By Charles A. Wills
A background of Connecticut, from its early exploration and cost to the country this day.
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Extra resources for A historical album of Connecticut
Apart from the Connecticut River Valley, Connecticut's soil tended to be thin and rocky, so farming in colonial Connecticut meant dawn-to-dusk work for all family members. Page 19 Revolutionary Connecticut During the 1700s, Britain fought several wars with its European rivals, chiefly France, for control of North America. Britain was victorious, but the financial cost of victory was high. To pay off its wartime debts and raise money to defend its empire, the British Parliament began taxing its North American colonies.
Samuel de Champlain of France explored the New England coast between 1604 and 1607. This engraving of two Native American warriors, taken from a 1613 account of Champlain's voyages, is one of the first European views of the region's people. Page 10 Puritans and Pequots The first European to explore Connecticut was Adriaen Block, a Dutch sea captain. In 1613, Block arrived at the tiny Dutch settlement of New Amsterdamnow New York City. The following year Block and his men built a small ship, the Onrust (Restless), and sailed it across Long Island Sound.
Under the Articles of Confederation, adopted by the Continental Congress in 1777, each state was practically its own nation. There was no central government, no national army, and no national financial system. Many Americans wanted things this way. They believed a strong central government with power over the individual states would lead to the same kinds of abuses the thirteen colonies had originally rebelled against. The state is shown as a wagon being pulled in opposite directions by Federalists (supporters of the Constitution) and anti-federalist opponents.