- Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
The Fundamental Orders were adopted by the
Connecticut Colonycouncil on January 14 1638OS ( January 24 1639NS) [The January 14, 1638 date was in the old style Julian Calendar, before conversion to the modern new style Gregorian Calendar, see Old Style and New Style datesfor an explanation of the date adjustment.] [cite web|title = Fundamental Orders|work = The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition|publisher = Columbia University Press|date = 2005|url = http://www.bartleby.com/65/fu/Fundamen.html|accessdate = 2006-09-13] . The orders describe the government set up by the Connecticut Rivertowns, setting its structure and powers.
It has the features of a written constitution, and is considered by some as the first written Constitution in the Western tradition,cite book
author=Lutz, Donald S.; Schechter, Stephen L.; Bernstein, Richard J.
title=Roots of the Republic: American founding documents interpreted
doi=] and thus earned
Connecticutits nickname of "The Constitution State". John Fiske, a Connecticut historian, was the first to claim that the Fundamental Orders were the first written Constitution, a claim disputed by some modern historians. [cite web |url=http://www.sots.ct.gov/RegisterManual/SectionX/SITESEALSYMB.htm |title=STATE OF CONNECTICUT Sites º Seals º Symbols |accessdate=2008-01-25 |author=Secretary of State of Connecticut|year=2007 |work=the Connecticut State Register and Manual |publisher= State of Connecticut] The orders were transcribed into the official colonyrecords by the colony's secretary Thomas Welles. It was a Constitution for the colonial government of Hartford and was similar to the government Massachusetts had set up. However, this Order gave men more voting rights and opened up more men to be able to run for office positions.
In 1635 a group of Massachusetts
Puritansand Congregationalistswho were dissatisfied with the rate of Anglican reforms, sought to establish an ecclesiastical society subject to their own rules and regulations. The Massachusetts General Courtgranted them permission to settle the cities of Springfield, Windsor, Wethersfield, and Hartford. [cite book |last=Horton |first=Wesley W. |authorlink=Wesley W. Horton |title=The Connecticut State Constitution: A Reference Guide |url=http://books.google.com/books?id=Rc_Iag6QgaEC&pg=PA2&lpg=PA2&dq=%22the+March+Commission%22+Connecticut&source=web&ots=lqfxWoRM8c&sig=Ita500qXyVXhQXcdKmtsugCyA64&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA2,M1 |accessdate=2008-09-17 |series=Reference guides to the state constitutions of the United States |volume=no. 17 |date=1993-06-30 |publisher= Greenwood Press|location= Westport, Connecticut|isbn=0313285659 |oclc=27066290 |pages=p 2] Ownership of the land was called into dispute by the English holders of the Warwick Patent of 1631. The Massachusetts General Court established the March Commission to mediate the dispute, and named Roger Ludlowas its head. The Commission named 8 magistrates from the Connecticut towns to implement a legal system. The March commission expired in March 1636, after which time the settlers continued to self-govern. On May 29, 1638 Ludlow wrote to Massachusetts Governor Winthrop that the colonists wanted to "unite ourselves to walk and lie peaceably and lovingly together." Ludlow drafted the Fundamental Orders, which were adopted on January 14, 1639, which established Connecticut as a self-ruled entity.
There is no record of the debates or proceedings of the drafting or enactment of the Fundamental Orders. It is postulated that the framers wished to remain anonymous to avoid retaliation by the English authorities. According to John Taylor: [ Taylor, John M., Roger Ludlow the Colonial Lawmaker, 1900, Google Book Search]
"The men of the three towns were a law unto themselves. It is known that they were in earnest for the establishment of a government on broad lines; and it is certain that the ministers and captains, the magistrates and men of affairs, forceful in the settlements from the beginning, were the men who took the lead, guided the discussions, and found the root of the whole matter in the first written declaration of independence in these historic orders. Who were they? Surely these men were: From Windsor, Ludlow, Mason, Hull, Phelps, and Marshall; from Wethersfield, Mitchell, Ward, Raynor, Plum, and Hubbard; from Hartford, Haynes, Hooker, Welles, Webster, Walcott, Steele, and Hopkins. With these leaders in thought and action are grouped other strong personalities: Wareham, Rositer, Wolcott, Steely, Wyllys, Allyn, Chester, Bull, and Goodwin, - all the chief planters of the towns (not alone the dignitaries of the General Court, as some authorities hold), - inspired, providentially directed, to one great purpose."
The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut is a short document, but contains some principles that were later applied in creating the
United States government. Governmentis 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 Charterin 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 suretyfor their Fundamental Orders; the Charter Oakgot its name when that charter was supposedly hidden in it, rather than be surrendered to the King’s agents.
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..
Provisions of Oxford(1258)
Declaration of Arbroath(1320)
Instrument of Government(1653)
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Connecticut Constitutional History — Connecticut is known as the “constitution state.” While the origin on this title is uncertain, the nickname is assumed to reference the Fundamental Orders of 1638 39. These Fundamental Orders represent the framework for the first formal… … Wikipedia
Connecticut General Assembly — Type Type Bicameral Houses Senate House of Representatives … Wikipedia
Connecticut House of Representatives — Connecticut General Assembly Type Type … Wikipedia
Connecticut Senate — Connecticut State Senate Type Type Upper house Term limits None … Wikipedia
Connecticut Colony — Colony of Connecticut British colony 1636–1776 … Wikipedia
Connecticut Colony — Eine Karte von den Kolonien Connecticut, New Haven und Saybrook. Die Karte zeigt Connecticuts westliche Landansprüche. Die Colony of Connecticut, ursprünglich als River Colony bekannt, wurde am 3. März 1636 als … Deutsch Wikipedia
Connecticut Constitution — The Constitution of the State of Connecticut is the basic governing document of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It was approved by referendum on December 14, 1965, and proclaimed by the governor as adopted on December 30. It is the second… … Wikipedia
Connecticut — /keuh net i keuht/, n. 1. a state in the NE United States. 3,107,576; 5009 sq. mi. (12,975 sq. km). Cap.: Hartford. Abbr.: Conn., Ct., CT (for use with zip code). 2. a river flowing S from N New Hampshire along the boundary between New Hampshire… … Universalium
Fundamental Agreement of the New Haven Colony — The Fundamental Agreement of the New Haven Colony was signed on June 4, 1639. The free planters (founders of the New Haven Colony) who assented to the agreement are listed below:*William Andrews *Richard Beckley *John Benham *Jarvis Boykin… … Wikipedia
Connecticut State Library — The Connecticut State Library is the state library for the U.S. state of Connecticut, and is also an executive branch agency of the state. It is located in Hartford, Connecticut. The State Library provides a variety of library, information,… … Wikipedia