Annapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Anne Arundel County. It had a population of 38,394 at the 2010 census and is situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, 26 miles (42 km) south of Baltimore and about 29 miles (47 km) east of Washington, D.C. Annapolis is part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. The city was the temporary capital of the United States in 1783–1784 and the site of the Annapolis Peace Conference, held in November 2007, at the United States Naval Academy. Annapolis is the home of St. John's College.
A settlement in the Province of Maryland named Providence was founded on the north shore of the Severn River in 1649 by Puritan exiles from Virginia led by Governor William Stone. The settlers later moved to a better-protected harbor on the south shore. The settlement on the south shore was initially named "Town at Proctor's," then "Town at the Severn," and later "Anne Arundel's Towne" (after the wife of Lord Baltimore who died soon afterwards). The city became very wealthy through the slave trade.
In 1654, after the Third English Civil War, Parliamentary forces assumed control of Maryland and Stone went into exile in Virginia. Per orders from Lord Baltimore, Stone returned the following spring at the head of a Cavalier force. On March 25, 1655, in what is known as the Battle of the Severn, Stone was defeated, taken prisoner, and replaced by Josias Fendall as Governor. Fendall governed Maryland during the latter half of the Commonwealth. In 1660, he was replaced by Phillip Calvert after the restoration of Charles II as King in England.
In 1694, soon after the overthrow of the Catholic government of Thomas Lawrence, Francis Nicholson moved the capital of the royal colony to Anne Arundel's Towne and re-named the town Annapolis after Princess Anne of Denmark and Norway, soon to be the Queen of Great Britain. Annapolis was incorporated as a city in 1708.
From the middle of the 18th century until the American Revolutionary War, Annapolis was noted for its wealthy and cultivated society. The Maryland Gazette, which became an important weekly journal, was founded there by Jonas Green in 1745; in 1769 a theatre was opened; during this period also the commerce was considerable, but declined rapidly after Baltimore, with its deeper harbor, was made a port of entry in 1780. Water trades such as oyster-packing, boatbuilding and sailmaking became the city's chief industries. Currently, Annapolis is home to a large number of recreational boats that have largely replaced the seafood industry in the city.
In 1786, a convention, to which delegates from all the states of the Union were invited, was called to meet in Annapolis to consider measures for the better regulation of commerce; but delegates came from only five states (New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey, and Delaware), and the convention, known afterward as the "Annapolis Convention", without proceeding to the business for which it had met, passed a resolution calling for another convention to meet at Philadelphia in the following year to amend the Articles of Confederation. The Philadelphia convention drafted and approved the Constitution of the United States, which is still in force.