Connecticut is one of the 50 states in the United States, located in the Northeastern part of the country. The capital of Connecticut is the city of Hartford. Connecticut is bordered by the states of Massachusetts to the north, Rhode Island to the east, New York to the west, and New York Bay to the south.
To the south, Connecticut faces the Long Island Sound, which separates it from the New York State island of the same name. Most of Connecticut is forested. In the south there are marshy lowlands. Cities are located mainly in the southwest of the state. The northeast is an agricultural region. Bridgeport and New Haven as ports are relatively small, while the ancient ports of Mystic and New London have been converted into tourist and resort complexes.
Connecticut State History
The Connecticut River, which gave its name to the state, has a speaking name that immediately appealed to Europeans who intended to stay in these parts forever. And so they did. Before them, that is, before the XVII century, this territory was inhabited in some places quite densely by the Algonkins, a group of tribes speaking similar languages. It is believed that there were about seven thousand Indians here at that time. The Pequot, another name for the Mohigans, or Mohicans, led the way. They called the full-flowing river flowing into the Long Island Sound quinatucque; one translation is “long tidal river”.
The first Europeans to settle in Connecticut in 1613 were the Dutch, led by Captain Adrien Block. Although it is known that the Englishman John Cabot (1497) and other pioneer navigators from Spain, France and England had visited the area before that. The Dutch built the first fort (1623), near present-day Hartford. However, already in 1633 they were squeezed by English colonists, who took up the development of a vast territory, which they called New England (this region except Connecticut includes the territories of the states of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine). The Dutch moved to the mouth of the Hudson River, where they founded the city of New Amsterdam (New York) in 1624.
The English called their first settlement on the land of Connecticut loudly – Windsor. Here came their compatriots from Massachusetts, who founded the towns of Weathersfield, Saybrook, and Hartford. With most of the Algonquin tribes, the colonists had good neighborly relations and, one could say, joint business: some of them extracted furs, others traded them. But this policy did not work with the Mohicans, especially since their chiefs had serious grounds for discontent: the pale-face people drank their brothers, cheated them in transactions, and behaved arrogantly with them. In 1637 war with the Pequots broke out. Some of the Indians sided with the English, and the defeated Pequots left Connecticut. On January 14, 1639, the colony of Connecticut was established and its inhabitants adopted a set of laws they called Fundamental Orders. It was a document that did not even mention the supreme authority of the English king. Two main assemblies were established: legislative and judicial, to which representatives from each town were delegated. That’s why one of Connecticut’s official nicknames is “the state of the first Constitution.” In the colony of New Haven, created in 1638, which later included the towns of Milford, Stamford, Guilford, Branford, and Sausold, the laws were not so democratic (orthodox Puritans ruled there, and only their co-religionists were allowed to vote). Nevertheless, the colonies gradually became closer to each other. It could not be otherwise: disunity hindered development, and there was a danger of Indian attack. In 1643, the colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven united to form the New England Confederacy. This alliance lasted until 1675 and brought all the allies much benefit. But even earlier, in 1665, the colonies of Connecticut and New Haven were united, which helped them to act successfully in the war with the Indians in 1675-1676, called the War of Chief Philip (after the head of the Wampanoag tribe). The battles of this war were also fought in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, but the Connecticut colonists participated in all of them and made their own ammunition. That’s when the state’s industry’s focus on armament production took shape, which it still adheres to today. Another war in which Connecticut residents distinguished themselves was the War of Independence of 1773-1783. Their light clippers captured more than 40 enemy ships, and the militia repulsed an attack on the town of Danberry, earning their state another nickname: “the nation’s arsenal”.
In Connecticut, the unpretentious folk song Yankee Doodle is played especially often, it is the official anthem of the state. It would seem strange, but in fact it is not so simple. Thus the inhabitants of the state as if to declare that with humor and self-irony they are in good order. Not without reason Mark Twain called his novel “Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court”, emphasizing the origin of his main character and portraying him (although in a humorous way, but with sympathy) as enterprising, practical, resourceful, well versed in technology and a convinced patriot of America. The writer had lived long in Hartford and knew this human type well. Well, the doings of the Connecticut Yankees speak for themselves.
In 1788, the state, among the thirteen first states, the fifth, adopted the U.S. Constitution. And it was as if Connecticut got a second wind: having finally finished fighting, it started to work on its economy. In 1788 the first spinning mill producing woolen thread appeared in Hartford, and soon several cotton spinning mills opened in other towns. Very timely: in 1792, Congress, encouraging the development of industry in the United States, passed the Revenue Act, which imposed high tariff taxes on imports of manufactures. Inventions and improvements from Connecticut were not long in coming. Eli Whitney first invented the “Cotton Genie” machine (1794), which allowed mechanical separation of cotton fiber and seed, then proposed a new principle of conveyor belt operation in the manufacture of arms (1798) in a New Haven factory – on the principle of uniform interchangeable parts, greatly improved the milling machine (1814-1818). Charles Goodyear in 1839 discovered a method of vulcanizing rubber. Their pupils and followers proposed many more innovations. By the end of the 19th century, it had gained a national reputation as the best manufacturer of Colt and Winchester guns, silverware, clocks, watches, furniture, tools, typewriters, sewing machines, and much more. World War I gave a new impetus to the state’s industries, especially those that produced arms and ammunition. And the margin of safety gained was enough to get out of the Great Depression period of 1929-1938 without much loss. Then, during the Second World War – another peak of industrial production and a new stage of modernization and expansion of production, working for the military-industrial complex. Everything has a downside, however, and in the 1980s, as international relations moved away from the Cold War and the arms race fizzled, the state lost about 125,000 jobs and, naturally, some of its population. But there was a backup: the insurance business had been developing here since the late 18th century, and it was brought to the forefront of the economic structure. The result is as follows: in Hartford, where the largest number of insurance companies are concentrated, according to the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., in 2011 the highest GDP per capita in the world was reached: $75,086. As for educational services, the state has such a powerful resource as Yale University, which has existed since 1701 and is a member of the “Ivy League”, or the eight most prestigious universities in the country, and in their “big three”, along with Harvard and Princeton. In addition, the state has several other universities with high ratings Tourism is also developing – Connecticut has a picturesque nature, seashore and has managed to preserve intact in small towns patriarchal, in the best sense of the word, atmosphere.
- A state in the northeastern United States, part of the New England region. It is the 5th in order of joining the USA (1788).
- Administrative-territorial division: 8 districts.
- Currency unit: US dollar.
- Language: English.
- Ethnic composition: whites – 77.6%, African Americans – 10.1%, natives of other regions of the world – 5.6%, Asians – 3.8%, Mestizos – 2.6%, Indians – 0.3%.
- Religions: Protestantism – 40%, Catholicism – 32%, Judaism – 3%, Islam – 1%, other faiths – 6%, atheists – 6%.
- Capital: Hartford – 124,775 people (2010). In the past, Hartford and Bridgeport were alternating capital cities.
- Major cities: Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Stamford, Waterbury.
- The largest rivers: Connecticut (for 655 km), Naugatuck, Quinnipiac.
- The largest lake: Candlewood.
- The most important port: Bridgeport.
- Most important airport: Bradley International Airport in Hartford.
- Area: 14,357 km2.
- Population: 3,580,799 (2011).
- Population density: 249.4 people/km2.
- Length of the state: from north to south – 113 km, from east to west – 177 km.
- The highest point: the southern slope of Frissell Mountain on the border with Massachusetts (725 m).
- GDP: 3,233,400 million (2010).
- GDP per capita: 364 833 (2010 г.).
- Industry: most of the state’s industry is oriented to military orders: production of helicopters and their parts, firearms and ammunition, construction of submarines, production of engines (including for defense purposes), gas turbines, mechanical engineering – production of elevators and escalators, printing presses, climate control equipment, sewing machines, electronics and electrical equipment, computer equipment.
- Mining of sand, crushed stone and gravel.
- Agriculture: dairy farming, poultry farming, horse breeding, growing corn, vegetables, apples, tobacco, mushrooms (in greenhouses).
- Fishing, clam and lobster harvesting.
- Services: insurance, financial, educational, medical, engineering services, tourism.
Climate and weather
- Transitional from humid continental to humid subtropical.
- Average temperature in January: -3°C.
- Average temperature in July: +26°C.
- Average annual precipitation: 800 mm.
- During the hurricane season, severe thunderstorms occur regularly – about 30 times a year – and on average a tornado occurs once a year.
- “First Church of Christ” is a church in Farmington Township (1771), a suburb of Hartford. It was used as a Meeting House during the debate over the Declaration of Independence
- City of Hartford: St. Joseph’s Catholic Cathedral (built in 1960 to replace one that burned down), Public Library (1774), State Capitol (1879, eclectic, with a predominantly neo-Gothic style), Mark Twain House Museum, where he lived from 1874-1891, Bushnell Park (1914, one of the first American amusement parks), Wadsworth Arts Center (1930), State Science Center (2009). Harriet Beecher Stowe Research Center (in the house where she lived)
- City of Bridgeport: downtown historic district, Barnum Museum (P. T. Barnum was mayor of the city and at the same time impresario of the Barnum & Bailey Circus), Housatonic Museum of Art, Planetarium, Beardsley Zoo
- City of New Haven: Polk University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale Center for British Art (most comprehensive collection outside of England), Yale University Art Gallery (Picasso, Van Gogh, Manet and Monet), Peabody Museum of Natural History (dinosaur collection), Knights of Columbus Museum, Children’s Museum, Yale Bowl soccer stadium (1914)
- Foxwoods Resort Entertainment Complex and Ocean Beach Park in the city of New London
- Town of Mashantucket – Mashantucket Tribal Museum, a research center for Connecticut Indian history
- Mystic Seaport: “Open-air Museum of America and the Sea” by the banks of the Mystic River – A reconstructed 19th century American harbor village with 60 buildings (many of them authentic, brought here from other parts of the U.S. and restored) and models of famous sailing ships. Marine Aquarium. Nearby is the old fishing village of Stonington with many antique shops and the Lighthouse Museum
- The story of the Charter Oak, the state’s official symbol, is one of Connecticut’s most popular. The tree is long gone, blown down by a hurricane, but state residents remember the story well. In October 1662, the English King Charles II granted the state the right to self-government, which was confirmed by the corresponding charter. However, 25 years later, James II decided to take away this right, along with the document. With this commission in 1687, a royal plenipotentiary arrived in Hartford at the head of an armed detachment. As soon as the parties sat down at the negotiating table with the charter in front of them, the wind blew open the window and the candles went out, and when they were lit again, the document had disappeared. There was no judgment, said the Yankees. Meanwhile, the charter was already lying in the hollow of an old oak tree nearby….
- The Connecticut River Valley is one of those areas on Earth where fossilized traces and remains of dinosaurs are often found.
- The state is home to a rich deposit of garnet stone.
- There are more than 26 colleges and universities in the Hartford and Springfield area.
- The full name of the Bridgetown Regional Airport is Sikorski Memorial Airport. It memorializes Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky 1889-1972), a prominent American aircraft and helicopter designer, scientist, inventor and philosopher who emigrated from Russia in 1918, first to France and then to the United States.
- The Yale soccer team’s resident mascot is a bulldog named Handsome Dan, who usually attends games wearing a jersey with the team’s colors. The current dog is the 17th descendant of the head of the four-legged clan.