Connecticut is the first state on the modern United States territory to adopt its Constitution, effectively declaring independence from the colonial policy of England. Established in 1639, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut became the basis for developing the state’s legal system, which has survived to this day. The amendments and additions made in 1818 and 1965 strengthened the legal status of the territory and developed some of the seventeenth century’s original law provisions; however, they do not directly contradict the original Constitution.
Fundamental Orders of Connecticut 1639 contained provisions that later became the basis of the US Constitution. The bill included such aspects as the principle of separation of powers, universal suffrage, the presence of a representative body in the form of the General Assembly, which consisted of two representatives from each city of the state (Miller et al., 2019). Considering the peculiarities of the national foundations of those times, the role of Christianity as the main religion was designated. Despite over 150 years of changes to the fundamental law, the second state constitution, passed in 1818, retained the original draft’s basic principles. Nevertheless, some significant changes were adopted, such as the complete independence of the separate branches of government from each other, the separation of church from the state, and the change in the governor’s powers’ role. At the moment, legal regulation in Connecticut is carried out based on the 1965 constitution. The new bill changed the proportionality of representation in the lower house according to the size of cities. A freedom of religion was established, the powers of the executive power were strengthened, and the right to free public education was included.
Connecticut’s constitutional system became the basis for shaping the laws of the entire state. Furthermore, such concepts as necessary for a democratic society, such as the separation of branches of power, a representative body in parliament, and suffrage, were adopted in the seventeenth century. Over time, the state’s primary law has changed to expand human rights and balance different government segments.
Miller, D., Burgan, M., & Fitzgerald, S. (2019). Connecticut: The Constitution state (4th ed.). Cavendish Square Publishing.