Connecticut: The Constitution State
Geography and Industry
The Connecticut River (for which the state is named) runs through the middle of this state, cutting it in two. The Connecticut River Valley separates Connecticut's Eastern Highland from its Western Highland.
Connecticut was one of the original thirteen colonies that formed the early United States. Initially settled by Dutch traders beginning in the mid-1630s, then by Pilgrims from Plymouth Colony, and eventually by Puritans from Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut incorporated as an English royal colony by writing up the Fundamental Orders (the colony's main set of governing laws) in 1639. These laws were eventually replaced by a formal, written constitution in 1662.
Like its neighbors Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Connecticut is an important manufacturing center. Sewing machines, textiles, firearms, and heavy machinery, including engine parts, are all made in Connecticut. (Guns have been made continuously in Connecticut since the American Revolution!) Although farming is no longer a major industry in Connecticut, apples, dairy products, eggs, tobacco, and mushrooms are all still grown there and shipped around the country.
ALL ABOUT Connecticut
LARGEST CITY: Bridgeport
POPULATION: 3,405,565 (2000 Census)
STATE BIRD: American Robin
STATE TREE: White Oak
STATE FLOWER: Mountain Laurel
STATE MOTTO: “Qui Transtulit Sustinet (He Who Transplanted Sustains)”
STATEHOOD: January 9, 1788
POSTAL ABBREVIATION: CT
Two of early America's most savage Indian wars took place in Connecticut. First came the Pequot War, named for the largest and most powerful tribe of Native Americans in the area. It broke out in 1637 between the Pequot tribe and the Connecticut and Massachusetts Bay colonies (along with some Native Americans who fought with the colonists). The war ended with the virtual extinction of the Pequots.
The second of Connecticut's bloody Indian wars was King Philip's War, which began in 1674 in Connecticut and quickly spread throughout the New England colonies. Fought between the formerly friendly Wampanoag tribe and the English settlers, it also ended badly for the Native Americans. Thousands of them died or lost their homes.