Connecticut takes its name from the Mohegan word, “Quinnehtukqut,” referencing the long, winding river flowing through the area utilized by Native Americans for thousands of years. To compete with Dutch traders along the Connecticut River, English Puritans from the Massachusetts Bay colony established the first permanent European settlement in Connecticut in 1633. Connecticut was the fifth state to join the union (1788), and its abundant water power and poor, rocky soil promoted the growth of heavy industry through much of the 19th and early 20th centuries—making it a leading producer of iron, vulcanized rubber, rolled brass, textiles, bicycles, clocks, helicopters, and firearms. Today, Connecticut hosts a diverse array of cultures and lifestyles characterized by its sprawling suburbs, its densely populated urban centers, thriving insurance and small manufacturing industries, the traditional farming communities found in the Litchfield Hills and its northeastern “quiet corner,” and its bustling shoreline vacation spots.
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