Though Connecticut is geographically the 3rd smallest of all states, it should be ranked among the greatest because of all its contributions not only to America but to the rest of the world as well. Connecticut offered to the world the ‘first written and workable constitution’, and also introduced and developed mass production, which enabled modern-day manufacturing.
The inventors of mass production and all sorts of manufacturers developed and introduced a huge variety of inexpensive and useful products. ‘Yankee peddlars’ then were carrying these products across the nation and around the world.
The state of Connecticut has for a long time led the nation in helicopter production, aircraft engines, pins & needles, submarines, small firearms, thread, and in the sector of insurance.
Quick Facts about Connecticut
– The first U.S. tax-supported public library in Salisbury.
– Eli Whitney and Eli Terry first developed Modem manufacturing methods.
– First U.S. woman to receive a Patent for a silk weaving and strawing machine, Mary Kies of South Killingly.
– First America cigars, factory hats, machine-made combs, plows, tacks, and friction matches, just to mention a few new products.
– America’s first commercial telephone exchange (New Haven).
– Naugatuck Valley manufacturers founded Americas first trade association.
– America’s first in the value of written insurance.
Connecticut Brief history
In 1614, Dutch explored Adrian Block sailed up the Connecticut River and explored the area.
Then in 1633, the Dutch settlers were building a fort at a site where now Hartford is located, and the British settlers answered by building a fortified trading post at a site where now stands Wethersfield in 1634, which was the earliest permanently inhabited European settlement in the Connecticut area.
Because they were afraid to get attacked by the native Indians, John Mason, a British Captain,with his force, brutally attacked and totally destroyed the Indian community of Pequot in the year 1637.
Cotton Mather, a clergyman, described the destruction of Pequot:
…The violence and the immensity of the fire…
…The yelling and shrieking of children, women , and men…
…It was such a fearful sight…seeing them fry in the fire and all the streams of blood that quenched the same…
In 1639 three Connecticut towns formed a commonwealth, and they were ruled by a covenant that was known as ‘Fundamental Orders’, or at times also referred to as the ‘first constitution’. This was the first document that declared that ‘the basis of authority is in the people’s free consent’.
The great charter that the English King had granted Connecticut in 1662 was surprisingly liberal. It was actually legalizing virtually all previously taken acts in the colony of Connecticut, also the ‘Fundamental Orders’. The charter extended Connecticut far west, even as far as the Pacific Ocean.
In 1687 though, King James II revoked the charter, and Governor Sir Edmund Andros tried to seize it but Joseph Wadsworth had already stolen it. Tradition learns that the charter was held at the property of Samuel Wyllys hidden in a hollow oak. Until today, this ‘Charter Oak’ is still a famous national landmark.
Connecticut and Massachusetts were the two colonies that probably furnished more money, resources, and men during the American Revolution than any of the other colonies. Stonington, a revolutionary stronghold, got under attack in 1775, the British looted and burned Danbury in 1777, and the same happened to New Haven in 1779, Bridgeport in 1781, and New London in that year as well.
Connecticut was allowed into the Union as the 5th state in 1788, on January 9th after it had dropped claims to western areas. Only the claim to the ‘Western Reserve’ stood, the area that now is around Cleveland, Ohio.
In 1845, Connecticut was adopting ‘universal manhood suffrage’, which implied that all men were given voting rights, but not women. In early 1861, many of Connecticut’s residents volunteered to fight in the Civil War, and of almost 58,000 volunteers, over one third lost their lives.
In 1911, Connecticut was the first American state to introduce laws that required airplane registration and pilot licensing, and in World War I, the state was leading all states in war craft production.
Connecticut’s Groton shipyards produced the first U.S. nuclear submarine in 1954 (the Nautilus). In 1960, the state was the first to abolish County government, and local government got in the hands of the already existing system of townships.
In 1975, Ella T. Grasso became the first female elected governor. This was the first time in America that a woman became governor without her husband preceding her.
The late 1980’s and early 1990’s was a time of deep recession and Connecticut was hit hard by declining budgets and unemployment skyrocketed. The state’s Defense contractors took the hardest blows, but the following recovery was remarkable as well.
…. The warm, truly warm heart of America is found here. This is ‘New England at its best’. Laying here are amazing and vast abounding ranges of mountains, great rivers, and broad valleys. This is the land of large lakes, and beautiful white villages that are embowered in maples and prodigious elms. This land is so extraordinarily idyllic and graceful….