Connecticut Facts and History

Abbreviated as CT on, Connecticut is one of the thirteen North Atlantic states that formed the core of the current United States; founded in 1637, erected as an autonomous colony in 1662. In terms of surface area (12,860 sq km) it is the third last in the Union, but it is one of the most densely populated, being surpassed only by Rhode Island and New Jersey. It develops in N. of Long Island, from which the Strait (Sound) of the same name divides it. The territory rises with a gentle slope from the sea towards the interior, forming a large inclined plane towards the S., or rather from the NW. to SE. The average height is about 150 m., The maximum, right on the NW corner. of the state, in Mount Bear (718 m.). More than by river incisions, the relative uniformity of the plane is disturbed by the emergence of not very extensive rock masses,) more resistant to erosion which gave the landscape its character of advanced senility (West Rock Ridge, Hanging Hills). The valleys of the Housatonic and its tributary Naugatuck, of Connecticut and of the Thames, with their tributaries, furrow the region running roughly from N. to S. development and colonization of the country an importance comparable, except for the proportions, to that of the Hudson. Towards the West the valley incisions are deeper; in all effects of the Pleistocene glaciations they disturbed the regular drainage of the water. Due to the recent lowering of the coast, the river mouths were enlarged, allowing the large ships to go up for a good stretch inland.

Winter temperatures are very low (on the coasts from −2 ° to −6 °, with lows of over −30 ° in January), and, on the contrary, summer heats are quite high (from 21 ° to 23 °), but more still characteristic are the sharp jump in daytime temperatures (from 20 ° to 25 °), sudden cold waves and night frosts even in the middle of summer, unfavorable conditions for crops. Precipitation is abundant (generally above one meter), but often falls in the form of violent showers, maximum at the beginning of summer.

Colonization, which began here too, in the 12th century. XVII, as a consequence of the Puritan movement, had and maintained the character of a settlement for a long time, a part of the settlers, however, dedicating themselves to fishing and hunting; but it changed radically in the last century with the development of industries. While farmers and ranchers tended to move to the West, only a few industrial crops (primarily that of tobacco) assumed decisive importance. Cereals (especially corn) and potatoes give a truly remarkable product, but only small areas are dedicated to these crops. The abundance of meadows allowed breeding (250,000 cattle, 35,000 horses) and favored the dairy industry; fruit trees are also important.

Since the first half of the century. XVIII from Connecticut iron (Salisbury) and copper were extracted; later gold, silver and lead were discovered, but also in this case a period of flowering followed the depression, due to the competition of the other territories of the Union. On the other hand, the great abundance of building materials has earned Connecticut the nickname of Freestone state (state of freestone): granite, sandstone, green and white marble, porphyry, micaceous slate, hydraulic lime, etc.

The population in 1790 counted just over 200,000 inhabitants, almost one million at the beginning of our century, and today is 1,800,000 inhab. (density 138 inhabitants per sq. km.). Whites are in absolute prevalence, Negroes represent just 1.5%. The Italian contingent is very remarkable (21.3%), higher, after the English one, than that of all the other European states (10.3% Russians, 6% Germans). The urban population represents about 70% of the total. A dozen cities exceed 25,000 inhabitants, and four 100,000. The major centers are distributed along the course or in the Connecticut basin (Hartford, the capital, 180,000 inhabitants, East Hartford, Middletown, Portland), Naugatuck (Waterbury, 100,000 inhabitants, Ansonia, Derby, Shelton, Naugatuck, Torrington ) and the Thames (New London, Norwich, Putnam) and are essentially manufacturing centers. Large urban agglomerations are also along the coast; main: New Haven, the most populous city (190,000 inhabitants) and home to Yale University, and Bridgeport (180,000 inhabitants).

In the industries, which feed more than 3,000 factories and employ 250,000 workers, textiles, leather processing (Naugatuck), cutlery (Middleto wn, Meriden), the preparation of felts (Danbury) and, almost everywhere, mechanics stand out. . The largest sewing machine plant in the world has been built in Bridgeport.


The colonization of Connecticut was initiated by the Dutch from New Netherland, who in 1633 settled where Hartford now stands. But soon a group of English immigrants from the colony of New Plymouth settled on the Connecticut River, in Windsor; and in 1634-35 a group of Puritans from Massachusetts arrived, led especially by Thomas Hooker. Thus arose the colony of Connecticut, internally governed by Fundamental Orders, which entered into force in 1639 and founded on popular sovereignty; although the settlers were all Puritans, the right of citizenship was not tied to the status of a member of the Puritan church, while the neighboring colony of New Haven strictly retained a sectarian character. Alongside this colonization due to private initiative, an official colonization took place, under the auspices of the Plymouth Company: in 1635, the Saybrook colony was founded at the mouth of the river (so named in honor of two members of the Company , Lord Say and Sele and Lord Brooke).

In its moral development Connecticut retained the characteristics common to the other Puritan colonies (New Haven, New Plymouth and Massachusetts) which with it constituted New England: namely, the rigid religious tone of life, the vigorous sense of individual freedom, and the tenacious defense of self – government . The cardregia of 1662, which on the one hand had defined the territorial limits of the colony and had also aggregated New Haven there, had on the other hand arranged the organization of it, on the basis of a remarkable internal freedom, so that Connecticut could be considered almost an independent government. In 1687 the English governor of New England, Andros, to translate into reality the plans for the unification of the American colonies nurtured by James II, wanted to abolish the charter and annex Connecticut to New York; but he ran into violent opposition, and the attempt failed.

A century later, that same awareness of one’s rights and that same spirit of independence made Connecticut one of the greatest centers of the struggle for independence; as well as, in the century. XIX, made it one of the hotbeds of the unionist and anti-slavery cause. In both events, the history of Connecticut ends up being confused with the history of the United States itself. Here it is enough to recall only that in 1776 Connecticut was organized as a state, one of the first of the North American Union.

Connecticut Facts and History

New Haven

According to, New Haven is a city and port of the USA (123,669 residents In 2008), in Connecticut, along the northern coast of Long Island Sound, 120 km approx. northeast of New York. Industrial center with notable traditions (especially in the branches of rubber processing and arms manufacturing). Home of Yale University.

It was founded by a group of English Puritans in 1638 and until 1664 was the capital of the colony of the north, incorporated that year in Connecticut. In the second half of the 18th century. it was a thriving port; during the anti-English war the city actively supported the cause of independence. It shared the rank of capital of Connecticut with Hartford from 1701 to 1873.

Connecticut River

River of North America (650 km; 29,000 km 2 basin), in the eastern USA. It originates from some small lakes in New Hampshire, follows the border between this state and the Vermont, then crosses the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut and flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Its waters are exploited for the production of energy.

It is the longest (555 km) river in New England. The name comes from the Indian Quonectacut “long river”. The first European who recognized it was the Dutchman A. Bloek (1614), who called it de versche river “the clear river”. It is formed by a series of small lakes on the S. side of the Height Land, near the Canadian border, which it serves for a short stretch of the border. From here it turns south, marking the separation between the states of Vermont and New Hampshire and crossing Massachusetts and Connecticut, to mouth the Long Island Sound, not far from New York.

Its basin extends over an area of ​​29,000 sq km. In its first stretch the river has carved out the valley between the hard crystalline rocks of the Green and White Mountains: it therefore runs in a narrow furrow, with a marked slope and frequent rapids and waterfalls (Wilder and Bellowa Falls, Vt.). Entering Massachusetts, it spreads over a flat belt of little resistant sandstones and Triassic shales (Connecticut Valley). Terracing its own deposits here, the river winds its way in wide meanders, where it does not affect the rocky bottom, which it also overcomes here by means of waterfalls. From Middletown to the sea the valley becomes narrow again, given the crystalline zone through which the waters are forced to open the passage again.

The Connecticut valley, like that of the Hudson, represents a magnificent natural route for inland penetration and was important for the colonization of New England; it is famous for the beauty of the landscape and for its rich plantations (tobacco). The exploitation of its water resources has led to the creation and development of numerous inhabited centers.

The river is not normally ascended by large boats and vessels beyond Hartford (80 km. From the mouth); it is followed by the railway that connects eastern Canada with Massachusetts and Connecticut (state).

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