Connecticut's Checkered Past In Politics, Suffrage, And War

Sep 27, 2012

There's an oft-cited quote from John Adams writing in 1808, after his presidency. "Connecticut has always been governed by an aristocracy, more decisively than the empire of Great Britain. Half a dozen, or at most, a dozen families have controlled that country when a colony, as well as since it has been a state." 

Some of those families hung in there for a much longer time and may help explain Connecticut's nickname -- hung on the state in the 1790s -- as "the Land of Steady Habits."The idea has persisted and has been used to explain all sorts of phenomena, such as the state's unusual decision to keep its royal charter after the Revolutionary War. (The state finally adopted a new constitution in 1818 and didn't change it until 1965.) We're in downtown Hartford today, probing Connecticut history through the steady habits lens. Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.