along with the capture of British merchant vessels furthered Baltimore's economic growth. By 1800 Baltimore had become one of the major cities of the new republic.
The economic foundations laid down between 1763 and 1776 were vital to the even greater expansion seen during the Revolutionary War. Though still lagging behind Philadelphia, Baltimore merchants and enterprisers produced an expanding commercial community with family businesses and partnerships proliferating in shipping, the flour-milling and grain business, and the indentured servant traffic. International trade focused on four areas: Britain, Southern Europe, the West Indies, and the North American coastal towns. Credit was the essence of the system and a virtual chain of indebtedness meant that bills remained long unpaid and little cash was used among overseas correspondents, merchant wholesalers, and retail customers. Bills of exchange were used extensively, often circulating as currency. Frequent crises of credit, and the wars with France kept prices and markets in constant flux, but men such as William Lux and the Christie brothers produced a maturing economy and a thriving metropolis by the 1770s. The population reached 14,000 in 1790, but the decade was a rough one for the city. The Bank of England's suspension of specie payments caused the network of Atlantic credit to unravel, leading to a mild recession. The Quasi-War with France in 1798-1800 caused major disruptions to Baltimore's trade in the Caribbean. Finally, a yellow fever epidemic diverted ships from the port, while much of the urban population fled into the countryside. The downturn widened to include every social class and area of economic activity. In response the business community diversified away from an economy based heavily on foreign trade.
- 1790 14,000
- 1800 27,000
- 1810 47,000
- 1820 63,000
- 1830 81,000
- 1840 102,000
- 1850 169,000
- 1860 212,000
- 1870 267,000
- 1880 332,000
- 1890 434,000
Baltimore dominated the American flour trade after 1800 due to the milling technology of Oliver Evans, the introduction of steam power in processing, and the merchant-millers' development of drying processes which greatly retarded spoilage. Still, by 1830 New York's competition was felt keenly, and Baltimoreans were hard-pressed to match the merchantability standards despite more rigorous inspection controls than earlier, nor could they match the greater financial resources of their northern rivals.
Baltimore and Ohio Railway
Baltimore faced economic decline unless it opened routes to the western states, as New York had done with the Erie Canal. In 1827, twenty-five merchants and bankers studied the best means of restoring "that portion of the Western trade which has recently been diverted from it by the introduction of steam navigation." Their answer was to build a railroad—one of the first commercial lines in the world. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad became the first chartered railroad in the United States; twenty thousand investors purchased $5 million in stock to import the rolling stock and build the line. It was a commercial and financial success, and invented many new managerial methods that became standard practice in railroading and modern business. The B&O became the first company to operate a locomotive built in America, with the "Tom Thumb" in 1829. It built the first passenger and freight station (Mount Clare in 1829) and was the first railroad that earned passenger revenues (December 1829), and published a timetable (May 23, 1830). On December 24, 1852, it became the first rail line to reach the Ohio River from the eastern seaboard. Its lines are still profitable, though it was merged into the CSX system in 1987.
Peabody and Philanthropy
George Peabody rose from humble beginnings to become one of the nation's most powerful businessmen. Based in Baltimore, Peabody developed an extensive network of financial and mercantile institutions that laid the groundwork for J. P. Morgan's financial empire. Peabody relocated to London in 1837 and later helped install the first transatlantic telegraph cables. During the 1860s, Peabody began his celebrated philanthropic career, endowing libraries and museums and aiding the poor on both sides of the Atlantic. Peabody's legacy inspired Andrew Carnegie and other captains of industry to offer some of their wealth to serve the public good.
From the late 1700s into the 1820s Baltimore was a "city of transients," a fast-growing boomtown attracting thousands of ex-slaves from the surrounding countryside. Slavery in Maryland declined steadily after the 1810s as the state's economy shifted away from plantation agriculture, as evangelicalism and a liberal manumission law encouraged owners to liberate those in bondage, and as other masters practiced "term slavery," registering deeds of manumission but postponing the actual date of freedom for a decade or more. Baltimore's shrinking slave population often lived and worked alongside the city's growing free black population as "quasi-freedmen." With unskilled and semiskilled employment readily available, particularly in the shipyards and related industries, little friction with white workers occurred. Despite the overall poverty of the city's free blacks, compared with the condition of those living in Philadelphia, Charleston, and New Orleans, Baltimore was a "city of refuge," where slave and free black alike found an unusual amount of freedom. Churches, schools, and fraternal and benevolent associations provided a cushion against hardening white attitudes toward free blacks in the wake of Nat Turner's revolt in Virginia in 1831. But a flood of German and Irish immigrants swamped Baltimore's labor market after 1840, driving free blacks deeper into poverty.
The Maryland Chemical Works of Baltimore used a mix of free labor, hired slaves, and slaves owned by the corporation to work in its factory. Since chemicals needed constant attention, the rapid turnover of free white labor encouraged the owner to use slaves. While slave labor was about 20% cheaper, the company began to reduce its dependence on slave labor in 1829 when two slaves ran away and one died.
It was easy for slaves in the city to run away—as Frederick Douglass did. Therefore, slaveholders in Baltimore frequently turned to gradual manumission as a means to secure dependable and productive labor from slaves. In promising freedom after a fixed period of years, slaveholders intended to reduce the costs associated with lifetime servitude while providing slaves incentive for cooperation. Blacks for their part tried to negotiate terms of manumission that were more advantageous, and the implicit threat of flight weighed significantly in slaveholders' calculations.
Baltimore in the Third Party System had two-party competitive elections, with powerful bosses, carefully orchestrated political violence, and an emerging working-class consciousness at the polls. The fierce politics of the 1850s had galvanized the white workers, most of them German, who opposed slavery. The American Party emerged in the mid 1850s to represent Protestants and to counter the Democratic Party, which was increasingly controlled by Catholic Irish. When Baltimore erupted in violence at the time of Lincoln's inauguration, for example, the pro-Union "Blood Tubs" that took to the streets were veterans of political rioting. The nativist American (Know-Nothing) Party captured the Baltimore government in 1854. The party used patronage and, especially, coercion; its armed forces scared off Democratic voters and forced drunks and immigrants to vote multiple times. The party elected a congressman and governor during its short reign. In 1860 the Democrat-controlled legislature took back the city police, the militia, patronage, and the electoral machinery, and prosecuted some Know-Nothings for electoral fraud. By 1861 the Know-Nothings had split over secession.
Baltimore was torn by the Civil War. Much of the social and political elite favored the Confederacy—and indeed owned house slaves. In the 1860 election the city's large German element voted not for Lincoln but for Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge. They were less concerned with the abolition of slavery, an issue emphasized by Republicans, and much more with nativism, temperance, and religious beliefs, associated with the Know-Nothing Party and strongly opposed by the Democrats. However the Germans hated slavery and supported the Union.
When Massachusetts troops marched through the city on April 19, 1861, en route to Washington, a rebel mob attacked; 4 soldiers and 12 rioters were dead, and 36 soldiers and uncounted rioters had been injured. Governor Thomas Hicks realized action was needed. He convened a special session of the General Assembly but moved its location to a site in Frederick, a distance from the secessionist groups. In doing this and by other actions, Hicks managed to neutralize the General Assembly to avoid Maryland's secession from the Union, becoming a hero in the eyes of the Unionists in the state. Meanwhile, pro-Confederate gangs burned the bridges connecting Baltimore and Washington to the North, and cut the telegraph lines. Lincoln sent in federal troops under Gen. Ben Butler; they seized the city, imposed martial law, and arrested leading Confederate spokesmen. The prisoners were later released and the rail lines reopened, making Baltimore a major Union base during the war.
Maryland was not subject to Reconstruction, but the end of slavery meant heightened racial tensions as free blacks flocked to the city and many armed confrontations erupted between blacks and whites. Rural blacks who flocked to Baltimore created increased competition for skilled jobs and upset the prewar relationship between free blacks and whites. As black migrants were relegated to unskilled work or no work at all, violent strikes erupted. Denied entry into the regular state militia, armed blacks formed militias of their own. In the midst of this change, white Baltimoreans interpreted black discontent as disrespect for law and order, which justified police repression.
The construction of new housing was a major factor in Baltimore's economy. Vill (1986) examines the activities of major builders between 1869 and 1896, especially as they gained access to building land and capital. Most, but not all, of the major builders were craftsmen who were entrepreneurs compared with others in the building trades, but were still small businessmen who built a relatively small number of houses during long careers. They worked closely with landowners, and both groups manipulated the city's leasehold system to their own advantage. Builders obtained credit from a diverse array of sources, including sellers of land, building societies, and land companies. The most important source was individual lenders, who lent money in small amounts either on their own account or through lawyers and trustees overseeing funds held in trust. In spite of their important role in shaping the city, the contractors were small businessmen who rarely achieved citywide visibility. Expanded economic activity brought many immigrants from the countryside and from Europe after the Civil War. Concerns for young, single Protestant women alone in cities led to the growth of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) movement. Given the practice of segregation in Baltimore, however, two YWCA's emerged, the (white) Baltimore YWCA founded in 1883 and the Colored YWCA founded in 1896. They merged in 1920.
- 1900 509,000
- 1910 558,000
- 1920 734,000
- 1930 805,000
- 1940 859,000
- 1950 950,000
- 1960 939,000
- 1970 906,000
- 1980 787,000
- 1990 736,000
- 2000 651,000
- 2007 637,000
Political reform began in 1895 with the defeat of the Arthur Gorman-Isaac Freeman Rasin Democratic machine. The great fire of 1904 destroyed 70 blocks and 1,526 buildings in the downtown, and led to systematic urban renewal programs.
Baltimore was a poorly managed city in 1890, despite its economic vitality. Already Boston, Chicago, and New York were moving to modernize their public works infrastructures and to support the construction of capital-intensive, technologically sophisticated sewer and water supply systems. Baltimore lagged behind the other American metropolises because of its culture of privatism and the politicization of its municipal administration. However, during the 1890-1920 period the city responded to the same concerns as Chicago, New York, and Boston. The increase in urban crises, particularly the 1904 fire and the deterioration of sanitary conditions, prompted demands for reform. Moreover, the municipal administration underwent a process of moralization and professionalization in the 1900s. Afterward, Baltimore modeled itself on the other American metropolises and chose to modernize its institutions and address the industrial and urban challenges of the era.
When in 1918 the US government reversed its draft exemption for married workers and required all men to work in essential occupations or serve in the military, professional baseball players either enlisted or joined industrial baseball leagues. Company leagues included those of Bethlehem Steel, which had recreational leagues on both coasts that by 1918 represented a major-league level of competition. Sparrows Point, Maryland, a Bethlehem Steel company town, had a Steel League team, whose results Baltimore baseball fans followed closely. At the same time, fans also followed the draft status and 1918 season of Baltimore native Babe Ruth, then playing with the Boston Red Sox and considering his own options, including joining an industrial league team. In September Bethlehem Steel, fearing competition with other leagues over professional talent, disbanded the Steel League. When the war ended in November, players such as Ruth were free to re-sign with their major league teams.
Depression and War: 1929-1950
Argersinger (1988) describes the loss of power by traditional Democratic leaders and organizations in Baltimore under the New Deal. The old-line Democrats operated in the spirit of traditional political bosses who dispensed the patronage. They were, at best, lukewarm Roosevelt supporters because the New Deal threatened their monopoly on patronage. Blacks, other ethnic groups, labor, and other former supporters turned from their patrons to other leadership. Baltimore Mayor Howard W. Jackson's support gradually eroded until he was defeated in a gubernatorial primary election to choose an opponent for a Republican who earlier defeated conservative Governor Albert C. Richie. Conservative Senator Millard Tydings retained office because a Roosevelt move to purge him in 1938 backfired.
Baltimore was a major war production center in World War II. The biggest operations were Bethlehem Steel's Fairfield Yard, on the southeastern edge of the harbor, which built Liberty ships; its work force peaked at 46,700 in late 1943. Even larger was Glenn Martin, an aircraft plant located 10 miles northeast of downtown. By late 1943 about 150,000 to 200,000 migrant war workers had arrived. They were predominantly poor white southerners; most came from the hills of Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Tennessee. War mobilization brought federal pressure to unionize the work force, and by 1941 the leftist CIO had organized most of Baltimore's large industries, while the more conservative AFL also gained many new members. By 1945, labor unions and ethnics had taken over local politics and liberal mayors enjoyed black as well as white support. The machine was led by Italian Catholic politicians such as Nancy Pelosi's father, Thomas D'Alesandro, Jr., who was mayor in 1947–59; her brother, Thomas D'Alesandro III, was mayor from 1967 to 1971. On the day Pelosi's father dedicated Baltimore's monument to Confederate generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, Nancy Pelosi joined in the celebrations together with the grandchildren of Lee and Jackson.
Father John F. Cronin's early confrontations with Communists in the World War II-era labor movement turned him into a leading anti-Communist in the Catholic Church and the US government during the Cold War. Father Cronin, then a leading local Catholic priest, saw a united labor movement as central to his moderate, reformist vision for Baltimore's social ills, and worked closely with anti-Communist labor leaders.
Urban Crisis: 1950-1990
In 1950, the city's population topped out at 950,000, of whom 24% were black. Then the white movement to the suburbs began in earnest, and the population inside the city limits steadily declined and became proportionately more black.
Integration of Baltimore city schools at first went smoothly, as city elites suppresses working class white complaints, which only sped up white flight to suburban schools. By the 1970s new problems had surfaced. White flight transformed formerly white schools into mostly black schools, though whites still made up most of the faculty and administration. Worse, the school system had become dependent on federal funding. In 1974, these circumstances led to two dramatic incidents. A teachers' strike highlighted the city's unwillingness to raise teachers' salaries because a hike in property taxes would further alienate white residents. A second crisis revolved around a federally mandated desegregation plan that also threatened to alienate the remaining white residents. The crises were caused by federal policy.
Heroin usage in Baltimore reveals the explosive rise of illegal drug use in the United States in the 1960s. In the late 1940s there were only a few dozen African-American heroin addicts in the Pennsylvania Avenue area of the city. Heroin use began largely for reasons of prestige within a group that most middle-class blacks looked down on. When the Baltimore police formed the three-man narcotics squad in 1951 there was only moderate profit in drug dealing and shoplifting was the addict's crime of choice. By the late 1950s young whites were experimenting with the drug, and by 1960 there were over one thousand heroin addicts in the police files; this figure doubled in the 1960s. A generation of profiteering young, violent black dealers took over in the 1960s as violence increased and the price of heroin skyrocketed. Increasing drug usage was undoubtedly the primary reason for burglaries rising tenfold and robberies rising thirtyfold from 1950 to 1970. Soaring numbers of broken homes and Baltimore's declining economic status probably exacerbated the drug problem. Adolescents in suburban areas began using drugs in the late 1960s.
In the 1930s and 1940s the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the black churches, and the Afro-American weekly newspaper took charge of organizing and publicizing demonstrations. There was no rioting. In the late 1950s Martin Luther King and his national civil rights movement inspired black ministers in Baltimore mobilize their communities in opposition to local discrimination. The churches were instrumental in keeping lines of communication open between the geographically and politically divided middle-class and poor blacks, a chasm that had widened since the end of World War II. Ministers formed a network across churches and denominations and did much of the face-to-face work of motivating people to organize and protest. In many cases they also adopted King's theology of justice and freedom and altered their preaching styles.
In the 1950s and 1960s, white Southern racial politics moved north into Baltimore and other cities. White Southerners came to Baltimore by the thousands during World War II, permanently altering the city's political landscape. Southern whites built on existing racial restrictions in Maryland to approximate the customary lines of demarcation further south. Working whites mobilized to prevent school integration after the 'Brown' decision of 1954. They believed that their interests were being sacrificed to those of black Americans. As working-class whites began to feel increasingly embattled in the face of federal intervention into local practices, many turned to the 1964 presidential primary campaign of George Wallace who swept the white working class vote. Durr (2003) explains the defection of white working-class voters in Baltimore to the Republican Party as being caused by their fears that the Democratic Party's desegregation policies posed a threat to their families, workplaces, and neighborhoods.
Between 1950 and 1990, Baltimore's population declined by more than 200,000 and poverty and crime greatly increased. The city had hit bottom.
1990s to the present
Optimism returned in the 1990s. Despite continuing fiscal and social problems, Baltimore has begun to revitalize its business districts and neighborhoods through community organizations, the cooperation of local government and business, and federal aid. In recent decades, the redevelopment of the Inner Harbor and the gentrification of rundown neighborhoods have been major factors in Baltimore's resurgence.
Overcoming the decline of its manufacturing sector, Baltimore is shifting toward white-collar, service, and tourist industries. The movement of young, middle-class families back into the city is promoting the revitalization of historic residential districts.
Mayor Sheila Dixon, a Democrat, was forced to resign in 2010 as part of a plea bargain; already convicted of a misdemeanor for stealing donated gift cards intended for poor children, she was facing yet another trial on perjury charges.
Baltimore enacted "sweeping" gun control laws in 2013, and in 2017 saw the highest ever recorded murder rate between January and May 2017 in the city during that time of year.
The Ferguson riots failed to muster African-American voters to the polls in the 2014 Midterm Elections to retake the U.S House of Representatives or keep the U.S. Senate from going Republican, as Democratic Party strategists (such as Donna Brazile) had hoped. Yet in many ways the 2015 Baltimore Riots were a spinoff of the anger engendered in Ferguson. The New York Times reported President Obama met the day after the midterms with Ferguson protest leaders and expressed concern, in the words of Al Sharpton, that the movement and its objectives "stay on course". Social media analysts discovered links between the Baltimore and Ferguson violence; between 20 and 50 social media accounts active in Baltimore were also used in Ferguson at the peak of violence in late Summer 2014, suggesting the presence of professional organizers. The New York Times reported President Obama met the day after the 2014 midterms with Ferguson Marxist leaders and expressed concern, in the words of Al Sharpton, that the movement and its objectives "stay on course". Social media analysts discovered links between the Baltimore and Ferguson violence; between 20 and 50 social media accounts active in Baltimore were also used in Ferguson at the peak of violence in late Summer 2014, suggesting the presence of professional organizers.
Residents of Baltimore’s poorest boroughs have lifespans shorter than people living under dictatorship in North Korea. That is a disgrace.Sanders further added, "anyone who took the walk that we took around this Baltimore neighborhood would not think you’re in a wealthy nation, you'd think that you were in a Third World country”. In a walking tour of House Oversight Committee chair Elijah Cummings' district Mayor Catherine Pugh said
What the hell – we should just take all this s**t down. Oooh....you can smell the rats!In 2019 Baltimore Deputy Police Chief was robbed at gunpoint. By mid year the city of Baltimore and Rep. Cummings' district was a rat infested dump with 180 homicides. Baltimore is so infested with rodents the Baltimore Sun published a map of rat hot spot map. Speaker Nancy Pelosi white-flighted from Baltimore in 1962.
5 year 300+ homicide rate
Baltimore has a five-year streak of more than 300 murders, with a new record set in 2019 of 348 homicides. In mid 2020 Baltimore is on pace to bust last year's record and will see defunding of police to the effect of $22 million.
In 2019 Baltimore Deputy Police Chief was robbed at gunpoint. Rep. Cummings' district, using Cummings own language, was a rat infested dump. Baltimore is so infested with rodents that the Baltimore Sun published a rat hot spot map. Speaker Nancy Pelosi white-flighted from Baltimore in 1962. A sanctuary city, illegal immigrant criminal gangs, such as MS-13, roam the streets preying on other Hispanics. By 2018 Baltimore had over 300 homicides; by the Fall of 2019 the city already had 240 homicides.
In February 2020 mayor Katherine Pugh was sentence to 3 years in federal prison on corruption, fraud, and bribery charges. Incumbent mayor Jack Young begged residents to stop shooting each other so hospital beds could be used for coronavirus patients.
2020 Marxist insurrection
During the Leftist uprising law enforcement officials found “mounds of bricks and bottles” that had been staged in downtown Baltimore.
Baltimore has long been a major center of the Catholic Church, as Maryland was originally founded as a Catholic colony. Important bishops include John Carroll (1735–1815, in office 1789–1815), Francis Kenrick (1796–1863, in office 1851–65), and especially James Cardinal Gibbons (1834–1921, in office 1877–1921).
In 1806–21 Catholics constructed the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, based on a neoclassical design by Benjamin Henry Latrobe. A $34-million restoration was based on Latrobe's original plans and was completed in 2006.
During 1948–61, the Archdiocese of Baltimore was under the leadership of Francis Patrick Keough. The Baltimore Church identified with the anti-Communist and anti-pornography movements and with the expansion of Catholic institutions that addressed a myriad of social, economic, and educational issues. The Church also coordinated a multitude of action projects under the financial control of the Baltimore chancery.
The Methodists were well received in Maryland in the 1760–1840 era, and Baltimore became an important center. Sutton (1998) looks at Methodist artisans and craftsmen, showing they embraced an evangelical identity, Protestant ethic, and complex organizational structure. This enabled them to express their anti-elitist or populist "producerist" values of self-discipline, honesty, frugality, and industry; they denounced greed and sought an interdependent common good. Such producerist views drew on aspects of the Wesleyan ethic, appropriated the commonweal traditions of eighteenth-century republicanism, and initially resisted those of classical liberal, individualistic, self-interested capitalism. They also accorded well with and helped produce the emerging amalgam of American populist, restorationist, biblicistic, revivalistic activism that Sutton terms "Arminianized Calvinism."
Inside the Methodist Church the artisans were reformers who focused on three substantive and symbolic targets, each of which would democratize Methodist conferences: lay suffrage and representation; inclusion of the local preachers, who constituted two-thirds of Methodist leadership; and election of the officers who carried the administrative, personnel, and supervisory power, the presiding elders. The appeals made on behalf of these democratizations, Sutton shows, drew imaginatively on both producerist and Wesleyan rhetoric. By the 1850s Sutton shows that the corporate ideals and individual disciplines of religious producerism were expressed in trade unionism, in evangelical missions to workers, in factory preaching, in workers' congregations, in temperance and Sabbatarianism, in the Sunday school movement, and in the politics of Protestant communal hegemony.
The Appalachians and southern whites arriving in the 1940s brought along a strong religious tradition with them. Southern Baptist churches multiplied during the mid and late 1940s.
Famous sons and daughters
- Spiro Agnew, Republican who was Baltimore's county executive (1962–66), and vice president under Richard Nixon (1969–73), when he was forced to resign because he was still taking bribes from Baltimore clients.
- James Cardinal Gibbons, Catholic archbishop (1877-1921).
- Edgar Allan Poe (born 1809 in Boston) died and was buried in Baltimore in 1849.
- Argersinger, Jo Ann E. Toward a New Deal in Baltimore: People and Government in the Great Depression (1988) online edition
- Argersinger, Jo Ann E. Making the Amalgamated: Gender, Ethnicity, and Class in the Baltimore Clothing Industry, 1899-1939 (1999) 229 pp.
- Arnold, Joseph L. "Baltimore: Southern Economy and a Northern Culture," in Richard M. Bernard, ed., Snowbelt Cities: Metropolitan Politics in the Northeast and Midwest since World War II (1990)
- Bilhartz, Terry D. Urban Religion and the Second Great Awakening: Church and Society in Early National Baltimore (1986)
- Browne, Gary Lawson. Baltimore in the Nation, 1789-1861 (1980). 349 pp.
- Durr, Kenneth D. Behind the Backlash: White Working Class Politics in Baltimore, 1940-1980 (2003) online edition
- Elfenbein, Jessica I.The Making of a Modern City: Philanthropy, Civic Culture, and the Baltimore YMCA (2001) 192 pp.
- Fee, Elizabeth, et al. eds. The Baltimore Book: New Views of Local History (1991). 256 pp. guide to the history and culture of working-class neighborhoods; strong left bias
- Hayward, Mary Ellen and Shivers, Frank R., Jr., eds. The Architecture of Baltimore: An Illustrated History (2004). 408 pp.
- Olson, Sherry H. Baltimore: The Building of an American City (1980). 432 pp. a fact (and picture) filled history
- Phillips, Christopher. Freedom's Port: The African American Community of Baltimore, 1790-1860 (1997)
- Rockman, Seth. Scraping By: Wage Labor, Slavery, and Survival in Early Baltimore (2009), 368 pp. social history online review
- Sheads, Scott Sumpter and Daniel Carroll Toomey. Baltimore during the Civil War. (1997). 224 pp. Popular history.
- Simon, David. Homicide (1992) and The Corner (1998). Journalistic looks at the city's police force and black underclass/drug crisis.
- Spalding, Thomas W. The Premier See: A History of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, 1789-1989 (1989)
- Steffen, Charles. The Mechanics of Baltimore: Workers and Politics in the Age of Revolution, 1763-1812 (1984)
- Sutton, William R. Journeymen for Jesus: Evangelical Artisans Confront Capitalism in Jacksonian Baltimore (1998) 351 pp. [www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php?id=3302 online review]
- The city is entirely separate from Baltimore County.
- Robert S. Wolff, "The Problem of Race in the Age of Freedom: Emancipation and the Transformation of Republican Schooling in Baltimore, 1860-1867," Civil War History 2006 52(3): 229-254
- Geoffrey L. Buckley, et al. "The Patapsco Forest Reserve: Establishing a 'City Park' for Baltimore, 1907-1941," Historical Geography 2006 34: 87-108
- Garrett Power, "Parceling out Land in the Vicinity of Baltimore: 1632-1796, Part 2," Maryland Historical Magazine 1993 88(2): 150-180,
- Paul K. Walker, "Business and Commerce in Baltimore on the Eve of Independence," Maryland Historical Magazine 1976 71(3): 296-309,
- Richard S. Chew, "Certain Victims of an International Contagion: The Panic of 1797 and the Hard Times of the Late 1790s in Baltimore," Journal of the Early Republic 2005 25(4): 565-613
- Elizabeth Schaaf, "George Peabody: His Life and Legacy, 1795-1869," Maryland Historical Magazine 1995 90(3): 268-285,
- Christopher Phillips Freedom's Port: The African American Community of Baltimore, 1791-1860 (1997)
- T. Stephen Whitman, "Industrial Slavery at the Margin: the Maryland Chemical Works," Journal of Southern History 1993 59(1): 31-62,
- Stephen Whitman, "Manumission and the Transformation of Urban Slavery," Social Science History 1995 19(3): 333-370
- Frank Towers, The Urban South and the Coming of the Civil War (2004)
- Richard Paul F uke, "Blacks, Whites, and Guns: Interracial Violence in Post-emancipation Maryland," Maryland Historical Magazine 1997 92(3): 326-347
- Martha J. Vill, "Building Enterprise in Late Nineteenth-Century Baltimore," Journal of Historical Geograph 1986 12(2): 162-181,
- Christine Meisner Rosen, The Limits of Power: Great Fires and the Process of City Growth in America (1986) has a chapter on Baltimore.
- Alan D. Anderson, The Origin and Resolution of an Urban Crisis: Baltimore, 1890-1930 (1977). 143 pp.
- Peter T. Dalleo, and J. Vincent Watchorn, III, "Baltimore, the 'Babe,' and the Bethlehem Steel League, 1918," Maryland Historical Magazine 1998 93(1): 88-106,
- Argersinger, Jo Ann E. Toward a New Deal in Baltimore: People and Government in the Great Depression (1988)
- Pelosi married and moved to San Francisco in the late 1960s.
- Joshua B. Freeman, and Steve Rosswurm, "The Education of an Anti-Communist: Father John F. Cronin and the Baltimore Labor Movement," Labor History 1992 33(2): 217-247
- Edward Berkowitz, "Baltimore's Public Schools in a Time of Transition," Maryland Historical Magazine 1997 92(4): 412-432,
- Jill Jonnes, "Everybody Must Get Stoned: The Origins Of Modern Drug Culture In Baltimore," Maryland Historical Magazine 1996 91(2): 132-155
- David Milobsky, "Power from the Pulpit: Baltimore's African-American Clergy, 1950-1970," Maryland Historical Magazine' '1994 89(3): 274-289,
- Kenneth Durr, "When Southern Politics Came North: the Roots of White Working-class Conservatism in Baltimore, 1940-1964," Labor History 1996 37(3): 309-331; Durr, Behind the Backlash: White Working-Class Politics in Baltimore, 1940-1980 (2003)
- Hawkins, Awr (June 2, 2017). Baltimore: Sweeping Gun Controls in 2013, Record Number of Murders in 2017. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
- Spalding (1989)
- Dee E. Andrews, The Methodists and Revolutionary America, 1760-1800: The Shaping of an Evangelical Culture (2000)
- Rosalind Robinson Levering, Baltimore Baptists, 1773-1973: A History of the Baptist Work in Baltimore During 200 Years (1973) pp 97-168.