Although one of the smallest of the fifty states, in many ways Maryland is the United States in miniature, bringing together and exemplifying the diverse elements of the country. In it the North and the South meet, and Maryland is one of the original gateways to the West. Maryland is a study in contrasts, combining the poverty of the Appalachian hill people, the sharecroppers of the South, and the inner-city dwellers of Baltimore with the affluence of country manor estates and fashionable suburbs. Some of America's most rural scenes are interspersed there with some of its largest metropolitan centers. Added to this is a great physical diversity—the Coastal Plain, the Piedmont, the Delmarva Peninsula, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Appalachian Highlands. This book provides an analytical survey of the physical, social, cultural, and economic geography of Maryland. Though the emphasis is on human geography, significant attention is given to the physical base on which the cultural landscape has developed. Environmental issues, such as Chesapeake Bay pollution, coal mining in Western Maryland, and the urbanization of the beaches, are addressed to show how development has often led to conflicts between people and their environments.