Politics and Government

Connecticut's Whig party candidates for Congress, 1834
Connecticut's Whig party candidates for Congress, 1834
- Connecticut Historical Society and Connecticut History Online

The Fundamental Orders of 1639, the first written constitution in the American colonies, and the Charter of 1662 represent Connecticut’s earliest efforts to establish a representative form of government. Over the years, various political debates arose over such issues as slavery, temperance, religious influence on governance, women’s suffrage, and even where to locate the state capital. (Until 1875, Connecticut had one in Hartford and one in New Haven, with legislative meetings alternating between the two.) Notable figures include William A. Buckingham, one of only four Union governors to serve throughout the Civil War and remembered as Connecticut’s Lincoln for his anti-slavery stance, and Ella Grasso, the nation’s first elected woman governor.

LEARN MORE

Websites

“Connecticut General Assembly,” 2012. Link.
“Connecticut State Register & Manual.” Connecticut Secretary of State, 2011. Link.
“Roster of Connecticut Governors.” Connecticut State Library, 2013. Link.

Places

“Connecticut State Capitol Tours,” 2012. Link.
“Connecticut’s Old State House,” 2012. Link.

Documents

“Avalon Project: Connecticut Resolutions on the Stamp Act- December 10, 1765.” Yale Law School, 2008. Link.
“Constitution of the State of Connecticut.” Connecticut State Library, 2010. Link.
“Finding Aid to Political Collection.” University of Connecticut, Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, 2012. Link.
“Portraits - Historical Portraits of Connecticut State Officials.” Connecticut State Library Digital Collections, 2013. Link.
“The Avalon Project: Charter of Connecticut - 1662.” Yale Law School, 2008. Link.
Government Printing Office. “The Avalon Project: Fundamental Agreement, or Original Constitution of the Colony of New Haven, June 4, 1639.” Yale Law School, 2008. Link.

Books

Collier, Christopher. All Politics Is Local: Family, Friends, and Provincial Interests in the Creation of the Constitution. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2003.
Daugherty, James Henry, Philip Everett Curtiss, and Connecticut. General Assembly. House of Representatives. Committee on Public Information. An Outline of Government in Connecticut. Hartford, CT: Case, Lockwood & Brainard, 1944.
Den Ouden, Amy E. Beyond Conquest: Native Peoples and the Struggle for History in New England. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2005.
Sellers, Helen Earle. Connecticut Town Origins. Stonington, CT: Pequot Press, 1964.
Buckley, William E., and Charles E. Perry. Connecticut: The State and Its Government, Including the Text and an Analysis of the 1965 State Constitution. New York: Oxford Book Company, 1967.
Levenson, Rosaline, and University of Connecticut. Institute of Public Service. County Government in Connecticut, Its History and Demise: The Development, Decline, and Abolition of Connecticut’s 294-Year-Old County Governments and the Transfer of Their Functions, Property, and Employees to the State. Storrs, CT, 1966.
Collier, Christopher. Roger Sherman’s Connecticut; Yankee Politics and the American Revolution. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1971.
Jones, Mary Jeanne Anderson, and Connecticut. The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. Hartford, CT: U.S. Constitution Bicentennial Commission of Connecticut, 1988.
Fraser, Bruce, and Connecticut Historical Commission. The Land of Steady Habits: A Brief History of Connecticut. Hartford, CT: Connecticut Historical Commission, 1988.
Nichols, Carole. Votes and More for Women: Suffrage and After in Connecticut. New York: Institute for Research in History: Haworth Press, 1983.
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