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Connecticut

hartford england river island

Connecticut, state in the New England region of the United States; bordered by Massachusetts in the north, Rhode Island in the east, Long Island Sound in the south, and New York in the west.

Land and climate

The state is divided by the Connecticut River Valley into the western and eastern New England Uplands. The Taconic Mountains in the extreme northwest include Mt. Frissell. From these peaks the land slopes through rolling hills down to the coastal plain along Long Island Sound. The Connecticut River is the longest in New England. Connecticut's weather is moderate. Principal cities are Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Waterbury, and Stamford.

Economy

Most of the state's prosperity comes from industry: Connecticut produces fabricated metal goods, electrical equipment, machinery, and, most importantly, transportation equipment. Groton is a national center for submarine production. Hartford is an important insurance center in the United States. Yale, founded in 1701, was the nation's third university.

Government

Under the constitution of 1965, the governor is elected for a 4-year term. The general assembly, elected every 2 years, consists of a senate of 36 members and a house of representatives of 177 members. Connecticut has no system of county government; the towns and cities are the units of local government in the state. Connecticut is represented by 2 senators and 6 representatives in the U.S. Congress.

History

In 1614 Adriaen Block, a Dutch explorer, discovered the Connecticut River. English colonists from Massachusetts established Connecticut's first permanent European settlement, Windsor, in 1633. In 1636 Hartford, Windsor, and Wethersfield formed an independent commonwealth, the Connecticut Colony. The colony adopted the Fundamental Orders, regarded by some as the first written constitution, in 1639. As one of the 13 original colonies, Connecticut took an active part in the American Revolution (1775–83). The state was a staunch supporter of the Union during the Civil War (1861–65), supplying 60,000 troops. Connecticut was an important industrial state by the late 19th century, thanks in part to the inventors who worked there, including Eli Whitney, who helped develop the system of mass production in the early 1800s. Except during the Great Depression of the 1930s, Connecticut has prospered throughout the 20th century, and it ranks among the top states in per capita income.

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