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The port is one of the best naturally protected harbors in the world, with the Delmarva Peninsula that shields the area from most hurricanes and tropical storms, and the Appalachian Range that protects the city from much of the winter cold that would otherwise freeze the harbor.

The most famous period in Baltimore’s history was during the War of 1812 when the city was condemned by the British as a “nest of pirates." Staunchly anti-British sentiment pervaded the streets of Baltimore just days after the War of 1812 ignited, making it a worthy target for the enemy. The Battle of Baltimore was decisively won by the colonists on September 13, 1814, when they repulsed a land and naval attack by the British at Fort McHenry following the redcoat torching of Washington, D.C. An angry mob destroyed the building where a Federalist newspaper criticized the colonies for going to war.

As a southern slave state prior to the Civil War, Maryland later became part of the Union, but kept slavery legal. Most persons in Baltimore at the time were sympathetic to the Confederacy. The Baltimore Riot of 1861 was sparked when Union soldiers stormed the streets looking for Confederate sympathizers. Troops remained in Baltimore until the war ended in April 1865, partly to prevent the state from seceding. The strategy was to prevent the full encroachment of Confederate states around Washington, D.C.

Information From http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h3856.html