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Encyclopedia > Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

The Fundamental Orders were adopted by the Connecticut Colony council on January 14, 1638. OS (January 24, 1639 NS)[1][2] The orders describe the government set up by the Connecticut River towns, setting its structure and powers. A map of the Connecticut, New Haven, and Saybrook colonies. ... is the 14th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events March 29 - Swedish colonists establish first settlement in Delaware, called New Sweden. ... Old Style can refer to: Old Style and New Style dates, a shift from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar: in Britain in 1752, in Russia in 1918. ... is the 24th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events January 14 - Connecticuts first constitution, the Fundamental Orders, is adopted. ... In Britain and countries of the British Empire, Old Style or O.S. after a date means that the date is in the Julian calendar, in use in those countries until 1752; New Style or N.S. means that the date is in the Gregorian calendar, adopted on 14 September... The Connecticut River as seen from the French King Bridge in western Massachusetts. ... The system of local government in use in New England is very different from that found throughout the rest of the United States. ...

It has the features of a written constitution, and is largely considered the first written Constitution in Western history, and thus earned Connecticut its nickname of The Constitution State. The orders were transcribed into the official colony records by the colony's secretary Thomas Welles. Thomas Welles (1598-1660) is the only man in Connecticuts history to hold all four top offices: governor, deputy governor, treasurer, and secretary. ...

Individual rights

The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut is a short document, but contains some principles that were later applied in creating the United States government. Government is based in the rights of an individual, and the orders spell out some of those rights, as well as how they are ensured by the government. It provides that all free men share in electing their magistrates, and uses secret, paper ballots. It states the powers of the government, and some limits within which that power is exercised.

In one sense, the Fundamental Orders were replaced by a Royal Charter in 1662, but the major outline of the charter was written in Connecticut and embodied the Orders' rights and mechanics. It was carried to England by Governor John Winthrop and basically approved by the British King, Charles II. The colonists generally viewed the charter as a continuation and surety for their Fundamental Orders. Gov. ... Charles II (29 May 1630 – 6 February 1685) was the King of England, Scotland, and Ireland. ...

Today, the individual rights in the Orders, with others added over the years, are still included as a Declaration of Rights in the first article of the current Connecticut Constitution, adopted in 1965. The first written constitution of America.


  1. ^ Roland, Jon. The Fundamental Orders. The Constitution Society. Retrieved on 2007-01-14.
  2. ^ Fundamental Orders. The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Columbia University Press (2005). Retrieved on 2006-09-13.

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 14th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 256th day of the year (257th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

  • Original text of the Fundamental Orders Of Connecticut

  Results from FactBites:
Connecticut's Heritage Gateway (442 words)
For two years before the adoption of the Fundamental Orders by the Connecticut General Court on January 14, 1638/39, the three river towns cooperated under a simple form of government that was composed of magistrates and representatives from each town, but the towns had no formal instrument of government.
No religious test was established for voting, the Orders omitted all reference to the authority of the crown, and the General Court was given supreme authority over the towns and their inhabitants.
While the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut cannot probably be considered a constitution in the modern sense, the Orders, nevertheless, served as the basis for government in Connecticut until 1662.
Connecticut - Printer-friendly - MSN Encarta (515 words)
The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, a set of laws drawn up by the people of Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield in 1639, served as the colony’s first constitution.
Connecticut’s local government units are called towns, although, as in New England generally, they are quite similar to townships elsewhere in the nation and may include several incorporated and unincorporated communities.
Connecticut elects two U.S. senators and five members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
  More results at FactBites »



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