While Connecticut was first explored by the Dutch, who founded trading posts, the first permanent settlements were made by English Puritans from Massachusetts, starting in 1633. From the first, Connecticut enjoyed a great measure of political independence, proclaiming in its Fundamental Orders of 1639 a democratic principle of government based on the will of the people. These Fundamental Orders are said to have been the first written Constitution of a democratic government; that's why Connecticut today is nicknamed "The Constitution State.") Agriculture and trade were primary activities of 17th century colonists, but because of limited land Connecticut people quickly turned to manufacturing.
During the American Revolution, Connecticut gave freely of her blood and wealth. Her soldiers were on the battle line from Quebec to Carolina. It was General Israel Putnam at the battle of Bunker Hill who cried: "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes!" Patriot-spy Nathan Hale, as he was about to be hanged by the British, said: "I regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."
To George Washington, Connecticut was "The Provision State" because of supplies contributed to his army by Gov. Jonathan Trumbull - the only Colonial governor, incidentally, to support the cause of America's independence from Great Britain.
From 1703 to 1875, Connecticut had two capitals; sessions of the General Assembly met alternately in Hartford and New Haven. Since then, the capital has been Hartford.
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