BALTIMORE CITY ARCHIVES
(State of Maryland Papers Pertaining to Baltimore City)
Throughout the history of the City of Baltimore, its government has been closely connected with the state government. From 1729, when the state legislature created the Baltimore Town Commissioners to supervise the organization of Baltimore Town, to the present time, the bonds have gradually relaxed to the point where the city won home rule in the election of November 1918. Even with the incorporation of the city in 1796, the state retained control over the real and personal property tax rates, holding them to a fixed low amount, thereby sharply limiting revenues and the services the new municipal government could provide. Dramatic increases in population and social problems as well as the improved outlook of Baltimore's economy placed great strain on these arrangements and in 1818 the Maryland General Assembly enlarged the powers of the municipal government while maintaining the city's dependency upon the state legislature. This transfer of authority has continued until the present time as well as the close inter-relationship between the interests of the municipal government and the actions of the general assembly, and the whole of the state's governing structure.
The documents which comprise this record group primarily represent the legislative connections between the municipal and state governments and illustrate the careful supervision of Baltimore City and its government which the Maryland General Assembly has long exercised. There are numerous other documents reflecting this relationship, especially in the mayoral (RG 9) and city council (RG 16) records. The militia records included in series 2 concern a portion of the state's defense in which Baltimore played a central role.
For more detailed information, see Municipal Journal [6-19-31; vol. 19 #25; p. 4].