State of Connecticut
ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: From the Mahican word quinnehtukqut, meaning "beside the long tidal river."
NICKNAME: The Constitution State (official in 1959); the Nutmeg State.
ENTERED UNION: 9 January 1788 (5th).
SONG: "Yankee Doodle."
MOTTO: Qui transtulit sustinet (He who transplanted still sustains).
COAT OF ARMS: On a rococo shield, three grape vines, supported and bearing fruit, stand against a white field. Beneath the shield is a streamer bearing the state motto.
FLAG: The coat of arms appears on a blue field.
OFFICIAL SEAL: The three grape vines and motto of the arms surrounded by the words Sigillum reipublicœ Connecticutensis (Seal of the State of Connecticut).
BIRD: American robin.
FLOWER: Mountain laurel.
TREE: White oak.
LEGAL HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 3rd Monday in January; Lincoln Day, 12 February; Washington's Birthday, 3rd Monday in February; Good Friday, March or April; Memorial Day, last Monday in May; Independence Day, 4 July; Labor Day, 1st Monday in September; Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October; Veterans' Day, 11 November; Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November; Christmas Day, 25 December.
TIME: 7 AM EST = noon GMT.
LOCATION, SIZE, AND EXTENT
The state's area, 5,018 sq mi (12,997 sq km), consists of 4,872 sq mi (12,619 sq km) of land and 146 sq mi (378 sq km) of inland water. Connecticut has an average length of 90 mi (145 km) e-w, and an average width of 55 mi (89 km) n-s.
Connecticut is bordered on the n by Massachusetts; on the e by Massachusetts and Rhode Island (with part of the line formed by the Pawcatuck River); on the s by New York (with the line passing through Long Island Sound); and on the w by New York. On the sw border, a short panhandle of Connecticut territory juts toward New York City. The state's geographic center is East Berlin in Hartford County. Connecticut has a boundary length of 328 mi (528 km) and a shoreline of 253 mi (407 km).
Connecticut is divided into four main geographic regions. The Connecticut and Quinnipiac river valleys form the Central Lowlands, which bisect the state in a north-south direction. The Eastern Highlands range from 500 ft (150 m) to 1,100 ft (335 m) near the Massachusetts border and from 200 ft (60 m) to 500 ft (150 m) in the southeast.
Elevations in the Western Highlands, an extension of the Green Mountains, range from 200 ft (60 m) in the south to more than 2,000 ft (600 m) in the northwest; within this region, near the Massachusetts border, stands Mt. Frissell, the highest point in the state at 2,380 ft (726 m). The Coastal Lowlands, about 100 mi (160 km) long and generally 2-3 mi (3-5 km) wide, consist of rocky peninsulas, shallow bays, sand and gravel beaches, salt meadows, and good harbors at Bridgeport, New Haven, New London, Mystic, and Stonington.
Connecticut has more than 6,000 lakes and ponds. The two largest bodies of water (both artificial) are Lake Candlewood, covering about 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares), and Barkhamsted Reservoir, a major source of water for the Hartford area. The main river is the Connecticut, New England's longest river at 407 mi (655 km), of which 69 mi (111 km) lie within Connecticut; this waterway, which is navigable as far north as Hartford by means of a 15-ft (5-m) channel, divides the state roughly in half before emptying into Long Island Sound. The lowest point of the state is at sea level at the Long Island Sound. Other principal rivers include the Thames, Housatonic, and Naugatuck.
Connecticut's bedrock geology and topography are the product of a number of forces: uplift and depression, erosion and deposit, faulting and buckling, lava flows, and glaciation. About 180 million years ago, the lowlands along the eastern border sank more than 10,000 ft (3,000 m); the resultant trough or fault extends from northern Massachusetts to New Haven Harbor and varies in width from about 20 mi (32 km) to approximately 4 mi (6 km). During the Ice Ages, the melting Wisconsin glacier created lakes, waterfalls, and sand plains, leaving thin glaciated topsoil and land strewn with rocks and boulders.
Connecticut has a generally temperate climate, with mild winters and warm summers. The January mean temperature is 27°f (−3°c) and the July mean is 70°f (21°c). Coastal areas have warmer winters and cooler summers than the interior. Norfolk, in the northwest, has a January average temperature of 19°f (−7°c) and a July average of 68°f (19°c), while Bridgeport, on the shore, has an average of 30°f (−1°c) in January and of 74°f (23°c) in July. The highest recorded temperature in Connecticut was 106°f (41°c) in Danbury, on 15 July 1995; the lowest, −32°f (−36°c), in Falls Village on 16 February 1943. The annual rainfall (1971–2000) was 46.2 in (117 cm), evenly distributed throughout the year. The state receives 25-60 in (64-150 cm) of snow each year, with the heaviest snowfall in the northwest.
Weather annals reveal a remarkable range and variety of climatic phenomena. Severe droughts were experienced in 1749, 1762, 1929–33, the early 1940s, 1948–50, and 1956–57. The worst recent drought, which occurred in 1963–66, resulted in a severe forest-fire hazard, damage to crops, and rationing of water. Downtown Hartford was inundated by a flood in March 1936. On 21 September 1938, a hurricane struck west of New Haven and followed the Connecticut Valley northward, causing 85 deaths and property losses of more than $125 million. Severe flooding occurred in 1955 and again in 1982. In the latter year, property damage exceeded $266 million.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Connecticut has an impressive diversity of vegetation zones. Along the shore of Long Island Sound are tidal marshes with salt grasses, glasswort, purple gerardia, and seas lavender. On slopes fringing the marshes are black grass, switch grass, marsh elder, and sea myrtle.
The swamp areas contain various ferns, abundant cattails, cranberry, tussock sedge, skunk cabbage, sweet pepperbush, spicebush, and false hellebore. The state's hillsides and uplands support a variety of flowers and plants, including mountain laurel (the state flower), pink azalea, trailing arbutus, Solomon's seal, and Queen Anne's lace. Only two plant species were listed as threatened or endangered as of April 2006: the small whorled pogonia and the sandplain gerardia.
The first Englishmen arriving in Connecticut in the 1630s found a land teeming with wildlife. Roaming the forests and meadows were black bear, white-tailed deer, red and gray foxes, timber wolf, cougar, panther, raccoon, and enough rattlesnakes to pose a serious danger. The impact of human settlement on Connecticut wildlife has been profound, however. Only the smaller mammals, such as the woodchuck, gray squirrel, cottontail, eastern chipmunk, porcupine, raccoon, and striped skunk, remain common. Snakes remain plentiful and are mostly harmless, except for the northern copperhead and timber rattlesnake. Freshwater fish are abundant, and aquatic life in Long Island Sound even more so. Common birds include the robin (the state bird), blue jay, song sparrow, wood thrush, and many species of waterfowl; visible in winter are the junco, pine grosbeak, snowy owl, and winter wren.
The Connecticut River Estuary and Tidal River Wetlands Complex, a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance, serves as a habitat for at least 18 species of wintering birds and 30 species of shorebirds. The area is also an important migration path and spawning ground for a variety of fish, including Atlantic salmon and shortnose sturgeon.
In April 2006, a total of 16 animal species occurring within the state (vertebrates and invertebrates) were listed on the threatened and endangered species list of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Among these were five kinds of sea turtles, the bald eagle, the roseate tern, two species of whale, and the gray wolf.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), established in 1971, is responsible for protecting natural resources and controlling water, air, and land pollution.
Since the Connecticut Clean Water Act was passed in 1967, upgrading of sewage treatment plants, correction of combined sewer overflows, and improved treatment, at and sewage treatment tieins, by industrial facilities have resulted in significant water quality improvement in many state rivers. In 1997, about 75% of the state's 900 mi (1,448 km) of major streams met federal "swimmable-fishable" standards. The Connecticut Clean Water Fund was created in 1986 to provide grants and low-interest loans to municipalities to finance more than $1 billion in municipal sewerage infrastructure improvements over 20 years. Connecticut was the first state in the country to adopt, in 1980, a comprehensive statewide groundwater quality management system. In 2005, federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants awarded to the state included of $8.3 million for a drinking water state revolving loan fund.
In 1994 the governors of Connecticut and New York formally adopted a comprehensive plan to manage Long Island Sound, an "estuary of national significance." The Tidal Wetlands Act (1969) and the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act (1972) put the state in the forefront in wetland protection. In 1997 the DEP estimated permitted tidal wetland losses at less than one acre per year and inland wetland losses at about 630 acres per year. Two thousand or more acres of wetlands and watercourses have been restored, so that wetlands covered about 5% of the state's land area as of 2005. The Connecticut River Estuary and Tidal River Wetlands Complex, stretching through 12 counties, was designated as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance in 1994.
For five of six criteria for air pollutants (lead, carbon monoxide, particulates, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide), Connecticut has virtually eliminated violations of health-based federal standards, and levels of these pollutants continue to decrease. The state exceeds the national standard for ozone but has reduced the number of days the standard is exceeded each year by 60% since the early 1970s. Vehicle-related emissions of ozone precursors have been reduced by almost 50%, and the state is working closely with other northeastern and mid-Atlantic states on regional ozone reduction. In 1986, the state adopted a hazardous air pollutant regulation that covers over 850 substances. Permitting and enforcement processes and voluntary reductions have resulted in at least a 68% reduction in toxins emitted to the air. In 2003, 5.4 million lb of toxic chemicals were released by the state.
In 1987, Connecticut adopted statewide mandatory recycling. Since 1986, five regional resource recovery facilities have begun operation, while dozens of landfills closed as they became full or federal regulations prohibited continued operation. The combination of resource recovery, recycling, and reduction of waste by consumers resulted in landfill garbage declining from 1,400 lb per capita in 1986 to about 300 in 1996.
In 2003, the EPA database listed 424 hazardous waste sites in Connecticut, 14 of which were on the National Priorities List as of 2006. The Broad Brook Mill of East Windsor was a proposed site in 2006. In 2005, the EPA spent $4.6 million through the Superfund program for the cleanup of hazardous waste sites in the state.
Connecticut DEP has been a pioneer in efforts to restore anadromous fish runs (ascending rivers) and extirpated species such as wild turkeys and fishers and to document and preserve habitats for numerous plant and animal species.
Connecticut ranked 29th in population in the United States with an estimated total of 3,510,297 in 2005, an increase of 3.1% since 2000. Between 1990 and 2000, Connecticut's population grew from 3,287,116 to 3,405,565, an increase of 3.6%. The population is projected to reach 3.63 million by 2015 and 3.69 million by 2025.
The state had a population gain of 5.8% (about 180,000 residents) for the entire decade of the 1980s, compared with a US population growth of 9.7%. One sign of the population lag was that in 1990 Connecticut had the 11th lowest birthrate in the United States, 14.5 live births per 1,000 population.
Population density in 2004 was 722.9 persons per sq mi (the fourth highest in the nation), up from 678.5 persons per sq mi in 1990. The median age of residents in 2004 was 38.9; 13.5% was age 65 or older, while 23.9% were under 18 years old.
Major cities, with 2004 population estimates, are Bridgeport, 139,910; Hartford, 124,848; New Haven, 124,829; Stamford, 120,226; and Waterbury, 108,429. The three largest cities each had a slight net growth in population between 1990 and 2002, helping to reverse their losses during the 1960s and 1970s due to an exodus to the suburbs, which had increased rapidly in population. For example, Bloomfield, to the north of Hartford, gained in population from 5,700 in 1950 to 19,023 in 1984; and Trumbell, near Bridgeport, increased from 8,641 in 1950 to 33,285 in 1984.
Connecticut has large populations of second-generation European descent. The biggest groups came from Italy, Ireland, Poland, and Quebec, Canada. Most of these immigrants clustered in the cities of New Haven, Hartford, Bridgeport, and New London. The number of Roman Catholic newcomers drew the hostility of many native-born residents, particularly during the decade 1910–20, when state officials deported 59 "dangerous aliens" on scant evidence of radicalism and Ku Klux Klan chapters enrolled some 20,000 members.
Since 1950, ethnic groups of non-Yankee ancestry have exercised leadership roles in all facets of Connecticut life, especially in politics. Connecticut elected a Jewish governor in 1954, and its four subsequent governors were of Irish or Italian ancestry. A wave of newcomers to the state during and after World War II consisted chiefly of blacks and Hispanics seeking employment opportunities. In 2000, the black population numbered 309,843, about 9.1% of the state total. In 2004, the black population was 10.1% of the state's total population. According to the 2000 federal census, there were also about 320,323 residents of Hispanic or Latino origin, or 9.4% of the state's total population (up from 213,000 in 1990), of whom 194,443 were Puerto Ricans (more than double the 1990 total of 93,608). In 2004, 10.6% of the population was of Hispanic or Latino origin. In 2000, Connecticut had 9,639 American Indians, up from 7,000 in 1990, 82,313 Asians, and 1,366 Pacific Islanders. In 2004, 0.3% of the population was American Indian, 3.1% was Asian, and 0.1% were Pacific Islanders. About 369,967 Connecticut residents, or 10.9% of the population, were foreign born in 2000, up from 279,000 (8.5%) in 1990. In 2004, 1.3% of the population reported origin of two or more races.
Connecticut English is basically that of the Northern dialect, but features of the eastern New England subdialect occur east of the Connecticut River. In the east, half and calf have the vowel of father; box is /bawks/ and cart is /kaht/; yolk is /yelk/; care and chair have the vowel of cat; and many speakers have the intrusive /r/, as in swaller it (swallow it). In the western half, creek is /krik/; cherry may be /chirry/; on has the vowel of father ; an /r/ is heard after a vowel, as in cart. Along the Connecticut river, butcher is / boocher/, and tomorrow is pronounced /tomawro/. Along the coast, the wind may be breezing on, and a creek is a saltwater inlet. The sycamore is buttonball, one is sick to his stomach, gutters are eaves-troughs, a lunch between meals is a bite, and in the northwest, an earthworm is an angledog.
In 2000, 2,600,601 Connecticuters (81.7% of the resident population five years old and older, down from 84.8% in 1990) spoke only English at home.
The following table gives selected statistics from the 2000 Census for language spoken at home by persons five years old and over. The category "Other Indo-European languages" includes Albanian, Gaelic, Lithuanian, and Rumanian.
|Population 5 years and over||3,184,514||100.0|
|Speak only English||2,600,601||81.7|
|Speak a language other than English||583,913||18.3|
|Speak a language other than English||583,913||18.3|
|Spanish or Spanish Creole||268,044||8.4|
|French (incl. Patois, Cajun)||42,947||1.3|
|Portuguese or Portuguese Creole||30,667||1.0|
|Other Indo-European languages||11,978||0.4|
Connecticut's religious development began in the 1630s with the designation of the Congregational Church as the colony's "established church." The Puritan fathers enacted laws decreeing church attendance on Sundays and other appointed days, and requiring all residents to contribute to the financial maintenance of local Congregational ministers. Educational patterns, business practices, social conduct, and sexual activities were all comprehensively controlled in accordance with Puritan principles. "Blue Laws" provided penalties for offenses against God's word, such as profanation of the Sabbath and swearing, and capital punishment was mandated for adultery, sodomy, bestiality, lesbianism, harlotry, rape, and incest.
Connecticut authorities harassed and often persecuted such non-Congregationalists as Quakers, Baptists, and Anglicans. However, the church was weakened during the 18th century by increasing numbers of dissenters from the Congregational order. A coalition of dissenters disestablished the church by the Con-necticut constitution of 1818. The final blow to Congregational domination came in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with the arrival of many Roman Catholic immigrants.
Since World War I, Roman Catholics have been the most numerous religious group in the state. As of 2004, there were 1,333,044 Roman Catholics in 381 parishes. Mainline Protestants represent the second-largest category of churches and include the United Church of Christ, with 92,573 adherents in 2005, the Episcopal Church with 73,550 adherents in 186 congregations in 2000, and the United Methodist Church with 51,183 adherents in 133 congregations in 2000. The estimated number of Jewish adherents in 2000 was 108,280, and Muslims numbered about 29,647. About 42.1% of the population did not specify affiliation with a religious organization.
Because of both the state's traditional conservatism and the opposition by turnpike and steamboat companies, rail service did not fully develop until the 1840s. Hartford and New Haven were connected in 1839, and in 1850 that line was extended to Northampton, MA. In the 1840s and 1850s, a network of lines connected Hartford with eastern Connecticut communities. Railroad expansion peaked during the 1890s, when total trackage reached 1,636 mi (2,633 km). The giant in Connecticut railroading from the 1870s until its second and final collapse in 1961 was the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad.
In the late 1960s, the Interstate Commerce Commission required that the assets of the bankrupt New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad be included in the Penn Central Transportation Company, which was formed by the merger of the New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroads. In 1970, Penn Central went bankrupt. In 1976, Penn Central's profitable assets were merged with the profitable assets of other northeast bankrupt railroads to form the Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail). As of 1997, Conrail had divested itself of most of its services in Connecticut, which as of 2003, was served by seven regional and short-line railroads, and one Class I railroad. As of 2003, there were 708 mi (1,140 km) of railroad in Connecticut, of which only 69 miles (111 km) were operated by the state's only Class I railroad.
In October 1970, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York (MTA) entered an agreement (effective 1 January l971) with the Trustees of Penn Central to oversee the operation of the New Haven Line Commuter Rail Service between New Haven and Grand Central Terminal in New York City and to jointly fund the operating deficit. In 1976, Conrail succeeded Penn Central as the operator of the New Haven Line and operated it until the end of 1982 when CDOT and MTA decided to operate the New Haven Line themselves.
On 1 January 1983, the Metro-North Railroad, which had been created as a subsidiary of the MTA, took over the operations of the New Haven Line in New York. CDOT and MTA continue to jointly oversee the operations of the New Haven Line service and fund the operating deficit. The costs of New Haven Line capital projects in Connecticut are funded by Connecticut, and the costs of capital projects in New York are funded by MTA. CDOT and MTA share the capital costs of rolling stock rehabilitation and acquisition. In 1985, CDOT purchased from Penn Central the Connecticut portion of the New Haven Line's main line and the three branch lines in Connecticut, including the right of way and support facilities.
On an average weekday, nearly 900 trains serve over 250,000 Metro-North customers from Connecticut and New York. In the mid-l990s, the on-time performance of New Haven Line trains ranged between 94.5% and 96.2%.
In 1990, CDOT contracted with Amtrak to operate the Shore Line East Commuter Rail Service between Old Saybrook and New Haven. Following a period of free service between 29 May and 29 June 1990, weekday only revenue service was implemented on 2 July 1990. In February of 1996, Shore Line East service was extended to New London. CDOT oversees the operation and provides the rolling stock, maintenance facilities, and funding necessary to cover the operating deficit. On an average weekday, 18 revenue trains serve about 600 customers. In the mid-l990s, the on-time performance of Shore Line East trains ranged between 90.0% and 96.3%.
Since 1971, Amtrak has provided inter-city passenger service to Connecticut on the Northeast Corridor main line (Boston-New Haven-New York City-Philadelphia-Washington, DC) and on the Springfield Line (New Haven-Hartford-Springfield).
Local bus systems provide intra-city transportation. These services are generally subsidized by the state and, in some instances, by the Federal Transit Administration. Inter-city bus service (not subsidized by the state or the federal government) is provided in over 30 municipalities by some 30 companies.
Connecticut has an extensive system of expressways, state highways, and local roads, totaling 21,144 mi (34,041 km) in 2004. Over 99% of the roads are either paved or hard-surfaced. Major highways include: I-95, the John Davis Lodge Turnpike, which crosses the entire length of the state near the shore; I-91, linking New Haven and Springfield, MA; and I-84 from the Massachusetts Turnpike, southwestward through Hartford, Waterbury, and Danbury to New York State. Over the past two decades, Connecticut has embarked on an ambitious infrastructure renewal program. Almost $2.2 billion has been expended to rehabilitate or replace over 1,866 of the 3,820 bridges that the state maintains. Approximately $927 million was used to resurface an average of 475 two-lane miles of state highway per year.
As of 2004, there were some 2.035 million automobiles, about 938,000 trucks of all types, and around 10,000 buses registered in the state. Connecticut had 2,694,574 licensed drivers during that same year.
Most of Connecticut's waterborne traffic is handled through the two major ports of New Haven and Bridgeport, which collectively handled approximately 16.5 million tons of cargo in 2004. The New London State Pier, which underwent reconstruction in the mid-1990s, unloaded its first post-renovation ship in March 1998 with Logistec Connecticut, Inc., in charge of operations. In 2004, Connecticut had 117 mi (188 km) of navigable inland waterways. Total waterborne shipments in 2003 totaled 18.579 million tons.
In 2005, Connecticut had a total of 152 public and private-use aviation-related facilities. This included 54 airports, 92 heliports, and six seaplane bases. Connecticut's principal air terminal is Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, located 14 mi (23 km) north of Hartford. Bradley had a total of 3,326,461 enplanements in 2004, making it the 49th-busiest airport in the United States.
The first people known to have lived in the area now called Connecticut were American Indians, whose forebears may have come to New England as many as 10,000 years ago. By the early 17th century, Connecticut had between 6,000 and 7,000 Indians organized into 16 tribes, all members of the lose Algonquian Confederation. The most warlike of these tribes were the Pequot, who apparently had migrated not long before from the Hudson River region to escape the Mohawk and had settled along the Connecticut coast. There was also a heavy concentration of Indian groups in the Connecticut River Valley, but fear of Mohawk hunting parties kept them from occupying most of western and northwestern Connecticut.
Because of their fear of the Pequot along the shore and of the Mohawk to the west, most of Connecticut's Indians sought the friendship of English newcomers in the 1630s. The Indians sold land to the English and provided instruction in New World agricultural, hunting, and fishing techniques. The impact of English settlers on Connecticut's friendly Indians was devastating, however. The Indians lost their land, were made dependents in their own territory, and were decimated by such European imports as smallpox and measles. The Pequot, who sought to expel the English from Connecticut by a series of attacks in 1636–37, were defeated during the Pequot War by a Connecticut-Massachusetts force, aided by a renegade Pequot named Uncas. By the 1770s, Connecticut's Indian population was less than 1,500.
The first recorded European penetration of Connecticut was in 1614 by the Dutch mariner Adriaen Block, who sailed from Long Island Sound up the Connecticut River, probably as far as the Enfield Rapids. The Dutch established two forts on the Connecticut River, but they were completely dislodged by the English in 1654.
The early English settlers were part of a great migration of some 20,000 English Puritans who crossed the treacherous Atlantic to New England between 1630 and 1642. The Puritans declared that salvation could be achieved only by returning to the simplicity of the early Christian Church and the truth of God as revealed in the Bible. They sailed to America in order to establish a new society that could serve as a model for the rest of Christendom. Attracted by the lushness of the Connecticut River Valley, the Puritans established settlements at Windsor (1633), Wethersfield (1634), and Hartford (1636). In 1639, these three communities joined together to form the Connecticut Colony, choosing to be governed by the Fundamental Orders, a relatively democratic framework for which the Reverend Thomas Hooker was largely responsible. (According to some historians, the Fundamental Orders comprised the world's first written constitution, hence the state nickname, adopted in 1959.) A separate Puritan colony was planted at New Haven in 1638 under the leadership of John Davenport, a Puritan minister, and Theophilus Eaton, a successful merchant.
In 1662, the Colony of Connecticut secured legal recognition by England. Governor John Winthrop Jr. persuaded King Charles II to grant a charter that recognized Connecticut's existing framework of government and established its north and south boundaries as Massachusetts and Long Island Sound and its east and west borders as Narragansett Bay and the Pacific Ocean. In 1665, New Haven reluctantly became part of the colony because of economic difficulties and fear of incorporation into Anglican New York.
Connecticut had acrimonious boundary disputes with Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and Pennsylvania. The most serious disagreement was with New York, which claimed the entire area from Delaware Bay to the Connecticut River. The issue was resolved in 1683 when the boundary was set 20 mi (32 km) east of and parallel to the Hudson River, although it was not until 1881 that Connecticut, New York, and Congress established the exact line.
Connecticut functioned throughout the colonial period much like an independent republic. It was the only American colony that generally did not follow English practice in its legislative proceedings, nor did it adopt a substantial amount of English common and statute law for its legal code. Connecticut's autonomy was threatened in 1687 when Sir Edmund Andros, appointed by King James II as the governor of the Dominion of New England, arrived in Hartford to demand surrender of the 1662 charter. Connecticut leaders protected the colony's autonomy by hiding the charter in an oak tree, which subsequently became a landmark known as the Charter Oak.
With its Puritan roots and historic autonomy, Connecticut was a Patriot stronghold during the American Revolution. Tories numbered no more than 7% of the adult male population (2,000-2,500 out of a total of 38,000 males). Connecticut sent some 3,600 men to Massachusetts at the outbreak of fighting at Lexington and Concord in April 1775. Jonathan Trumbull, who served as governor from 1769 to 1784, was the only colonial governor in office in 1775 who supported the Patriots. He served throughout the Revolutionary War, during which Connecticut troops participated in most of the significant battles. Connecticut's privateers captured more than 500 British merchant vessels, and its small but potent fleet captured at least 40 enemy ships. Connecticut also produced arms and gunpowder for state and Continental forces, thus beginning an arms-making tradition that would lead to the state's unofficial designation as the "arsenal of the nation." It was also called the Provisions State, in large part because of the crucial supplies of foodstuffs it sent to General George Washington throughout the war. The state's most famous Revolutionary War figure was Nathan Hale, executed as a spy by the British in New York City in 1776.
On 9 January 1788, Connecticut became the fifth state to ratify the Constitution. Strongly Federalist during the 1790s, Connecticut ardently disagreed with the foreign policy of presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, opposed the War of 1812, and even refused to allow its militia to leave the state. Connecticut's ire over the war was exacerbated by the failure of the government to offer significant help when the British attacked Essex and Stonington in the spring and summer of 1814. The politically vulnerable Federalists were defeated in 1817 by the Toleration Party. This coalition of Republicans and non-Congregationalists headed the drive for the new state constitution (1818) that disestablished the Congregational Church, a Federalist stronghold.
Long before the Civil War, Connecticut was stoutly antislavery. In the early years of independence, the General Assembly enacted legislation providing that every black born after 1 March 1784 would be free at age 25. Connecticut had a number of antislavery and abolition societies, whose members routed escaped slaves to Canada via the Underground Railroad. The state's pro-Union sentiment was reflected in the enormous support given to the Union war effort; some 55,000 Connecticut men served in the Civil War, suffering more than 20,000 casualties. Arms manufacturers such as Colt and Winchester produced desperately needed rifles and revolvers, and the state's textile, brass, and rubber firms turned out uniforms buttons, ponchos, blankets, and boots for Union troops.
The contributions by Connecticut industries to the war effort signaled the state's emergence as a manufacturing giant. Its industrial development was facilitated by abundant waterpower, the growth of capital held by banks and insurance companies, a sophisticated transportation network, and, most important, the technological and marketing expertise of the people. The first American hat factory was established in Danbury in 1780, and the nation's brass industry had its roots in Naugatuck Valley between 1806 and 1809. Connecticut clocks became known throughout the world. Micah Rugg organized the first nut and bolt factory in Marion in 1840; Elias Howe invented the first practical sewing machine in Hartford in 1843. Perhaps the most important figure in the development of Connecticut manufacturing was Eli Whitney, best known for inventing the cotton gin (1793).
Seventy-five years after Whitney's death, Connecticut was a leader in the production of hats, typewriters, electrical fixtures, machine tools, and hardware. The state's textile industry ranked sixth in the nation in 1900, with an annual output of $50 million. By 1904, Connecticut's firearms industry was producing four-fifths of the ammunition and more than one-fourth of the total value of all firearms manufactured by nongovernment factories in the United States. These great strides in manufacturing transformed Connecticut from a rural, agrarian society in the early 1800s to an increasingly urban state.
The state's contribution to the Allied forces in World War I (1914–18) more than equaled its Civil War effort. Four Liberty Loan drives raised $437 million, more than the contribution from any other state. About 66,000 Connecticuters served in the armed forces, and the state's manufacturers produced 450,000 Enfield rifles, 45,000 Browning automatic rifles, 2 million bayonets, and much other war materiel. By 1917–18, four-fifths of Connecticut's industry was involved in defense production.
The prosperity sparked by World War I continued, for the most part, until 1929. During the 1920s, Connecticuters enjoyed a rising standard of living, as the state became a national leader in the production of specialty parts for the aviation, automotive, and electric power industries. However, from 1919 to 1929, Connecticut lost 14 of its 47 cotton mills to southern states.
The stock market crash of 1929 and the subsequent depression of the 1930s hit highly industrialized Connecticut hard. By the spring of 1932, the state's unemployed totaled 150,000, and cities such as Bridgeport fell deeply in debt. The economic reversal led to significant political change: the ousting of a business-oriented Republican administration, which had long dominated the state, by a revitalized Democratic Party under the leadership of Governor Wilbur L. Cross (1931–39). During his tenure, Connecticut reorganized its state government, improved facilities in state hospitals and penal institutions, and tightened state regulations of business.
Connecticut was pulled out of the unemployment doldrums in 1939 when the state's factories were once again stimulated by defense contracts. The value of World War II (1939–45) contracts placed in Connecticut was $8 billion by May 1945, and industrial employment increased from 350,000 in 1939 to 550,000 by late 1944. Connecticut's factories turned out submarines, Navy Corsair fighter aircraft, helicopters, 80% of all ball bearings manufactured in the United States, and many thousands of small arms. Approximately 220,000 Connecticut men and women served in the US armed forces.
Since 1945, Connecticut has seen substantial population growth, economic diversification with a greater proportion of service industries, the expansion of middle-class suburbs, and an influx of black and Hispanic migrants to the major cities. Urban renewal projects in Hartford and New Haven resulted in expanded office and recreational facilities, but not much desperately needed new housing. A major challenge facing Connecticut in the 1980s was once again how to effect the social and economic integration of this incoming wave of people and industries. Providing greater economic opportunities for people living in its cities remains a challenge for Connecticut in the 2000s.
Connecticut became the nation's wealthiest state during the 1980s, achieving the highest per capita income in 1986, a position still held in 1992 when its residents' per capita income of $26,797 was 35% above the average for the United States. The state's prosperity came in part from the expansion of the military budget, as 70% of Connecticut's manufacturing sector was defense related. The end of the cold war, however, brought cuts in military spending which reduced the value of defense related contracts in Connecticut from $6 billion in 1989 to $4.2 billion in 1990. By 1992, manufacturing jobs had declined by 25% while jobs in such service industries as retail, finance, insurance and real estate increased by 23%. The total number of jobs, however, dropped by 10% during the period. Tax relief measures were taken to make manufacturing more competitive in the state. In the mid-1990s, Connecticut's economy was on the upswing, fueled in part by the recovering banking industry, and its employment outlook improved.
In the 1980s and through the 1990s, Connecticut witnessed an increasing contrast between the standard of living enjoyed by urban and suburban residents, blacks and whites, and the wealthy and the poor. In 1992, the median family income in many of the state's suburbs was nearly twice that of families living in urban areas. Governor Lowell Weicker's administration imposed a personal income tax (designed to address the inequities of the sales tax system) and implemented a program to modify state funding formulas so that urban communities received a larger share. The state also launched an effort to improve the quality of public education in relatively poor cities, to bring it in alignment with suburban schools.
While per-capita income levels remained high in the state through the rest of the decade, poverty increased. According to government figures, in 1998 Connecticut still ranked first in the nation in per capita personal income ($37,700), but the state's poverty rate, just 6% (the lowest in the nation) in 1990, had climbed to 9.2% by 1998. Per capita personal income stood at $45,506 in 2004, still highest among the states, while the poverty rate was 7.6% (the national average was 13.1%). While the state remained divided economically, it also was divided racially. Minority (black and Hispanic) populations were centered in urban Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Haven; smaller cities and suburbs remained predominately white.
Like many states across the nation, Connecticut faced a multimillion dollar budget deficit in the early 2000s. Connecticut adopted a stringent welfare reform law during Governor John G. Rowland's tenure, limiting benefits to 21 months. A new death penalty law was passed for the state, as was a law requiring communities to be notified when sex offenders are released from prison. Connecticut in 2005 was looking to attract further business investment to the state.
Foxwoods, a casino run by the Mashantucket Pequots in Ledyard, Connecticut, is a source of much-needed income for the tribe and an attraction for tourists and gamblers.
Connecticut has been governed by four basic documents: the Fundamental Orders of 1639; the Charter of the Colony of Connecticut of 1662; the constitution of 1818 (which remained in effect until 1964, when a federal district court, acting on the basis of the US Supreme Court's "one person, one vote" ruling, ordered Connecticut to reapportion and redistrict its legislature); and the constitution of 1965. This last document adjusted representation to conform with population and provided for mandatory reapportionment every 10 years. The 1965 constitution had been amended 29 times by January 2005.
The state legislature is the General Assembly, consisting of a 36-member Senate and 151-member House of Representatives. Regular legislative sessions are held each year, beginning in January in odd-numbered years (when sessions must end no later than in June) and in February in even-numbered years (when sessions must end no later than in May). A majority of legislators may call for special session. Legislators, who must be 18 years old, residents of their districts, and qualified voters in Connecticut, are elected to both houses for two-year terms from single-member districts of substantially equal populations. The legislative salary in 2004 was $28,000.
Elected members of the executive branch are the governor and lieutenant governor (who run jointly and must each be at least 30 years of age), secretary of state, treasurer, comptroller, and attorney general. All are elected for four-year terms and may be reelected. The governor, generally with the advice and consent of the general assembly, selects the heads of state departments, commissions, and offices. As of December 2004, the governor's salary was $150,000.
A bill becomes law when approved by both houses of the General Assembly and signed by the governor. If the governor fails to sign it within five days when the legislature is in session, or within 15 days after it has adjourned, the measure also becomes law. A bill vetoed by the governor may be overridden by a two-thirds vote of the elected members of each house.
A constitutional amendment may be passed in a single legislative session if approved by three-fourths of the total membership of each house. If approved in one session by a majority but by less than three-fourths, the proposed amendments requires approval by majority vote in the next legislative session following a general election. After passage by the legislature, the amendment must be ratified by the voters in the next even-year general election in order to become part of the state constitution.
To vote in state elections, a person must be a US citizen, at least 18 years old, a state resident, and a resident in the town where he or she will vote. Restrictions apply to convicted felons.
Connecticut's major political groups during the first half of the 19th century were successively the Federalist Party, the Democratic-Republican coalition, the Democrats, and the Whigs. The political scene also included a number of minor political parties, including the Anti-Masonic, Free Soil, Temperance, and Native American (Know-Nothing) parties, of which the Know-Nothings were the most successful, holding the governorship from 1855 to 1857. The Whig Party collapsed during the controversy over slavery in the 1850s, when the Republican Party emerged as the principal opposition to the Democrats.
From the 1850s to the present, the Democratic and Republican parties have dominated Connecticut politics. The Republicans held power in most of the years between the Civil War and the 1920s. Republican hegemony ended in 1930, when the Democrats elected Wilbur L. Cross as governor. Cross greatly strengthened the Connecticut Democratic Party by supporting organized labor and providing social legislation for the aged and the needy. The success of the increasingly liberal Democrats in the 1930s prodded Connecticut Republicans to become more forward-looking, and the two parties were fairly evenly matched between 1938 and 1954. Connecticut's Democrats have held power in most years since the mid-1950s.
Republican presidential candidates carried Connecticut for five successive elections starting in 1972 and ending with the victory of Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992. In the 1996 election, Clinton again carried the state. In the 2000 presidential election, Democrat Al Gore took the state with 56% of the vote to Republican George W. Bush's 39%. Green Party candidate Ralph Nader won 4% of the vote. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry won 54.3% of the vote to incumbent President George W. Bush's 44.0%. In 2004 there were 1,823,000 registered voters; an estimated 36% were Democratic, 24% Republican, and 40% unaffiliated or members of other parties. The state had seven electoral votes in the 2004 presidential election.
In 2005 Democrats controlled the state Senate, 24-11, and formed a majority in the state House (99 Democrats to 52 Republicans). Following the 2004 elections, Connecticut's delegation of US Representatives consisted of two Democrats and three Republicans (Connecticut lost a congressional seat in 2002). Both of Connecticut's US senators are Democrats: Christopher Dodd, reelected in 2004 for his fifth consecutive term; and Joseph Lieberman, elected to his third term in 2000. Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore chose Lieberman as his running mate in the 2000 presidential election. In 2003, Connecticut ranked eighth among the 50 states in the percentage of women state legislators, at 29.4%.
In 1994 Republican John G. Rowland was elected governor on a platform that included a promise to repeal the state income tax; he was reelected in 1998 and 2002. Rowland resigned in 2004 over a corruption scandal, and on 1 July 2005 Lieutenant Governor M. Jodi Rell succeeded him, becoming the second woman to hold the governorship of the state. US Representative Gary Franks, the first black member of the US House of Representatives from Connecticut and the first black House Republican in 55 years, was unseated in 1996 in his bid for a fourth term. In 1998 he made an unsuccessful run for US Senate, against incumbent (Democrat) Christopher Dodd.
As of 2005, Connecticut had 8 counties, 30 municipal governments, and 384 special districts. There were 166 school districts. Counties in Connecticut have been geographical subdivisions without governmental functions since county government was abolished in 1960.
Connecticut's cities generally use the council-manager or may-or-council forms of government. The council-manager system provides for an elected council that determines policy, enacts local legislation, and appoints the city manager. The mayor-council system employs an elected chief executive with extensive appointment power and control over administrative agencies.
In most towns, an elected, three-member board of selectmen heads the administrative branch. The town meeting, in which all registered voters may participate, is usually the legislative body. As of 2002, there were 149 townships in the state. Boroughs are generally governed by an elected warden, and borough meetings exercise major legislative functions.
In 2005, local government accounted for about 125,392 full-time (or equivalent) employment positions.
|Connecticut Presidential Vote by Political Parties, 1948–2004|
|YEAR||ELECTORAL VOTE||CONNECTICUT WINNER||DEMOCRAT||REPUBLICAN||PROGRESSIVE||SOCIALIST|
|*Won US presidential election.|
|PETITIONING CANDIDATE (Nader)|
To address the continuing threat of terrorism and to work with the federal Department of Homeland Security, homeland security in Connecticut operates under the authority of state statute and executive order; the commissioner for emergency management and homeland security is designated as the state homeland security adviser.
The Department of Education administers special programs for the educationally disadvantaged, the emotionally and physically disabled, and non-English-speaking students. The Department of Transportation operates state-owned airports, oversees bus system operations, and provides for snow removal from state highways and roads. The Department of Social Services has a variety of social programs for state residents, including special services for the physically disabled. The Department of Children and Families investigates cases of child abuse and administers programs dealing with child protection, adoption, juvenile corrections and rehabilitation, and prevention of delinquency.
Among programs sponsored by the Department of Public Health are ones that help people to stop smoking, increase their nutritional awareness, and improve their dental health. The Labor Department provides a full range of services to the unemployed, to job seekers, and to disadvantaged workers. Other departments deal with consumer protection, economic development, environmental protection, housing, mental retardation, information technology, and public safety.
Connecticut's judicial system has undergone significant streamlining in recent years, with the abolition of municipal courts (1961), the circuit court (1974), the court of common pleas (1978), and the juvenile court (1978), and the creation of an appellate court (1983). Currently, the Connecticut judicial system consists of a supreme court, an appellate court, a superior court, and probate courts.
The Supreme Court comprises the chief justice, five associate justices, and two senior associate justices. The high court hears cases on appeal, primarily from the appellate court but also from the superior court in certain special instances, including the review of a death sentence, reapportionment, election disputes, invalidation of a state statute, or censure of a probate judge. Justices of the Supreme Court, as well as appellate and superior court judges, are nominated by the governor and appointed by the General Assembly for eight-year terms.
The Superior Court, the sole general trial court, has the authority to hear all legal controversies except those over which the probate courts have exclusive jurisdiction. The Superior Court sits in 12 state judicial districts and is divided into trial divisions for civil, criminal, and family cases. As of 1999, there were 167 superior court trial judges.
Connecticut has 132 probate courts. These operate on a fee basis, with judges receiving their compensation from fees paid for services rendered by the court. Each probate district has one probate judge, elected for a four-year term.
As of 31 December 2004, a total of 19,497 prisoners were held in Connecticut's state and federal prisons, a decrease of 1.8% (from 19,846) from the previous year. As of year-end 2004, a total of 1,488 inmates were female, down 3.9% (from 1,548) from the year before. Among sentenced prisoners (one year or more), Connecticut had an incarceration rate of 377 per 100,000 population in 2004.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Connecticut in 2004 had a violent crime rate (murder/nonnegligent manslaughter; forcible rape; robbery; aggravated assault) of 286.3 reported incidents per 100,000 population, or a total of 10,032 reported incidents. Crimes against property (burglary; larceny/theft; and motor vehicle theft) in that same year totaled 92,046 reported incidents or 2,627.2 reported incidents per 100,000 people. Connecticut has a death penalty, of which lethal injection is the sole method of execution. From 1976 through 5 May 2006, the state has carried out just one execution, which took place in 2005. As of 1 January 2006, there were eight death row inmates.
In 2003, Connecticut spent $158,064,813 on homeland security, an average of $48 per state resident.
In 2004, there were 6,759 active-duty military personnel stationed in Connecticut, 1,080 civilian employees and 2,114 Reserve and National Guard. The principal military installation in the state is the US Navy submarine base at Groton. Across the Thames River in New London is the US Coast Guard Academy, one of the nation's four service academies. Founded in 1876 and located at its present site since 1932, this institution offers a four-year curriculum leading to a BS degree and a commission as ensign in the Coast Guard.
In fiscal year 2004, the value of defense contracts was $8.9 billion, and defense payroll, including retired military pay, amounted to $717 million.
There were 268,975 veterans of US military service in Connecticut as of 2003, of whom 49,046 served in World War II; 35,445 in the Korean conflict; 81,636 during the Vietnam era; and 26,660 in the Persian Gulf War. US Veterans Administration spending in Connecticut totaled $563 million in 2004.
As of 31 October 2004, the Connecticut State Police employed 1,213 full-time sworn officers.
Connecticut has experienced four principal migrations: the arrival of European immigrants in the 17th century, the out-migration of many settlers to other states beginning in the 18th century, renewed European immigration in the late 19th century, and the intrastate migration of city dwellers to the suburbs since 1945.
Although the first English settlers found an abundance of fertile farmland in the Connecticut Valley, later newcomers were not so fortunate. It is estimated that in 1800, when Connecticut's population was 250,000, nearly three times that many people had moved away from the state, principally to Vermont, western New York, Ohio, and other Midwestern states.
The influx of European immigrants increased the number of foreign-born in the state from 38,518 in 1850 to about 800,000 by World War I. After World War II, the rush of middle-class whites (many from neighboring states) to Connecticut suburbs, propelled in part by the "baby boom" that followed the war, was accompanied by the flow of minority groups to the cities. All told, Connecticut had a net increase from migration of 561,000 between 1940 and 1970, followed by a net loss of 113,000 from 1970 to 1990. Between 1990 and 1998, the state had a net loss of 217,000 residents in domestic migration, and a net gain of 68,000 in international migration. In 1998, Connecticut admitted 7,780 foreign immigrants. Between 1990 and 1998, the state's overall population decreased by 0.4%. In the period 2000–05, net international migration was 75,991 and net internal migration was −34,273, for a net gain of 41,718 people.
Among the regional interstate agreements to which Connecticut belongs are the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Commission, Connecticut Valley Flood Control Commission, Interstate Compact for Juveniles, Interstate Sanitation Commission (with New York and New Jersey), New England Board of Higher Education, New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, and the Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Compact. Boundary agreements are in effect with Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island. In fiscal year 2001, federal grants to Connecticut were almost $4.4 billion. Federal grants declined to $4.064 billion in fiscal year 2005, before gradually increasing to an estimated $4.302 billion in fiscal year 2006 and an estimated $4.368 billion in fiscal year 2007.
Connecticut has had a strong economy since the early 19th century, when the state, unable to support its population by farming, turned to a variety of nonagricultural pursuits. Shipbuilding and whaling were major industries in the 1840s and 1850s. New London ranked behind only New Bedford and Nantucket, Massachusetts, among US whaling ports. Connecticut has also been a leader of the insurance industry since the 1790s.
Because defense production has traditionally been important to the state, the economy fluctuates with the rise and fall of international tensions. Connecticut's unemployment rate stood at 8.7% in 1949, dropped to 3.5% in 1951 during the Korean conflict, and rose sharply after the war to 8.3% in 1958. From 1966 to 1968, during the Vietnam War, unemployment averaged between 3.1% and 3.7%, but the rate subsequently rose to 9.5% in 1976. In 1984, in the midst of the Reagan administration's military buildup, Connecticut's unemployment rate dropped below 5%, becoming the lowest in the country. Connecticut lessened its dependence on the defense sector somewhat by attracting nonmilitary domestic and international firms to the state during the 1980s and 1990s. In 1984, more than 250 international companies employed more than 30,000 workers in the state. Connecticut was a leader in the manufacture of aircraft engines and parts, bearings, hardware, submarines, helicopters, typewriters, electronic instrumentation, electrical equipment, guns and ammunition, and optical instruments. Despite its dependence on military contracts, between 1984 and 1991 manufacturing employment declined 22.4%, while nonmanufacturing jobs rose by 11.6%. Nevertheless, the state was hard hit by cuts in military spending in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1991, defense-related prime contract awards had dropped 37.7% from the 1990 level. Pratt and Whitney, the jet engine maker, and General Dynamics' Electric Boat division, manufacturer of submarines, announced in 1992 that they would lay off a total of 16,400 workers over the following six years. In 1992, an estimated 70% of manufacturing was defense related, either through direct federal contracts, subcontracts with other companies, or in the manufacturing of basic metals used for weaponry. In 1993, unemployment stood at 7.3%. During the prosperous 1990s, unemployment fell steadily, and had reached 3% by 1999, although the ratio of manufacturing jobs continued to decline (overall, from nearly 50% in 1950 to 20% in 1999). Gross state product (GSP) grew at annual rates of 5.7% in 1998, and 4.4% in 1999, and then soared to 8.7% in 2000. During the national recession of 2001, growth slowed abruptly to 2.6%, as unemployment began to rise again. The downturn continued into 2002, as unemployment rose from 3.5% in June to 4.4% in November 2002.
In 2004, Connecticut's GSP totaled $185.802 billion, of which the real estate sector accounted for $24.370 billion, or 13% of GSP, followed by manufacturing (durable and nondurable goods) at $22.653 billion (12.2% of GSP) and professional and technical services at $13.896 billion (7.4% of GSP). In that same year, there were 322,805 small businesses in the state. Of the 97,311 firms in Connecticut that had employees, a total of 94,723 or 97.3% were small companies. In that same year, a total of 9,064 new businesses were formed in the state, up 6.6% from the previous year. Business terminations that year however, totaled 11,018, a drop of 0.2% from the year before. Business bankruptcies in 2004 totaled 132, down 29.4% from 2003. In 2005, the state's personal bankruptcy (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13) filing rate was 348 filings per 100,000 people, ranking Connecticut 45th in the United States.
In 2005, Connecticut had a gross state product (GSP) of $194 billion, which accounted for 1.6% of the nation's gross domestic product and placed the state 23rd among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2004 Connecticut had a per capita personal income (PCPI) of $45,318. This ranked second in the United States and was 137% of the national average of $33,050. The 1994–2004 average annual growth rate of PCPI was 4.3%. Connecticut had a total personal income (TPI) of $158,565,559,000, which ranked 23rd in the United States and reflected an increase of 6.5% from 2003. The 1994–2004 average annual growth rate of TPI was 4.9%. Earnings of persons employed in Connecticut increased from $115,256,181,000 in 2003 to $123,120,209,000 in 2004, an increase of 6.8%. The 2003–04 national change was 6.3%.
The US Census Bureau reports that the three-year average median household income for 2002–04 in 2004 dollars was $55,970, compared to a national average of $44,473. During the same period an estimated 8.8% of the population was below the poverty line, as compared to 12.4% nationwide.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in April 2006 the seasonally adjusted civilian labor force in Connecticut numbered 1,830,800, with approximately 71,900 workers unemployed, yielding an unemployment rate of 3.9%, compared to the national average of 4.7% for the same period. Preliminary data for the same period placed nonfarm employment at 1,674,400. Since the beginning of the BLS data series in 1976, the highest unemployment rate recorded in Connecticut was 10% in January 1976. The historical low was 2.1% in November 2000. Preliminary nonfarm employment data by occupation for April 2006 showed that approximately 3.8% of the labor force was employed in construction; 11.5% in manufacturing; 18.6% in trade, transportation, and public utilities; 8.6% in financial activities; 12.1% in professional and business services; 16.4% in education and health services; 7.9% in leisure and hospitality services; and 14.6% in government.
During the early 20th century, Connecticut was consistently antiunion and was one of the leading open-shop states in the northeastern United States. But great strides were made by organized labor in the 1930s with the support of New Deal legislation recognizing union bargaining rights. All workforce services, including recruiting, training, workplace regulation, labor market information, and unemployment insurance, are offered through a statewide partnership of Connecticut's Department of Labor, Regional Workforce Development Boards, and state and community organizations.
The US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2005, a total of 247,000 of Connecticut's 1,550,000 em-ployed wage and salary workers were formal members of a union. This represented 15.9% of those so employed, up from 15.3% in 2004, and above the national average of 12%. Overall in 2005, a total of 263,000 workers (17%) in Connecticut were covered by a union or employee association contract, which includes those workers who reported no union affiliation. Connecticut is one of 28 states that does not have a right-to-work law.
As of 1 March 2006, Connecticut had a state-mandated minimum wage rate of $7.40 per hour, which was scheduled to increase to $7.65 per hour on 1 January 2007. In 2004, women in the state accounted for 47.4% of the employed civilian labor force.
Agriculture is no longer of much economic importance in Connecticut. The number of farms declined from 22,241 in 1945 to 4,200 in 2004, covering a total of 360,000 acres (145,700 hectares).
Cash receipts from crop sales in 2005 were $358 million. Tobacco production was 3,889,000 lb. (1,768,000 kg) in 2004. Other principal crops are hay, silage, potatoes, sweet corn, tomatoes, apples, and peaches.
There were an estimated 56,000 cattle and calves on Connecticut farms in 2005. Their estimated value was $59.9 million. In 2004, there were an estimated 4,200 hogs and pigs, valued at $546,000. During 2003, Connecticut dairy farmers produced an estimated 413 million lb (187.7 million kg) of milk. Also during 2003, poultry farmers produced an estimated 3 million lb. (1.4 million kg) of chicken and received $165,000 for 135,000 lb (46,000 kg) of turkey. Connecticut produced an estimated 795,000 eggs in 2003 at an estimated value of $44.1 million.
Commercial fishing does not play a major role in the economy. In 2004, the value of commercial landings was $37.8 million for a catch of 21.1 million lb (9.6 million kg). In 2003, the state had only 23 processing and wholesale plants, with a total of about 237 employees. In 2001, the commercial fishing fleet had about 425 boats and vessels.
Several programs have been instituted throughout the years to restore the Atlantic salmon and trout populations on the Connecticut River. Connecticut had 148,125 sport-fishing license holders in 2004.
By the early 20th century, the forests that covered 95% of Connecticut in the 1630s were generally destroyed. Woodland recovery has been stimulated since the 1930s by an energetic reforestation program. Of the state's 1,859,000 acres (752,337 hectares) of forestland in 2004, more than half was wooded with new growth. Lumber production in 2004 totaled 48 million board ft.
State forests covered some 298,000 acres (121,000 hectares) in 2004.
The value of nonfuel mineral production in Connecticut in 2004 was valued by the US Geological Survey at around $131 million. Crushed stone (10 million metric tons, worth $75.7 million) and construction sand and gravel (8.33 million metric tons, valued at $55.6 million), were the state's two leading nonfuel mineral commodities (by value), and accounted for nearly all production (by volume and value). Other commodities produced included common clays and dimension stone. Overall, nonfuel mineral production in 2004 fell 1.5% from 2003.
Demand for virtually all of the state's mineral output is dependent on a healthy construction industry, the main consumer of aggregates.
ENERGY AND POWER
As of 2003, Connecticut had 17 electrical power service providers, of which 7 were publicly owned and 3 were investor owned. Five sold only energy but did not provide delivery services, while two provided only delivery services. As of that same year there were 1,559,260 retail customers. Of that total, 1,467,971 received their power from investor-owned service providers, while publicly owned providers had 68,616 customers. There were 22,673 generation-only customers. There was no data on delivery-only customers.
Total net summer generating capability by the state's electrical generating plants in 2003 stood at 7.573 million kW, with total production that same year at 29.545 billion kWh. Of the total amount generated, only 2.8% came from electric utilities, with the remainder, 97.2%, coming from independent producers and combined heat and power service providers. The largest portion of all electric power generated, 16.078 billion kWh (54.4%), came from nuclear plants, with natural gas plants in second place at 5.061 billion kWh (17.1%) and coal-fired plants in third at 4.200 billion kWh (14.2%). Other renewable power sources accounted for 5.3% of all power generated, with petroleum-fired plants at 7%. Hydroelectric plants account for 1.9% of power generated.
As of 2006, Connecticut had one nuclear power generating facility, the Millstone plant in Waterford, which was operated by Dominion Generation.
Two of the four Northeast Heating Oil Reserves established by Congress in 2000 are located in Connecticut; their combined capacities total 850 thousand barrels.
Having no petroleum or gas resources of its own, nor any refineries. Connecticut must rely primarily on imported oil from Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Nigeria, and other countries. Most of the natural gas used in Connecticut is piped in from Texas and Louisiana.
Connecticut is one of the most industrialized states, and it has recently diversified toward a broader economic portfolio. Six diverse industry clusters drive the state's economy: aerospace and advanced manufacturing; communications, information, and education; financial services; health and biomedical; business services; and tourism and entertainment.
According to the US Census Bureau's Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) for 2004, Connecticut's manufacturing sector cov-ered some 17 product subsectors. The shipment value of all products manufactured in the state that same year was $45.105 billion. Of that total, transportation equipment manufacturing accounted for the largest share at $10.445 billion. It was followed by chemical manufacturing at $7.956 billion; fabricated metal product manufacturing at $5.128 billion; computer and electronic product manufacturing at $3.494 billion; and machinery manufacturing at $3.430 billion.
In 2004, a total of 191,909 people in Connecticut were employed in the state's manufacturing sector, according to the ASM. Of that total, 111,290 were actual production workers. In terms of total employment, the transportation equipment manufacturing industry accounted for the largest portion of all manufacturing employees with 44,885, with 19,894 actual production workers. It was followed by fabricated metal product manufacturing with 33,460 (23,744 actual production workers); machinery manufacturing, with 17,553 (9,040 actual production workers); computer and electronic equipment manufacturing, with 16,722 (7,978 actual production workers); and miscellaneous manufacturing, with 12,877 (7,863 actual production workers).
ASM data for 2004 showed that Connecticut's manufacturing sector paid $9.362 billion in wages. Of that amount, the transportation equipment manufacturing sector accounted for the largest share at $2.786 billion. It was followed by fabricated metal product manufacturing at $1.467 billion; machinery manufacturing at $926.567 million; computer and electronic product manufacturing at $921.795 million; and chemical manufacturing at $665.310 million.
Considering its small size, Connecticut is a busy commercial state. According to the 2002 Census of Wholesale Trade, Connecticut's wholesale trade sector had sales that year totaling $86.9 billion from 4,785 establishments. Wholesalers of durable goods accounted for 2,909 establishments, followed by nondurable goods wholesalers at 1,491 and electronic markets, agents, and brokers accounting for 385 establishments. Sales by durable goods wholesalers in 2002 totaled $24.8 billion, while wholesalers of nondurable goods saw sales of $53.3 billion. Electronic markets, agents, and brokers in the wholesale trade industry had sales of $8.7 billion.
In the 2002 Census of Retail Trade, Connecticut was listed as having 13,861 retail establishments with sales of $41.9 billion. The leading types of retail businesses by number of establishments were: food and beverage stores (2,101); clothing and clothing accessories stores (1,945); miscellaneous store retailers (1,470); and motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts dealers (1,381). In terms of sales, motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts dealers accounted for the largest share of retail sales at $10.1 billion, followed by food and beverage stores at $7.2 billion; general merchandise stores at $4.1 billion; and building material/garden equipment and supplies dealers $3.7 billion. A total of 191,807 people were employed by the retail sector in Connecticut that year.
The estimated value of Connecticut's goods exported abroad was $9.6 billion in 2005. Shipments of transport equipment, non-electrical machinery, electric and electronic equipment, and instruments accounted for most of the state's foreign sales. Tobacco is the major agricultural export. Foreign exports go primarily to Canada and France.
Since 1959, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection has been protecting consumers from injury by product use or merchandising deceit. The department conducts regular inspections of wholesale and retail food establishments, drug-related establishments, liquor retailers, bedding and upholstery dealers and manufacturers, and commercial establishments that use weighing and measuring devices. The department conducts investigations into alleged fraudulent activities, provides information and referral services to consumers, and responds to their complaints. It also licenses most professional and occupational trades and registers home improvement contractors. The Lemon Law Arbitration program and consumer guarantee funds in the areas of home improvement, real estate, and health clubs have returned millions of dollars to aggrieved consumers.
The Department of Consumer Protection also works with the state's Office of the Attorney General, which acts as counsel to the Department and represents it through litigation before state and/or federal courts.
When dealing with consumer protection issues, the state's Attorney General's Office can initiate civil and in some cases criminal proceedings; represent the state before state and federal regulatory agencies; become involved in the administration of consumer protection and education programs, and handle consumer complaints. However, the office has limited subpoena powers. In antitrust actions, the attorney general can act on behalf of those consumers who are incapable of acting on their own; initiate damage actions on behalf of the state in state courts; initiate criminal proceedings; and represent counties, cities and other governmental entities in recovering civil damages under state or federal law.
The state's Department of Consumer Protection is located in Hartford. In addition, the city of Middletown also has a Director of Consumer Protection.
The first banks in Connecticut were established in Hartford, New Haven, Middletown, Bridgeport, Norwich, and New London between 1792 and 1805. By 1850, the state had 54 commercial and 15 savings banks. As of June 2005, the state had 58 insured banks, savings and loans, and saving banks, plus 43 state-chartered and 115 federally chartered credit unions (CUs). Excluding the CUs, the Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford market area had 30 financial institutions in 2004, followed by the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area at 26. As of June 2005, CUs accounted for 9.3% of all assets held by all financial institutions in the state, or some $6.542 billion. Banks, savings and loans, and savings banks collectively accounted for the remaining 90.7% or $64.030 billion in assets held.
Banking operations are regulated by the state Department of Banking. The National Graham-Leach-Bliley Financial Modernization Act of 1999, which allowed the conglomeration of banking, securities, and insurance services, was badly received by the Connecticut Banking Commissioner. The over-weighted savings sector in Connecticut discriminates against the movement of capital in securities markets.
Connecticut has a large percentage of thrifts and residential lenders. Two-thirds of insured institutions in the state are savings institutions. Residential real estate loans comprise around half of the average loan portfolio in Connecticut.
Connecticut's preeminence in the insurance field and Hartford's title as "insurance capital" of the nation date from the late 18th century, when state businessmen agreed to bear a portion of a shipowner's financial risks in return for a share of the profits. Marine insurance companies were established in Hartford and major port cities between 1797 and 1805. The state's first insurance company had been formed in Norwich in 1795 to provide fire insurance. The nation's oldest fire insurance firm is Hartford Fire Insurance, active since 1810. Subsequently, Connecticut companies have been leaders in life, accident, casualty, automobile, and multiple-line insurance. The insurance industry is regulated by the state department of insurance.
In 2004 there were 1.8 million individual life insurance policies in force with a total value of $245.9 billion; total value for all categories of life insurance (individual, group, and credit) was $383.9 billion. The average coverage amount is $134,300 per policy holder. Death benefits paid that year totaled $856.5 million.
In 2003, there were 69 property and casualty and 32 life and health insurance companies domiciled in Connecticut. In 2004, direct premiums for property and casualty insurance totaled $6.88 billion. That year, there were 30,291 flood insurance policies in force in the state, with a total value of $5.36 billion. About $675 million of coverage was offered through FAIR (Fair Access to Insurance) plans, which are designed to offer coverage for some natural circumstances, such as wind and hail, in high risk areas.
In 2004, 61% of state residents held employment-based health insurance policies, 3% held individual policies, and 24% were covered under Medicare and Medicaid; 11% of residents were uninsured. In 2003, employee contributions for employment-based health coverage averaged at 22% for single coverage and 23% for family coverage. The state offers a 18-month health benefits expansion program for small-firm employees in connection with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA, 1986), a health insurance program for those who lose employment-based coverage due to termination or reduction of work hours.
In 2003, there were over 2.3 million auto insurance policies in effect for private passenger cars. Required minimum coverage includes bodily injury liability of up to $20,000 per individual and $40,000 for all persons injured in an accident, as well as property damage liability of $10,000. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage are required as well. In 2003, the average expenditure per vehicle for insurance coverage was $982.69, which ranked as the eighth-highest average in the nation.
There are no securities or commodities exchanges in Connecticut. In 2005, there were 1,710 personal financial advisers employed in the state and 5,800 securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents. In 2004, there were over 213 publicly traded companies within the state, with over 60 NASDAQ companies, 63 NYSE listings, and 20 AMEX listings. In 2006, the state had 13 Fortune 500 companies; General Electric (based in Fairfield) ranked first in the state and seventh in the nation with revenues of over $157 billion, followed by Untied Technologies (Hartford), Hartford Financial Services, International Paper (Stamford), and Aetna (Hartford). All five of these companies are traded on the NYSE.
The state budget is prepared biennially by the Budget and Financial Management Division of the Office of Policy and Management and submitted by the governor to the General Assembly for consideration. In odd-numbered years, the governor transmits a budget document setting forth his financial program for the ensuing biennium with a separate budget for each of the two fiscal years in the biennium. In the even-numbered years, the governor transmits a report on the status of the budget enacted in the previous year, with recommendations for adjustments and revisions. The budgets are submitted to the legislature in February, and the legislature is supposed to adopt a biennium budget in May or June before the beginning of the fiscal year starting 1 July.
Fiscal year 2006 general funds were estimated at $14.6 billion for resources and $14.0 billion for expenditures. In fiscal year 2004, federal government grants to Connecticut were nearly $5.6 billion.
In the fiscal year 2007 federal budget, Connecticut was slated to receive $2.3 million, out of $100 million, for emergency contingency funding which is targeted for areas with the greatest need.
In 2005, Connecticut collected $11,585 million in tax revenues or $3,300 per capita, which placed it fourth among the 50 states in per capita tax burden. The national average was $2,192 per capita. Sales taxes accounted for 28.2% of the total, selective sales taxes 16.1%, individual income taxes 43.4%, corporate income taxes 5.0%, and other taxes 7.3%.
As of 1 January 2006, Connecticut had two individual income tax brackets ranging from 3.0% to 5.0%. The state taxes corporations at a flat rate of 7.5%.
In 2004, local property taxes amounted to $6,801,676,000 or $1,944 per capita. The per capita amount ranks the state behind New Jersey with the second-highest per capita tax burden. Connecticut does not collect property taxes at the state level.
Connecticut taxes retail sales at a rate of 6%. Food purchased for consumption off-premises is tax exempt. The tax on cigarettes is 151 cents per pack, which ranks eighth among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Connecticut taxes gasoline at 25 cents per gallon. This is in addition to the 18.4 cents per gallon federal tax on gasoline.
According to the Tax Foundation, for every federal tax dollar sent to Washington in 2004, Connecticut citizens received $0.66 in federal spending, which ranks the state second-lowest nationally.
|Connecticut-State Government Finances|
|(Dollar amounts in thousands. Per capita amounts in dollars.)|
|Abbreviations and symbols:—zero or rounds to zero; (NA) not available; (X) not applicable.|
|source: U.S. Census Bureau, Governments Division, 2004 Survey of State Government Finances, January 2006.|
|Individual income tax||4,319,546||1,234.51|
|Corporate income tax||379,822||108.55|
|Miscellaneous general revenue||1,598,829||456.94|
|Liquor store revenue||-||-|
|Insurance trust revenue||2,072,489||592.31|
|Insurance benefits and repayments||2,620,234||748.85|
|Assistance and subsidies||437,945||125.16|
|Interest on debt||1,247,570||356.55|
|Exhibit: Salaries and wages||4,186,544||1,196.50|
|General expenditures, by function:|
|Parks and recreation||151,227||43.22|
|Interest on general debt||1,247,570||356.55|
|Other and unallocable||1,809,464||517.14|
|Liquor store expenditure||-||-|
|Insurance trust expenditure||2,620,234||748.85|
|Debt at end of fiscal year||22,574,585||6,451.72|
|Cash and security holdings||32,791,485||9,371.67|
Connecticut's economic development programs are overseen by its Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). An important task is administering federal grants made through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program operating since 1974. Connecticut was the first state to establish Enterprise Zones (EZs), starting with six EZ's in 1982 and up to 17 in 2006. EZ's are areas with high rates of unemployment, poverty and/or public assistance that are granted stimulus packages of tax reductions and exemptions. In 1994, the state established the Community Economic Development Fund (CEDF) to help revitalize distressed neighborhoods by providing greater access to capital for small business and community development organizations. The CEDF provides loans, grants and technical assistance with the aim of supporting job creation and retention and community planning efforts. The state offers low-interest loans and grants for capital expenditures, machinery, land, building, training, and recruiting. Connecticut offers tax credits and abatements for machinery and equipment. Connecticut Innovations is the state's technology development corporation. The Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc., coordinates business-to-business marketing and recruitment on behalf of the state. Business recruitment missions have been sent to Europe and Japan to stimulate the state's export program. In 1998, the Governor's Council on Economic Compositeness and Technology was established composed of a collection of CEO's, industry representatives, educators, labor leaders, state commissioners, and legislators. The Governor's Council adopted an Industry Cluster approach to economic development, and has since identified six clusters for particular attention in Connecticut: Tourism (already a separate office), BioScience (since 1998); Aerospace; Software and Information Technology; and Metals Manufacturing (all identified in 1999); and the Maritime Industry (2001). In 2002, Connecticut became the first state to establish an Office of BioScience, located within the DECD. Industry Cluster program, administered by the DECD, is regularly monitored by the Governor's Council to assess progress within the clusters.
In 2006, the DECD's three core responsibilities were: economic development, housing development, and community development. Connecticut's Micro Loan Guarantee Program for Women and Minority Owned Businesses is a special loan guarantee program, offered in conjunction with the CEDF, that helps women- and minority-owned businesses obtain flexible financing. This is for the growth of startup as well as existing businesses. Connecticut also has an Industrial Parks Program, which provides planning and development services, assistance to renovate or demolish vacant industrial buildings, and technical assistance to help municipalities develop industrial parks. In 2006, Connecticut awarded 10 inner city entrepreneurial awards, to highlight and celebrate 10 of the fastest-growing, privately owned companies located in inner cities. In 2006, the US Chamber of Commerce ranked all 50 states on legal fairness towards business. The chamber found Connecticut to be one of five states with the best legal environment for business. The other four were Nebraska, Virginia, Iowa, and Delaware.
The infant mortality rate in October 2005 was estimated at 5.4 per 1,000 live births. The birth rate in 2003 was 12.3 per 1,000 population. The abortion rate stood at 21.1 per 1,000 women in 2000. In 2003, about 88.7% of pregnant woman received prenatal care beginning in the first trimester. In 2004, approximately 88% of children received routine immunizations before the age of three.
The crude death rate in 2003 was 8.4 deaths per 1,000 population. As of 2002, the death rates for major causes of death (per 100,000 resident population) were: heart disease, 254.7; cancer, 207; cerebrovascular diseases, 53.8; chronic lower respiratory diseases, 42; and diabetes, 19.5. The mortality rate from HIV infection was 5.4 per 100,000 population. In 2004, the reported AIDS case rate was at about 18.4 per 100,000 population. In 2002, about 51.4% of the population was considered overweight or obese. As of 2004, about 18% of state residents were smokers.
In 2003, Connecticut had 34 community hospitals with about 7,200 beds. There were about 372,000 patient admissions that year and 6.8 million outpatient visits. The average daily inpatient census was about 5,600 patients. The average cost per day for hospital care was $1,684. Also in 2003, there were about 252 certified nursing facilities in the state with 31,248 beds and an overall occupancy rate of about 91.6%. In 2004, it was estimated that about 80.6% of all state residents had received some type of dental care within the year; this was the highest dental care rate in the nation. Connecticut had 369 physicians per 100,000 resident population in 2004 and 972 nurses per 100,000 in 2005. In 2004, there was a total of 2,653 dentists in the state.
Outstanding medical schools are those of Yale University and the University of Connecticut.
About 24% of state residents were enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare programs in 2004. Approximately 11% of the state population was uninsured in 2004. In 2003, state health care expenditures totaled $5.2 million.
In 2004, about 128,000 people received unemployment benefits, with the average weekly unemployment benefit at $284. In fiscal year 2005, the estimated average monthly participation in the food stamp program included about 204,146 persons (107,492 households); the average monthly benefit was about $91.11 per person. That year, the total of benefits paid through the state for the food stamp program was about $223 million.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the system of federal welfare assistance that officially replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in 1997, was reauthorized through the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. TANF is funded through federal block grants that are divided among the states based on an equation involving the number of recipients in each state. Connecticut's TANF program is called JOBS FIRST. In 2004, the state program had 43,000 recipients; state and federal expenditures on this program totaled $162 million in fiscal year 2003.
In December 2004, Social Security benefits were paid to 584,090 Connecticut residents. This number included 406,450 retired workers, 48,820 widows and widowers, 62,320 disabled workers, 24,820 spouses, and 41,680 children. Social Security beneficiaries represented 16.7% of the total state population and 93.6% of the state's population age 65 and older. Retired workers received an average monthly payment of $1,044; widows and widowers, $1,002; disabled workers, $932; and spouses, $537. Payments for children of retired workers averaged $592 per month; children of deceased workers, $721; and children of disabled workers, $282. Federal Supplemental Security Income payments in December 2004 went to 51,536 Connecticut residents, averaging $404 a month.
In 2004, there were an estimated 1,414,433 housing units in Connecticut, 1,329,950 of which were occupied; 69.7% were owner-occupied. About 59.5% of all units were single-family, detached homes. It was estimated that about 22,730 units were without telephone service, 8,239 lacked complete plumbing facilities, and 6,030 lacked complete kitchen facilities. Most households (47%) relied on fuel oil (such as kerosene) for heating. The average household had 2.55 members.
In 2004, the median value of a single-family detached home was $236,559. The median monthly cost for mortgage owners was $1,603 while the median monthly cost for renters was $811. The state authorized construction of about 11,800 new privately-owned units. In 2006, the state was awarded over $13.6 million in community development block grants from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Believing that the Bible was the only true source of God's truths, Connecticut's Puritan founders viewed literacy as a theological necessity. A law code in 1650 required a town of 50 families to hire a schoolmaster to teach reading and writing, and a town of 100 families to operate a school to prepare students for college. Despite such legislation, many communities in colonial Connecticut did not provide sufficient funding to operate first-rate schools. Public education was greatly strengthened in the 19th century by the work of Henry Barnard, who advocated free public schools, state supervision of common schools, and the establishment of schools for teacher training. By the late 1860s and early 1870s, all of Connecticut's public elementary and high schools were tuition free. In 1865, the Board of Education was established.
A characteristic of public-school financing in Connecticut has been high reliance on local support for education. Differences among towns in their wealth bases and taxation were compounded by the mechanism used to distribute a majority of state funds for public education, the flat-grant-per-pupil formula. After the Connecticut Supreme Court, in Horton v. Meskill (1978), declared this funding mechanism to be unconstitutional, the General Assembly in 1979 replaced it with an equity-based model in order to reduce the disparity among towns in expenses per pupil.
In 2004, 88.8% of Connecticut residents age 25 and older were high school graduates. Some 34.5% had obtained a bachelor's degree or higher. As of fall 2002, Connecticut's public schools had a total enrollment of 570,000 students. Of these, 406,000 attended schools from kindergarten through grade eight, and 164,000 attended high school. Approximately 68.3% of the students were white, 13.6% were black, 14.6% were Hispanic, 3.2% were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 0.3% were American Indian/Alaskan Native.
Total enrollment was estimated at 570,000 in fall 2003 and was expected to be 567,000 by fall 2014, a decrease of 0.6% during the period 2002 to 2014. In fall 2003, 74,430 students were enrolled in 361 private schools. Expenditures for public education in 2003/04 were estimated at $6 billion or $10,788 per student, the fifth-highest among the 50 states. Since 1969, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has tested public school students nationwide. The resulting report, The Nation's Report Card, stated that in 2005, eighth graders in Connecticut scored 281 out of 500 in mathematics, compared with the national average of 278.
Fall enrollment in college or graduate school was 170,606 in 2002; minority students comprised 21.6% of total postsecondary enrollment. As of 2005, Connecticut had 46 degree-granting institutions. Public institutions of higher education include the University of Connecticut at Storrs; four divisions of the Connecticut State University, at New Britain, New Haven, Danbury, and Willimantic; 12 regional community colleges; and 5 state technical colleges. Connecticut also has 23 private 4-year colleges and universities. Among the oldest institutions are Yale, founded in 1701 and settled in New Haven between 1717 and 1719; Trinity College (1823) in Hartford; and Wesleyan University (1831) in Middletown. Other private institutions include the University of Hartford, University of Bridgeport, Fairfield University, and Connecticut College in New London.
The Connecticut Commission on the Arts was established in 1965 and was followed in 2003 by the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism (CCT). The CCT includes divisions devoted to arts, films, historic preservation and museums, and tourism. It administers a state art collection and establishes policies for an art bank program. The Commission also partners with the New England Foundation for the Arts. The Connecticut Humanities Council was established in 1974. As of 2006, the Connecticut Humanities Council supported several reading and literacy programs including "Book Voyagers" for young people and "Literature for a Lifetime" for adult readers. In 2005, Connecticut arts organizations received 30 grants totaling $1,207,200 from the National Endowment for the Arts, and 23 grants totaling $1,520,581 through the National Endowment for the Humanities. State funds are also vital to both organizations.
Art museums in Connecticut include the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, the oldest (1842) free public art museum in the United States; the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven; the Lyman Allyn Museum of Connecticut College in New London, and the New Britain Museum of American Art.
The theater is vibrant in contemporary Connecticut, which has numerous dinner theaters and community theater groups, as well as many college and university theater groups. Professional theaters include the American Shakespeare Festival Theater in Stratford, the Long Wharf Theater and the Yale Repertory Theater in New Haven, the Hartford Stage Company, and the Eugene O'Neill Memorial Theater Center in Waterford.
The state's foremost metropolitan orchestras are the Hartford and New Haven symphonies. Professional opera is presented by the Stanford State Opera and by the Connecticut Opera in Hartford. Prominent dance groups include the Connecticut Dance Company in New Haven, the Hartford Ballet Company, and the Pilobolus Dance Theater in the town of Washington.
The annual International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven has grown steadily since its inception in 1996 and now presents over 300 events throughout the month of June. The Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, presented every summer at the Hill Stead Museum in Farmington, reportedly draws about 1,500 to 3,000 people per reading event.
LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS
In 2001, Connecticut's 194 public library systems had 242 libraries, of which 48 were branches. In that same year, the public library systems held 14,109,000 volumes of books and serial publications, and had a combined circulation of 28,455,000. The system also had 531,000 audio and 519,000 video items, 20,000 electronic format items (CD-ROMs, magnetic tapes, and disks), and seven bookmobiles. The leading public library is the Connecticut State Library (Hartford), which houses about 1,015,463 bound volumes and over 2,451 periodicals, as well as the official state historical museum. Connecticut's most distinguished academic collection is the Yale University library system (over 9 million volumes), headed by the Sterling Memorial Library and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Special depositories include the Hartford Seminary Foundation's impressive material on Christian-Muslim relations; the Connecticut Historical Society's especially strong collection of materials pertaining to state history and New England genealogy; the Trinity College Library's collection of church documents; the Indian Museum in Old Mystic; the maritime history collections in the Submarine Library at the US Navy submarine base in Groton; and the G. W. Blunt White Library at Mystic Seaport.
Total operating income for the public library system amounted to $146,593,000 in fiscal year 2001, including $272,000 in federal grants and $2,080,000 in state grants. In that same year, operating expenditures totaled $134,538,000, of which 68.2% was spent on staff and 13.6% on the collection.
Connecticut has more than 162 museums, in addition to its historic sites. The Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale includes an impressive dinosaur hall. Botanical gardens include Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford, Elizabeth Park in West Hartford, and Hamilton Park Rose Garden in Waterbury. Connecticut's historical sites include the Henry Whitfield House in Guilford (1639), said to be the oldest stone house in the United States; the Webb House in Wethersfield, where George Washington met with the Comte de Rochambeau in 1781 to plan military strategy against the British; Noah Webster's birthplace in West Hartford; and the Jonathan Trumbull House in Lebanon.
As of 2004, 95.5% of the state's occupied housing units had telephones. Additionally, by June of that same year there were 2,064,204 mobile wireless telephone subscribers. In 2003, 69.2% of Connecticut households had a computer and 62.9% had Internet access. By June 2005, there were 684,597 high-speed lines in Connecticut, 641,329 residential and 43,268 for business.
In 2005, Connecticut had 18 AM and 33 FM major radio stations, and 5 major network television stations. There were educational television stations in Bridgeport, Hartford, and Norwich. In addition, the Hartford and New Haven metropolitan area had the highest cable penetration rate of any urban area, at 88% in 1999. A total of 109,775 domain names were registered in Connecticut by 2000.
The Hartford Courant, founded in 1764, is generally considered to be the oldest US newspaper in continuous publication. The leading Connecticut dailies in 2005 were the Hartford Courant, with an average morning circulation of 204,664 (Sundays, 281,714), and the New Haven Register, with an average morning circulation of 92,089 (Sundays, 100,177). Statewide, in 2005 there were 14 morning newspapers, 3 evening newspapers, and 13 Sunday newspapers.
In 2005, there were 83 weekly publications in Connecticut. Of these there are 36 paid weeklies, 41 free weeklies, and 6 combined weeklies. The total circulation of paid weeklies (198,928) and free weeklies (810,901) is 1,009,828.
Leading periodicals are American Scientist, Greenwich Magazine, Connecticut Magazine, Fine Woodworking, Golf Digest, and Tennis.
In 2006, there were over 5,425 nonprofit organizations registered within the state, of which about 3,812 were registered as charitable, educational, or religious organizations.
National organizations with headquarters in Connecticut included the Knights of Columbus (New Haven), the American Institute for Foreign Study (Greenwich), the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials (West Hartford), Keep America Beautiful (Stamford), and Save the Children Federation (Westport). The Academic Council on the United Nations System is housed at Yale University in New Haven.
State arts and educational organizations include the Connecticut Children's Musical Theatre, the Connecticut Educational Media Association, and the Connecticut Historical Commission. The National Theatre of the Deaf is based in West Hartford. The Company of Fifers and Drummers is based in Ivoryton. The International Wheelchair Road Racers Club, the United States Canoe Association, and the National Rowing Association are based in Connecticut.
TOURISM, TRAVEL, AND RECREATION
Tourism has become an increasingly important part of the economy. The government invests over $2.5 million annually to market tourism products. Tourist spending reached $366 million in 2003. Connecticut focuses on metropolitan New York as the largest potential tourist pool. The tourism industry used television advertising to attract more tourists.
Popular tourist attractions include the Mystic Seaport restoration and its aquarium, the Mark Twain House (housing stained glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany) and state capitol in Hartford, the American Clock and Watch Museum in Bristol, the Lock Museum of America in Terryville, and the Yale campus in New Haven. Children of all ages can enjoy the Quassy Amusement Park on Lake Quassapaug. Outstanding events are the Harvard-Yale regatta held each June on the Thames River in New London, and about 50 fairs held in Guilford and other towns between June and October.
The Connecticut Sun became the state's first major league team when it joined the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) in 2003. The Sun won the Eastern conference championship in 2004 and 2005, but lost the WNBA Finals both times. (The team was formerly the Orlando Miracle.) Connecticut's only other major league professional team, the Hartford Whalers of the National Hockey League, moved to North Carolina following the 1996–97 season and became the Carolina Hurricanes. The New England Seawolves are members of the Arena Football League. New Haven has a minor league baseball franchise, the Ravens, as do Norwich and New Britain. There are also minor league hockey and basketball teams in the state. Auto racing takes place at Lime Rock Race Track, which is located in Salisbury.
The state licenses off-track betting facilities for horse racing (not actually held in the state) and pari-mutuel operations for greyhound racing and jai alai.
Connecticut schools, colleges, and universities provide amateur athletic competitions, highlighted by Ivy League football games at the Yale Bowl in New Haven. While Yale has won 13 Ivy League football titles, the University of Connecticut has become a force in men's and women's basketball. The Huskies' women's team won the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship in 1995, 2000, back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003, and in 2004. They have also advanced to two other Final Four tournaments. The men's team won the National Invitational Tournament in 1988 and has made over 30 NCAA Tournament appearances and won the national championship in 1999 and 2004. Other annual sporting events include the US Eastern Ski Jumping Championships in Salisbury in February and the Greater Hartford Open Golf Tournament in Cromwell in June and July.
Connecticut lays claim to George W. Bush (1946– ), birthplace New Haven, as the the 43rd US president. John Moran Bailey (1904–75), chairman of the state Democratic Party (1946–75) and of the national party (1961–68), played a key role in presidential politics as a supporter of John F. Kennedy's successful 1960 campaign.
Two Connecticut natives have served as chief justice of the United States: Oliver Ellsworth (1745–1807) and Morrison R. Waite (1816–88). Associate justices include Henry Baldwin (1780–1844), William Strong (1808–95), and Stephen J. Field (1816–99). Other prominent federal officeholders were Oliver Wolcott (1760–1833), secretary of the treasury; Gideon Welles (1802–78), secretary of the navy; Dean Acheson (1893–1971), secretary of state; and Abraham A. Ribicoff (1910–98), secretary of health, education, and welfare.
An influential US senator was Orville H. Platt (1827–1905), known for his authorship of the Platt Amendment (1901), making Cuba a virtual protectorate of the United States. Also well known are Connecticut senator Abraham A. Ribicoff (served 1963–81) and former governor Lowell P. Weicker Jr. (b.France, 1931 and served 1991–95), the latter first brought to national attention while a US Senator by his work during the Watergate hearings in 1973.
Notable colonial and state governors include John Winthrop Jr. (b.England, 1606–76), Jonathan Trumbull (1710–85), William A. Buckingham (1804–75), Simeon Eben Baldwin (1840–1927), Marcus Holcomb (1844–1932),Wilbur L. Cross (1862–1948), Chester Bowles (1901–86), Ribicoff, and Ella Tambussi Grasso (1919–81), elected in 1974 and reelected in 1978 but forced to resign for health reasons at the end of 1980 (Grasso was the first woman governor in the United States who did not succeed her husband in the post).
In addition to Winthrop, the founding fathers of Connecticut were Thomas Hooker (b.England, 1586–1647), who was deeply involved in establishing and developing Connecticut Colony, and Theophilus Eaton (b.England, 1590–1658) and John Davenport (b.England, 1597–1670), cofounders and leaders of the strict Puritan colony of New Haven. Other famous historical figures are Israel Putnam (b.Massachusetts, 1718–90), Continental Army major general at the Battle of Bunker Hill, who supposedly admonished his troops not to fire "until you see the whites of their eyes"; diplomat Silas Deane (1737–89); and Benedict Arnold (1741–1801), known for his treasonous activity in the Revolutionary War but also remembered for his courage and skill at Ft. Ticonderoga and Saratoga.
Roger Sherman (b.Massachusetts, 1721–93), a signatory to the Articles of Association, Declaration of Independence (1776), Articles of Confederation (1777), Peace of Paris (1783), and the US Constitution (1787), was the only person to sign all these documents; at the Constitutional Convention, he proposed the "Connecticut Compromise," calling for a dual system of congressional representation. Connecticut's most revered Revolutionary War figure was Nathan Hale (1755–76), the Yale graduate who was executed for spying behind British lines. Radical abolitionist John Brown (1800–1859) was born in Torrington.
Connecticuters prominent in US cultural development include painter John Trumbull (1756–1843), son of Governor Trumbull, known for his canvases commemorating the American Revolution. Joel Barlow (1754–1812) was a poet and diplomat in the early national period. Lexicographer Noah Webster (1758–1843) compiled the American Dictionary of the English Language (1828). Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903), the first American landscape architect, planned New York City's Central Park. Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–96) wrote one of the most widely read books in history, Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852). Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens, b.Missouri, 1835–1910) was living in Hartford when he wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889).
Charles Ives (1874–1954), one of the nation's most distinguished composers, used his successful insurance business to finance his musical career and to help other musicians. Eugene O'Neill (b.New York, 1888–1953), the playwright who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1936, spent summers in New London during his early years. A seminal voice in modern poetry, Wallace Stevens (b.Pennsylvania, 1879–1955), wrote the great body of his work while employed as a Hartford insurance executive. James Merrill (b.New York, 1926–95), a poet whose works have won the National Book Award (1967), Bollingen Prize (1973), and numerous other honors, lived in Stonington.
Native Connecticuters important in the field of education include Eleazar Wheelock (1711–79), William Samuel Johnson (1727–1819), Emma Willard (1787–1870), and Henry Barnard (1811–1900). Shapers of US history include Jonathan Edwards (1703–58), a Congregationalist minister who sparked the 18th-century religious revival known as the Great Awakening; Samuel Seabury (1729–96), the first Episcopal bishop in the United States; Horace Bushnell (1802–76), said to be the father of the Sunday school; Lyman Beecher (1775–1863), a controversial figure in 19th-century American Protestantism who condemned slavery, intemperance, Roman Catholicism, and religious intolerance with equal fervor; and his son Henry Ward Beecher (1813–87), also a religious leader and abolitionist.
Among the premier inventors born in Connecticut were Abel Buel (1742–1824), who designed the first American submarine; Eli Whitney (1765–1825), inventor of the cotton gin and a pioneer in manufacturing; Charles Goodyear (1800–60), who devised a process for the vulcanization of rubber; Samuel Colt (1814–62), inventor of the six-shooter; Frank Sprague (1857–1934), who designed the first major electric trolley system in the United States; and Edwin H. Land (1909–91), inventor of the Polaroid Land Camera. The Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine was won by three Connecticuters: Edward Kendall (1886–1972) in 1949, John Enders (1897–1985) in 1954, and Barbara McClintock (1902–92) in 1983.
Other prominent Americans born in Connecticut include clock manufacturer Seth Thomas (1785–1859), circus impresario Phineas Taylor "P. T." Barnum (1810–91), jeweler Charles Lewis Tiffany (1812–1902), financier John Pierpont Morgan (1837–1913), pediatrician Benjamin Spock (1903–98), cartoonist Al Capp (1909–79), soprano Eileen Farrell (1920–2002), and consumer advocate Ralph Nader (b.1934). Leading actors and actresses are Ed Begley (1901–70), Katherine Hepburn (1909–2003), Rosalind Russell (1911–76), and Robert Mitchum (1917–97).
Walter Camp (1859–1925), athletic director of Yale University who helped formulate the rules of US football, was a native of Connecticut.
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Boyle, Joseph Lee. Fire Cake and Water: The Connecticut Infantry at the Valley Forge Encampment. Baltimore, Md.: Clearfield, 1999.
Council of State Governments. The Book of the States, 2006 Edition. Lexington, Ky.: Council of State Governments, 2006.
Dayton, Cornelia Hughes. Women before the Bar: Gender, Law, and Society in Connecticut, 1839–1789. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995.
Den Ouden, Amy E. Beyond Conquest: Native Peoples and the Struggle for History in New England. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2005.
Dugger, Elizabeth L. Adventure Guide to Massachusetts and Western Connecticut. Edison, N.J.: Hunter, 1999.
Hamblen, Charles P. Connecticut Yankees at Gettysburg. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1993.
Hammerson, Geoffrey A. Connecticut Wildlife: Biodiversity, Natural History, and Conservation. Hanover: University Press of New England, 2004.
Menta, John. The Quinnipiac: Cultural Conflict in Southern New England. New Haven, Conn.: Peabody Museum of Natural History, 2003.
Rose, Gary L. Connecticut Politics at the Crossroads. Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1992.
Sletcher, Michael (ed.). New England. Vol. 4 in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2004.
Steenburg, Nancy Hathaway. Children and the Criminal Law in Connecticut, 1635–1855: Changing Perceptions of Childhood. New York: Routledge, 2005.
US Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, US Census Bureau. Connecticut, 2000. Summary Social, Economic, and Housing Characteristics: 2000 Census of Population and Housing. Washington, D.C.: US Government Printing Office, 2003.
"Connecticut." Worldmark Encyclopedia of the States. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/international/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/connecticut
"Connecticut." Worldmark Encyclopedia of the States. . Retrieved April 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/international/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/connecticut
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The state of Connecticut covers 5,006 square miles (the third smallest of America's states) and is located in the northeastern United States, with New York a long its western border, Massachusetts to the north, Rhode Island to the east, and the Long Island Sound along its southern coast. Across Long Island Sound is Long Island, part of which once belonged to Connecticut but was ceded to New York. In exchange for Long Island, Connecticut was able to keep its southwestern handle, which jutted into New York and in which the cities of Greenwich, Stamford, and Norwalk are found. This was no simple process. The first agreement in 1664 fell apart because of very bad surveying of the borders. In 1683, commissioners from New York and Connecticut again tried to settle their border dispute, agreeing to trade Connecticut's territory on Long Island for the panhandle, but Connecticut backed out because the borders were again badly drawn, costing it several towns. In 1684, the commissioners finally agreed on the trade of territory and on borders, but their governments continued to bicker over who had what territory.
In 1700, King William III of England confirmed the 1684 agreement as binding, but Connecticut and New York continued to bicker. In 1718, New York tried to restart the whole process, but Connecticut essentially ignored them; New York then declared itself satisfied with the 1684 agreement; in 1723, Connecticut appointed new commissioners to negotiate with New York's commissioners, which appointed new commissioners in 1725, and a new survey was begun but ran out of funding before it was complete. In 1731, it all began again, this time with
a complete survey, and then both sides decided to go with the 1684 agreement. Arguments over the border continued almost incessantly, although the trade of the panhandle for Connecticut's Long Island territory was considered official. In 1855, Connecticut restarted official inquiries because markers for the 1684 agreement's border had disappeared and the state's government thought it had been denied northern lands that should belong to it. Commissioners of New York and Connecticut redid the border survey in January 1856, trying to settle where an area called the "Oblong" was located, but the commissioners could not agree on what the survey had found. In 1859, new commissioners met in September in Port Chester, but did not agree on a border. In 1860, New York independently marked the border from the panhandle to Massachusetts as it saw fit. Connecticut complained about this until new commissioners were appointed by both states in 1878, who met in 1878 and 1879, finally agreeing on 5 December 1879 that the 1860 New York line was acceptable where it matched the 1731 line, about which there was still uncertainty because of lost markers. Eventually, both state legislatures ratified the 1860 (based on the 1731) border, and in 1881, the United States Congress confirmed the border. This did stop the states from continuing to bicker over the details for seemingly endless decades thereafter.
Connecticut is shaped in large part like a rectangle and its borders look as though they were planned, but in fact Connecticut owes its shape to about 150 years of wrangling with its neighbors from about 1633 to state-hood in 1776.
Connecticut is split north to south by the Connecticut River, which enters the state from Massachusetts to the north near the town of Enfield, flows south to Middletown, then shifts to a southeasterly direction, eventually flowing into Long Island Sound at the town of Old Saybrook. The Connecticut River is shallow at its mouth, limiting accessibility to ships, but the river itself has served as a highway for people since before the coming of European settlers. The Mohawks probably used it to raid Connecticut tribes just before English colonists arrived in Massachusetts.
Temperatures in Connecticut usually vary from July highs in the low 70s to January highs in the mid-20s. However, severe heat occasionally occurs, with 105 the record high on 22 July 1929 at Waterbury, and lows can be very low indeed, with 32 below zero being the record low, set on 16 February 1943 at Falls Village. Annually, rain and snow combine for about forty-eight inches of precipitation.
The banks of the Connecticut River have been appealing to farmers for their nutrient rich, smooth soil, although during the industrialization of the state, the adjacent land was turned over to mills and other factories that used the flowing water to generate power and to dump waste. The rest of Connecticut's soil is very rocky, and although farmers cleared native forests to create huge tracts of farmland, the rocky terrain makes agriculture a difficult proposition.
Geographers customarily divide Connecticut into four parts: the eastern hill country, the Connecticut River Valley, the western hill country, and the southern coast. Some geographers suggest that the southwestern handle be considered a separate region of Connecticut because of its dense population, starting with the city of Danbury in the north to Stratford in the southeast to Greenwich in the southwest.
The Connecticut River valley has been the center of commerce and political power since colonial times because the river made a good trade route and so the first colonial settlements were established near it. Rivers attracted population elsewhere in Connecticut, although to a lesser extent. The western hill country has always been less populated than other parts of Connecticut, although the city of Waterbury is located on the Naugatuck River. The eastern hill country is most heavily populated along the southern part of the Thames River, where the towns of Norwich and Ledyard are located. Much of the northern part of the eastern hill country has remained heavily forested since prehistoric times.
The Connecticut coast is sometimes referred to as the Gold Coast of Connecticut because of its many seaports and its attractive beaches. Since the late 1600s, Connecticut's ports have been a source of international trade, with Yankee traders sailing far and wide in search of markets and goods. The Connecticut River valley has been a rich source of manufactured goods since the early 1700s and many of them were shipped overseas.
Connecticut was covered by a glacier 11,000 years ago. When this glacier retreated, it scoured the land, leaving many indentations that became lakes and pools that total 146 square miles. A great forest grew after the retreat of the glacier; it became dense with several different species of trees and home to abundant wildlife.
There may be no way to tell when human beings first entered the region of Connecticut because some may have been there before or during the last ice age; if so, the glacier would have obliterated their remains as it retreated. It is likely that at least three waves of culturally diverse Native American groups passed through Connecticut as they explored the North American coastline. It is also possible that none of these groups were the direct ancestors of the Native Americans that colonists found when they began exploring the Connecticut River.
The Narragansetts were in eastern Connecticut and Rhode Island. It was a large, politically savvy, and well-organized tribe. In southeastern Connecticut were the Mohegans, and to their west the Pequots. The Mohegans and the Pequots were of the same cultural stock, but they were enemies at the time Europeans arrived. It is possible that a dispute over a sachem, a political leader similar to a chief, led to hostilities between the two tribes.
By 1630, the Pequots and Mohegans were drifting apart in their social organization. The Mohegans had a loose tribal organization in which individual villages looked after their own affairs and tended to be small and far apart. Each village had its own sachem, who selected an overall leader for negotiations with other tribes or for leading the Mohegans into war. The Pequots were more centrally organized, living in large stockades. In the early 1600s, the Mohegans stretched from southern Rhode Island into New York, but the Pequots migrated from the Hudson River valley into western Connecticut to the Connecticut River, displacing the Mohegans west of the river. Both the Mohegans and the Pequots were primarily farmers.
The Sequins (sometimes called the River People or Quinnipiacs) were also farmers who lived along the Connecticut River and had probably been in Connecticut longer than any other group of Native Americans. In addition to farming, the Sequins traded with the Narragansetts and other tribes that lived to the north in what is now Massachusetts. The Sequins gave Connecticut its name, because they called the river Quinnipiac (variously translated as "long tidal river," "long river," and "land along the long river"). The word "Quinnipiac" was transliterated into "Connecticut."
In the early 1600s, the Pequots and Mohegans stopped fighting one another when a new, bigger problem arose as the Mohawk tribe began raiding the tribes in Connecticut. The Mohawks were part of the Iroquoian Five Nations, a well-organized federation of powerful tribes. Their attacks on other Native Americans resulted in burned villages, lost crops, and dead villagers, including children. The Mohawks also captured people for slaves. It was at this time that the English began colonizing Connecticut.
In 1614, Dutch explorer Adrian Block was shipwrecked on the New England coast. He and his sailors built another ship, but because it was too small for a sea voyage, Block decided to explore the coast. When he found the mouth of the Connecticut River, he sailed into it, eventually meeting the Sequins, who were friendly and willing to trade goods with the sailors.
Windsor, the first English colony in Connecticut, was established in 1633. It was intended to be a trading outpost. Wethersfield was established in 1634 and was populated by farmers and traders. In 1635, Thomas Hooker led about one hundred of his followers from Newtown, Massachusetts, to Hartford. Hooker and his followers were fleeing the oppressive Puritan colonies to the north, and hoped to create a freer society. In 1638 Hooker said, "The foundation of authority is laid, firstly, in the free consent of the people." On 14 January 1639, the Fundamental Orders—based on Hooker's ideas about freedom—were adopted. They were a set of rules that limited the scope of the government. Although not fully a constitution, the Fundamental Orders have earned Connecticut the nickname "the Constitution State."
The Pequot War was fought in 1637. The Pequots had always been hostile to the colonists and had killed explorers and traders, and during that year they tried to form alliances with the Narragansetts and other tribes to wage war against the colonists. Meanwhile, the Mohegans and Sequins had been friendly with immigrants from Massachusetts, encouraging their settlement to form a buffer between them and their more violent enemies. The efforts of the Pequots were alarming enough so that the colonists and Mohegans formed an alliance and attacked them. A force of about one hundred colonists and seventy Mohegans twice defeated the Pequots in battle, burning their largest stockade and nearly wiping them out
In 1665, the various villages established by colonists were united into the Connecticut colony. During the 1600s, large areas of forest were cleared to make way for farming. Farming on rocky soil, however, was very difficult, and by the 1720s Connecticut's people were leaving their farms for work in mills and factories. In 1702, Abraham Pierson established a "collegiate school" at Killing-worth (later called Clinton). In 1716 the college moved to New Haven; in 1718, it was named Yale College after Elihu Yale, a merchant who donated a small fortune to it.
In 1765, the Sons of Liberty was founded in Connecticut. The organization was at first intended to resist the Stamp Act of 1765 that taxed newspapers and other publications, but as dissatisfaction with Britain's treatment of its colonies grew, it became a resistance organization. By 1776, the only large community of pro-royalists, or Tories, was in Connecticut's southwestern region; otherwise, Connecticut almost entirely backed revolt against Britain. When war broke out, Connecticut contributed several thousand soldiers to the Continental army. No major battles were fought in Connecticut, but it was invaded four times, with British troops burning towns and killing civilians. In 1781, the British army captured about eighty American soldiers at Fort Griswold and massacred all of them.
At the close of the American Revolution, in 1783, there was confusion among the states about matters such as trade, currency, and taxes. Connecticut enjoyed success as a manufacturing state and "Yankee peddlers" carried and sold Connecticut manufactured goods and imports in the other states. Connecticut itself had a decentralized government, with most political power resting in small communities. Only rich, landed men could vote. When the Constitutional Convention was held in Philadelphia to determine the future of the United States, Connecticut resisted the creation of a strong central government, but it was outvoted. The convention stalled on the type of legislature the new American government should have; one based on population would favor the states with bigger populations. Connecticut delegate Roger Sherman presented the Connecticut Compromise, which proposed dividing the legislature into two parts: one elected by population, the other elected on the basis of two senators from each state regardless of population, thus ensuring a degree of security for small states. This approach having been adopted, Connecticut in 1788 became the fifth state to ratify the new Constitution.
In 1818, Connecticut overhauled its Fundamental Orders, expanding the right to vote beyond landed men and providing a stronger central state government. This constitution would govern Connecticut until 1965. The 1818 constitution gave the state's cities, towns, and villages one or two representatives each to the state's assembly, regardless of population. The state capitol moved between New Haven and Hartford for nearly sixty years. In 1964, the United States Supreme Court ruled Connecticut's constitution unconstitutional, and at a state constitutional convention, legislators created a constitution providing for one man-one vote representation.
During the 1840s, Connecticut received a large number of Irish immigrants who were integrated into the state's manufacturing economy. By the beginning of the Civil War, Connecticut was a major arms manufacturing center that contributed many weapons to the Union army. The state had been a hotbed of antislavery sentiment in the antebellum years, and during the war, it contributed more troops, mostly volunteers, to the Union cause than any state except Massachusetts. In 1875, Hartford was chosen as the permanent home of state government and the capitol building there was finished in 1880. Influxes of immigrants arrived from eastern Europe and Italy, with Italian Americans becoming the largest ethnic group in the state.
The era from 1880 to the Great Depression was one of expansion and social change. In 1865, the were 500,000 people living in Connecticut; by 1900, there were 1,000,000. In 1870, the gross state product was $160,000,000; in 1900, the gross state product was $300,000,000. Immigrants from Europe were drawn to Connecticut because of jobs in mills and the small arms industry. In 1917, a submarine base was established in Groton, and the manufacturing of submarines became one of the state's biggest employers. Nuclear submarines were still made there at the turn of the twenty-first century.
While this growth was underway, Connecticut farms were failing, with farm families abandoning their homes for jobs in the city. The western countryside of Connecticut looked desolate, with old roads passing by empty homes and overgrown farmland. Yet, in about 1900, Connecticut began to attract artists who enjoyed the privacy of Connecticut country life and wealthy New Yorkers and Bostonians who could pick up large swaths of land cheaply and turn them into estates. With the advent of the automobile, much of rural Connecticut became bedroom communities for people who worked in New York or Massachusetts and then commuted in their cars to homes away from the noise of the city.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Connecticut suffered along with the rest of the nation. About one-fourth of the state's workers were unemployed and the areas of highest industrialization, especially in cities, were decaying. At this time, service industries such as insurance were becoming more important. During World War II, Connecticut's economy boomed as money for weapons poured in. The state was also a major manufacturer of submarines and aircraft engines. In 1954, the first nuclear submarine, the Nautilus, was launched at the shipyards in Groton.
A great disparity of wealth between the inner cities and the suburbs of Connecticut began during the 1980s and became acute in the 1970s as the state's middle class abandoned the central cities for the more secure and beautiful countryside.
Although African Americans made up only about 8 percent of the state's population, they were densely packed into cities. In 1967, a ferocious race riot in Hartford was followed by another in Bridgeport, the state's second and third largest cities—inspired by high unemployment among African Americans and a perception that African American needs were being neglected by the state and city governments. Afterward, efforts were made to revitalize city centers by making them tourist attractions and tourism became one of Connecticut's major sources of income.
During the 1990s the state's population declined, although many immigrants arrived from Southeast Asia. By the twenty-first century, the population was approximately 3.2 million people, the twenty-seventh largest state population in the United States. About 84 percent of the population was European American (exclusive of Hispanics), 8 percent African American, 6.5 percent Hispanic American, and 1.5 percent Asian American. Most of the population was centered in the cities, with agriculture accounting for only one percent of the state's revenue by 2001. Insurance and banking were the biggest employers, with employment in defense-related industries shrinking after the end of the Cold War. Even so, Connecticut was a major manufacturer of helicopters, aircraft engines, high technology electronics, and weapons. Growth in the financial and tourist industries in the 1990s began to change the state's economy, with people working in Connecticut while living in New York or Massachusetts. The per capita income in Connecticut is the highest of any state ($31,816 in 2000).
Much of the remaining original forest of Connecticut is in the northwest, but the forest has reasserted itself in many regions that had been cleared of trees by the 1800s. About one third of the state is covered by forest and the numerous state parks have become important attractions for campers and hikers, while the old towns have become attractions for tourists. The few descendants of the Pequots and Mohegans began operating casinos on their lands in the 1980s and 1990s, attracting tourists and pumping over $100 million in taxes annually to the state government.
Allen, Thomas B. "Connecticut." National Geographic (February 1994): 64–93.
Brown, Barbara W., and James M. Rose. Black Roots in Southeastern Connecticut, 1650–1900. New London, Conn.: New London County Historical Society, 2001.
Dalin, David G., and Jonathan Rosenbaum. Making a Life, Building a Community: A History of the Jews of Hartford. New York: Holmes and Meier, 1997.
Dayton, Cornelia Hughes. Women before the Bar: Gender, Law, and Society in Connecticut, 1639–1789. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995.
Dugas, Rene L., Sr. Taftville, Connecticut, and the Industrial Revolution: The French Canadians in New England. 2d ed. New London, Conn.: Rene L. Dugas, 2001.
Eisler, Kim Isaac. Revenge of the Pequots: How a Small American Tribe Created the World's Most Profitable Casino. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2001.
Grant, Ellsworth S. Miracle of Connecticut. Hartford: Connecticut Historical Society, 1997.
Grasso, Christopher. A Speaking Aristocracy: Transforming Public Discourse in Eighteenth-Century Connecticut. Chapel Hill: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture by the University of North Carolina Press, 1999.
Hamblin, Charles P. Connecticut Yankees at Gettysburg. Edited by Walter L. Powell. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1993.
Holbrook, Jay Mack. Connecticut Colonists: Windsor 1635–1703. Oxford, Mass.: Holbrook Research Institute, 1986.
Jones, Keith Marshal, III. Farms of Farmingville: A Two-Century History of Twenty-Three Ridgefield, Connecticut, Farmhouses and the People Who Gave Them Life. Ridgefield: Connecticut Colonel Publishing, 2001.
Klein, Woody. Westport, Connecticut: The Story of a New England Town's Rise to Prominence. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 2000.
Larkin, Susan G. The Cos Cob Art Colony: Impressionists on the Connecticut Shore. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2001.
Mann, Bruce H. Neighbors and Strangers: Law and Community in Early Connecticut. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1987.
Philie, William L. Change and Tradition: New Haven, Connecticut, 1780–1830. New York: Garland, 1990.
Selesky, Harold E. War and Society in Colonial Connecticut. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1990.
Siskind, Janet. Rum and Axes: The Rise of a Connecticut Merchant Family, 1795–1850. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2002.
Thomas, Peter A. In the Maelstrom of Change: The Indian Trade and Cultural Process in the Middle Connecticut River Valley, 1635–1665. New York: Garland, 1991.
Weaver, Glenn. Jonathan Trumbull, Connecticut's Merchant Magistrate: 1710–1785. Hartford: Connecticut Historical Society, 1997.
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"Connecticut." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/connecticut
"Connecticut." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved April 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/connecticut
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Connecticut (state, United States)
Connecticut (kənĕt´Ĭkət), southernmost of the New England states of the NE United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts (N), Rhode Island (E), Long Island Sound (S), and New York (W).
Facts and Figures
Area, 5,009 sq mi (12,973 sq km). Pop. (2010) 3,574,097, a 4.9% increase since the 2000 census. Capital, Hartford. Largest city, Bridgeport. Statehood, Jan. 9, 1788 (5th of the original 13 states to ratify the Constitution). Highest pt., Mt. Frissell, 2,380 ft (726 m); lowest pt., sea level. Nickname, Constitution State. Motto,Qui Transtulit Sustinet [He Who Transplanted Still Sustains]. State bird, American robin. State flower, mountain laurel. State tree, white oak. Abbr., Conn.; CT
Generally rectangular in shape, Connecticut extends c.90 mi (145 km) from east to west and c.55 mi (90 km) from north to south. The state is divided into two roughly equal sections, usually called the eastern highland and the western highland, which are separated by the Connecticut Valley lowland. The Connecticut River, which flows through only the northern half of this lowland, veers off to the southeast at Middletown in central Connecticut. In the south along Long Island Sound is a low, rolling coastal plain. The western highland, with the Taconic Mts. and the Litchfield Hills, is more rugged than the eastern highland. A few isolated peaks in the west are over 2,000 ft (610 m) high. The Thames and the rivers emptying into it drain the eastern highland, and the Housatonic, with its chief tributary, the Naugatuck, drains the western highland. The Connecticut shore is a popular summer resort area, and the protected waters of Long Island Sound lure boating enthusiasts. Bridgeport is the largest city, with Hartford, the capital, and New Haven next in size.
Though famed for its rural loveliness, Connecticut derives most of its wealth from industry. Textiles, silverware, sewing machines, and clocks and watches are among Connecticut's historic manufactures. The state's principal industries today produce jet engines and parts, electronics and electrical machinery, computer equipment, and helicopters. Much of Connecticut's manufacturing is for the military. Firearms and ammunition, first produced here at the time of the American Revolution, are still made, and Groton is still a center for submarine building. Declines in federal defense spending, however, have adversely affected the state's economy.
Agriculture accounts for only a small share of state income; dairy products, eggs, vegetables, tobacco, mushrooms, and apples are the leading farm items. High-grade broadleaf tobacco, used in making cigar wrappers, has been a specialty of Connecticut agriculture since the 1830s. Largely shade-grown in the Connecticut Valley, it remains a valuable crop. Many varieties of fish, as well as oysters, lobsters, and other shellfish, are caught in Long Island Sound, but the fishing industry is small and has been hampered by pollution of the waters. Stone, sand, and gravel account for most of the limited income derived from mining.
Insurance is important in Connecticut; the Hartford metropolitan area is one of the industry's world centers, with the home offices of many insurance companies. Financial, real estate, and service industries are also of major importance. The Foxwoods gambling casino and resort on the Mashantucket Pequot reservation has since its opening in 1992 become one of the largest employers in the state, and the nearby Mohegan Sun casino has joined it in attracting visitors to SE Connecticut.
Government, Politics, and Higher Education
Connecticut's state senate has 36 members and its house of representatives has 151; members of both houses are elected for two-year terms. The state executive branch is headed by a governor elected for a term of four years. In 1994, John G. Rowland, the state's first Republican chief executive in 24 years, was elected. He was reelected in 1998 and 2002 but resigned in 2004 as he faced impeachment proceedings over suspected corruption. (Rowland subsequently pleaded guilty to a federal charge of corruption.) Lt. Gov. M. Jodi Rell, also a Republican, succeeded Rowland, and she won election to the post in 2006. Dan Malloy, a Democrat, was elected governor in 2010 and reelected in 2014. Connecticut's counties have lost most of their governmental functions to the state's towns and cities. Connecticut is represented in the U.S. Congress by five representatives and two senators and has seven electoral votes.
Institutions of higher learning in Connecticut include Yale Univ., at New Haven; Trinity College, at Hartford; Wesleyan Univ., at Middletown; the Univ. of Connecticut, at Storrs; and the United States Coast Guard Academy and Connecticut College, at New London.
Dutch and English Exploration and Settlement
In 1614 the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block sailed through Long Island Sound and explored the Connecticut River. The Dutch built a small fort in 1633 on the site of present-day Hartford, but they abandoned it in 1654 as English settlers moved into the area in increasing numbers.
Edward Winslow of Plymouth Colony was apparently the first English colonist to visit (1632) Connecticut, and in 1633 members of the Plymouth Colony established a trading post on the site of Windsor. This small Pilgrim enterprise was soon absorbed by Puritan settlers from the Massachusetts Bay Company. These settlers had been attracted to the area by the excellent reports brought back by one of their members, John Oldham, in 1633. Oldham returned to the Connecticut area in 1634 and established still another trading post, which became Wethersfield. The following year Puritans flocked in great numbers to the Connecticut River Valley.
In 1636, Thomas Hooker and his congregation left Newtown and settled near the Dutch trading post that had been established on the site of Hartford. The Pequot people resisted white settlement, but they were defeated by the English in the short Pequot War of 1637. Relations remained relatively peaceful until King Philip's War in 1675–76. In 1638–39 representatives of the three Connecticut River towns—Hartford, Windsor, and Wethersfield—met at Hartford and formed the colony of Connecticut. They also adopted the Fundamental Orders, which established a government for the colony.
A second colony, Saybrook, had been established at the mouth of the Connecticut River in 1635 by an English group. The colony's founders (who included Viscount Saye and Sile and Baron Brooke, for whom the colony was named) sold the Saybrook settlement to Connecticut colony in 1644. Connecticut's population expanded gradually, and by 1662 the colony included over a dozen towns, including Saybrook, New London, Fairfield, and Norwalk, as well as East Hampton and Southampton on Long Island. Another Puritan settlement, New Haven, was established in 1638. It was not connected with Connecticut colony.
The New England Confederation
In 1643, New Haven and Connecticut colonies joined with Massachusetts Bay colony and Plymouth colony to form the New England Confederation, a loose union for mutual defense. In 1662, Connecticut sent its governor, John Winthrop (1606–76), to London to secure a royal charter for the colony. He obtained the charter, by which Connecticut won its legal right to exist as a corporate colony and also acquired New Haven.
The years from 1750 to 1776 saw much bitter disagreement between radicals and conservatives in the colony. In 1776, the patriot governor, Jonathan Trumbull, was reelected almost unanimously (Connecticut and Rhode Island were the only colonies privileged to elect their chief executives), and he was the only governor of any colony to be retained in office after the outbreak of the American Revolution. There was little fighting in Connecticut during the Revolution—skirmishes at Stonington (1775), Danbury (1777), New Haven (1779), and New London (1781)—even though the state was the principal supply area for the Continental Army.
After the war the state relinquished (1786) to the United States its claims to western land, except for the Western Reserve (an area in Ohio). This claim was retained until part of the land was given to Connecticut citizens in 1792 and the remainder sold in 1795. In 1799, Connecticut's long dispute with Pennsylvania over the Wyoming Valley was finally settled. Connecticut was one of the first states to approve the U.S. Constitution (see Constitutional Convention).
The Embargo Act of 1807, passed during the administration of Thomas Jefferson, was vehemently denounced throughout New England; the ports on Long Island Sound and on the Connecticut River had developed a lively carrying trade with which the embargo interfered. The War of 1812 was also so unpopular that New England Federalists, meeting at the Hartford Convention in late 1814, considered secession. In 1818 the Jeffersonians came into power in the state, and a new constitution, replacing the old charter of 1662, was adopted. It disestablished the Congregational Church and greatly extended the franchise, although universal manhood suffrage was not proclaimed until 1845.
Meanwhile, after Connecticut's shipping industry had been ruined by the embargo and the war, the state turned to manufacturing. Artisans and craftsmen had become increasingly numerous in late colonial days, and from native iron ore Connecticut forges had produced guns for the Patriot soldiers. Modern mass production had its beginning in the state when Eli Whitney, probably the best known of Connecticut's inventors, established (1798) at New Haven a firearms factory that began making guns with standardized, interchangeable parts. Earlier, in 1793, he had invented and manufactured the cotton gin at New Haven. The manufacture of notions (buttons, pins, needles, metal goods, and clocks) gave rise to the enterprising "Yankee peddler," who, with horse and cart, traveled the nation hawking his wares. Connecticut's insurance industry also developed during this period, and in 1810 the Hartford Fire Insurance Company was established.
Wars and Industrial Expansion
Connecticut, which had placed limitations on slavery in 1784 and abolished it in 1848, supported the Union during the Civil War with nearly 60,000 troops. During and after the war, industry expanded greatly. Immigration provided a cheap labor supply as English, Scottish, and many Irish immigrants, who had arrived in large numbers even before the war, were followed by French Canadians and, in the late 19th and early 20th cent., by Italians, Poles, and others.
During World Wars I and II Connecticut prospered, providing munitions and other supplies for the war effort. Between the two wars, however, the Great Depression left many unemployed. Connecticut's industries continued to grow and develop in the years following World War II. In 1954 the world's first nuclear-powered submarine was launched at Groton, and guns, helicopters, and jet engines were among key manufactures of the cold war period.
During the 1970s, as manufacturing began to decline, Connecticut's heavy industry–dependent major cities fell into a state of decay. The growth of financial, insurance, real estate, and service industries, however, helped make Connecticut one of the wealthiest states in the nation; many of these business moved to the state from New York. This wealth has been enjoyed primarily by the state's affluent suburbs, while the central cities have further crumbled, as evidenced by Bridgeport's bankruptcy filing in 1991. The development of Native-American-owned casinos in SE Connecticut during the 1990s supplanted defense industries as the main economic engine in that region. In 2012 many of the state's coastal communities suffered significant flooding during Hurricane Sandy.
See R. J. Purcell, Connecticut in Transition: 1775–1818 (1963); R. L. Bushman, From Puritan to Yankee (1967); D. M. Roth, ed., Series in Connecticut History (5 vol., 1978); W. J. Haliburton, The People of Connecticut (1985); T. R. Lewis and J. E. Harmon, Connecticut: A Geography (1986); W. Hubbell, Connecticut (1989).
"Connecticut (state, United States)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/connecticut-state-united-states
"Connecticut (state, United States)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/connecticut-state-united-states
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A colony established by no–nonsense Puritans and pushed forward by so–called "Yankee ingenuity," Connecticut has become an economic success story. Before the middle of the nineteenth century the state was well on its way to becoming an industrial powerhouse. Despite occasional downturns, changes in its population base, and fluctuations in its industrial character over a period of years, the state remains one the wealthiest in the United States.
Early Dutch settlers in Connecticut were dislodged by the large migration of English Puritans who came to the colony between 1630 and 1642. The Puritans established settlements all along the Connecticut River and formed a colony in 1639. After several years of friendly relations with the English, the situation deteriorated, and by 1770 the Native Americans of Connecticut had been largely driven out. Connecticut received legal recognition as a colony in 1662 and after it had a number of years of bitter border disputes with Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and Pennsylvania. A relatively autonomous colony, Connecticut was a strong supporter of the American Revolution (1775–81). During the war Connecticut was known as the Provisions State because it supplied so much food to General George Washington's army. Connecticut ratified the new U.S. Constitution in 1788.
By the mid–nineteenth century Connecticut was unable to support itself through farming alone. Several important industries developed, including shipbuilding and whaling. In whaling ports the city of New London ranked behind only Nantucket and New Bedford in Massachusetts. The state has also led the insurance industry since the 1790s.
The inventiveness of early Connecticut manufacturers was a boon to the small state. Eli Whitney invented his famous cotton gin there and developed a system of interchangeable parts for rifles. Charles Goodyear developed a vulcanizing process for rubber, which later gave rise to the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Linus Yale and his son created locks that still bear their name. Samuel Colt produced the rifles which had such an important effect on the winning of the American Civil War (1861–65), and Elias Howe invented the sewing machine. Clockmakers, like Eli Terry and Seth Thomas, made Connecticut a leader in clock and watch making.
Known as a conservative state, Connecticut was rather slow to develop railroads. They did not appear until the 1840s. After some opposition from turnpike and steamboat companies, the first railroad connected Hartford and New Haven, and later Northhampton, Massachusetts. By the 1850s a number of routes connected Hartford with other eastern Connecticut cities. The most important Connecticut railroad was the New York, New Haven, and Hartford.
This network of railroads, along with a healthy industrial base, made Connecticut an important contributor to the Union cause during the Civil War. A longtime antislavery state, Connecticut sent some 55,000 men to fight and provided large amounts of war materials. Gun manufacturers, such as Colt and Winchester, along with manufacturers of textiles, brass, and rubber, sent much–needed supplies to the war front. The war consolidated Connecticut's place as an industrially strong state. This development was made possible not only by the presence of railroads, but by abundant water power, sufficient capital from the many banks and insurance companies, and the technological and marketing skills of Connecticut's citizens.
Around the turn of the century Connecticut was an important producer of products like electrical fixtures, machine tools, hardware, hats, and typewriters. Connecticut produced $50 million in textiles (ranking it sixth in the nation in 1900), and it was soon putting out four–fifths of the U.S. supply of ammunition and one–fifth of its firearms (not including governmental production). In addition to the increased urbanization brought on by industry, population patterns began to change as well. By 1910 the foreign–born, attracted by the prospect of employment, made up 30 percent of the population. Most came from Ireland, Italy, Germany, and Austria.
During World War I (1914–18) Connecticut supplied not only men but also substantial monetary contributions and war materiel. Liberty Loan drives in the state netted $437 million, more than any other state collected. The firearms produced in Connecticut, among them Enfield and Browning rifles, were invaluable to the war effort. Other war–related products produced in the state included silk for parachutes, woven articles, and military hats.
Except for a brief recession just after the war, Connecticut's economy continued to boom in the 1920s. Factories churned out specialty parts for airplanes, automobiles, and the electric power industry. Hartford's Pratt and Whitney Company made the state a leader in the aviation industry, increasing the number of employees to over 2,000 by 1935. At the same time the textile industry in eastern Connecticut was declining, as more and more factories moved to the low–wage southern states.
The Great Depression of the 1930s brought hard times to the state, with thousands jobless and local and state governments struggling to find operating funds. In 1930 in Bridgeport, for example, 22,000 people applied for relief, and the city had to borrow $500,000 to pay for jobless benefits. This desperation led the state's voters to elect a Democratic governor for the first time in years. Connecticut then began to take advantage of the many federal work relief programs provided by the federal government under President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933–45). According to historian David M. Roth, "Out of the misery of the Depression there came a progressive political tide such as had never been experienced in the state, a tide that enabled Connecticut not only to weather the Depression but to emerge as a far more liberal society than it had ever been before."
The renewed manufacturing activity brought by World War II (1939–45), however, was the real catalyst to economic revitalization. Defense contracts in Connecticut totaled $8 billion by 1945, and industrial employment increased by 200,000 between 1939 and 1944. Major products sent to the war front from Connecticut included submarines, Navy Corsair fighter aircraft, helicopters, ball bearings, and small arms.
After the war the state retained its economic health by diversifying its industrial base and relying more on the service industry. Urban problems began to plague the state in the 1950s as more and more middle–class whites fled to the suburbs, leaving ethnic minorities and the poor in the central part of cities like Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport. Housing in particular remained a problem in these areas. In addition, because Connecticut repeatedly rejected a state income tax, the state's taxes were among the highest in the nation.
During the 1980s, however, Connecticut boasted the highest per capita income in the United States, based largely on the expansion of defense contracts. This optimistic trend was threatened, however, when the Cold War began to defuse in the late 1980s, and manufacturing employment dropped by 25 percent. In 1991 defense–related contracts had dropped 37.7 percent from the year before. Pratt and Whitney and General Dynamics's Electric Boat Division announced major layoffs in 1992. Though service sector jobs increased by 23 percent, the total number of jobs in the state had dropped by 10 percent in 1992. Strapped for funds, the state passed a controversial personal income tax in 1991.
In the early 1990s the wide discrepancy between the standards of living of white suburbanites and inner city, ethnic populations was quite evident in Connecticut. Governor Lowell L. Weicker (1990–94) attempted to alleviate this situation by channeling more funds to urban communities. The employment outlook in the state had improved by the mid-1990s. By 1996 the state again ranked first in per capita income, at $33,189, and less than 10 percent of the population fell below the federal poverty level. To encourage business the state offers a number of tax incentives and it has begun to reduce its high corporate tax rate.
Bingham, Harold J. History of Connecticut, 4 vols. New York: Lewis, 1962.
Connecticut Secretary of State. Register and Manual, 1999. Hartford, CT: State of Connecticut, 1999.
Janick, Herbert F. A Diverse People: Connecticut, 1914 to the Present. Chester, CT: Pequot Press, 1975.
Roth, David M. Connecticut: A Bicentennial History. New York: Norton, 1979.
Van Dusen, Albert E. Connecticut. New York: Random House, 1961.
"Connecticut." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/connecticut
"Connecticut." Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History. . Retrieved April 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/connecticut
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Bridgeport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Danbury . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Hartford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
New Haven . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Stamford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Waterbury . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
The State in Brief
Nickname: Constitution State, Nutmeg State
Motto: Qui Transtulit Sustinet (He who transplanted still sustains)
Flower: Mountain laurel
Bird: American Robin
Area: 5,543 square miles (2000, U.S. rank: 48th)
Elevation: Ranges from sea level to 2,380 feet
Climate: Moderate with winters averaging slightly below freezing and warm, humid summers
Admitted to Union: January 9, 1788
Head Official: Governor M. Jodi Rell (R) (until 2007)
2004 estimate: 3,503,604
Percent change, 1990–2000: 3.6%
U.S. rank in 2004: 29th
Percent of residents born in state: 57% (2000)
Density: 702.9 people per square mile (2000)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 103,719
Racial and Ethnic Characteristics (2000)
Black or African American: 309,843
American Indian and Alaska Native: 9,639
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 1,366
Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 320,323
Age Characteristics (2000)
Population under 5 years old: 223,344
Population 5 to 19 years old: 702,358
Percent of population 65 years and over: 13.8%
Median age: 37.4 years (2000)
Total number of births (2003): 43,236
Total number of deaths (2003): 29,329 (infant deaths, 222)
AIDS cases reported through 2003: 6,989
Major industries: Services, agriculture, manufacturing, trade, government
Unemployment rate: 4.9% (April 2005)
Per capita income: $43,292 (2003; U.S. rank: 2nd)
Median household income: $55,004 (3-year average, 2001-2003)
Percentage of persons below poverty level: 7.9% (3-year average, 2001-2003)
Income tax rate: Ranges from 3.0% to 5.0% tax on adjusted gross income (2000)
Sales tax rate: 6.0% on most items
"Connecticut." Cities of the United States. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/connecticut
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Connecticut (river, United States)
Connecticut, longest river in New England, 407 mi (655 km) long, rising in the Connecticut Lakes, N N.H., near the Quebec border, and flowing S along the Vt.-N.H. line, then across Mass. and Conn. to enter Long Island Sound at Old Saybrook, Conn.; drains c.11,000 sq mi (28,500 sq km). Holyoke Falls, at 57 ft (17 m), is the highest of many falls and rapids. The river is navigable to Hartford, Conn. The Connecticut Valley is one of the best agricultural regions in New England. World-famous cigar binder and wrapper tobacco are grown in the lower part of the valley; truck farming and dairying are also important. The Connecticut's water power led to the rise of industrial cities along the river in the 19th cent., and the valley became a manufacturing region; large centers include Holyoke and Springfield, Mass., and Windsor, Conn. Several hydroelectric and nuclear facilities also lie along the river. After severe 1953 floods, the Connecticut River Flood Control Compact was established to sponsor flood-control measures on the river.
"Connecticut (river, United States)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/connecticut-river-united-states
"Connecticut (river, United States)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/connecticut-river-united-states
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January 9, 1788
State bird :
State flower :
State tree :
State motto :
He who transplanted still sustains
"Connecticut." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/connecticut
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"Connecticut." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 23, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/connecticut
"Connecticut." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved April 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/connecticut