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Connecticut

Map of Connecticut
Locator Map of Connecticut

The original inhabitants of Connecticut (Algonquian Indians) referred to this land as Quinnetukut, which is believed to mean "Place of the Long River." 

algonquinAll of those Native Americans would perish from diseases brought to this land by European explorers in the 17th century, and from the brutalities of colonial expansion across their ancestral homelands.

In that regard, the Dutch explorer, Adriaen Block, sailed up the Connecticut River in 1614. Later, near present-day Hartford, the Dutch West India Company setup shop, built a fort and trading post.

That Dutch entrenchment proved short-lived as Pilgrim and Puritan colonists from Massachusetts established new settlements along the Connecticut River, and the Dutch would be forced out by mid-century.

Over time those new settlements (or intrusions) enraged the local Indians, and they fought back aggressively. Totally overmatched by firepower and manpower the Indian's efforts proved futile, and by 1637, they were all but annihilated, or captured and sold into slavery in Bermuda

The Pilgrims and Puritans quickly established their independent constitutions based on the "will of the people" and "scriptures" respectfully. In 1662, a Royal Charter joined the two groups together as the Connecticut Colony. One of the more fiercely independent of the original 13 British colonies, the Connecticut Colony proved troublesome for the British, up to, and including the American Revolution.

The British saw an opportunity to tax the new-found wealth of their American colonies, and Connecticut was no exception. Especially offended by the Stamp Act, powerful land owners and merchants in England's colonies rebelled, and they proudly declared their independence from Great Britain.

Connecticut played a significant role in the American Revolution. A reported 42,500 of its men served in the army, and one of its bravest, Nathan Hale, (America's first spy) was captured by the British, and prior to being hanged, proclaimed the memorable words, "I regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."

Connecticut entered the new Union on January 9, 1788, as the fifth of the original 13 states, but victory in the American War of Independence was costly for Connecticut, as well as all of the colonies.

nathan haleRegardless, Connecticut struggled onward and eventually prospered; seaports were busy and the first textile factories were built, new jobs were created that attracted immigrants from across Europe.

Connecticut abolished slavery in 1848, when the plight of black slaves in the southern states was a growing controversial issue. That moral dispute between the northern and southern states peaked, and in 1861, America's Civil War began.

Slave-free Connecticut joined the Union cause. Military records indicate that it supplied copious amounts of men and ammunition to the Union effort.

That bloody conflict ended in 1865, and in the years that followed the state's economy was dominated by manufacturing. Hartford, its capital, became one of the chief centers of the U.S. insurance industry.

During World War I (1917-1918) munitions were the most prosperous business in Connecticut, and would remain so until the Great Depression of the 1930's reared its ugly head, proving financially disastrous across Connecticut, and all of America.

In the end it was World War II that revived the state's 20th century economy. Unparalleled growth in munition and other defense-related industries, as well as demand for traditional products sparked the economy.

In the mid 1950's, the Electric Boat shipyards built the world's first nuclear submarine in Connecticut, the USS Nautilus. In addition it built the first ballistic-missile submarine, the George Washington, and many others.

state seal of connecticutWith idyllic living conditions for workers and close proximity to New York City, southwestern Connecticut boomed in the latter part of the 20th century, as major Fortune 500 corporations (including defense contractors) moved into the state.

Although somewhat small in size, Connecticut is incredibly large in stature. The "Constitution State" was a significant contributor to the birth of America, as it stood brave, straight and tall during the Revolutionary War and the country's fight for freedom.

For those seeking an outdoor adventure, or an historic journey through colonial times, the charming and graceful State of Connecticut has it all.

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