State in southern New England, Connecticut is a mix of coastal cities and rural areas dotted with small towns. Mystic is renowned for its Seaport museum, full of centuries-old ships, and for the Beluga whale exhibits at Mystic Aquarium. The state's first European settlers were Dutch people who established a small, short-lived settlement called Fort Hoop in Hartford, at the confluence of the Park and Connecticut rivers. Half of Connecticut was initially claimed by the Dutch colony New Netherland, which included much of the land between the Connecticut and Delaware rivers, although the first major settlements were established in the 1630s by the English.
Thomas Hooker led a band of supporters of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and founded the Connecticut Colony; other Massachusetts settlers founded the Saybrook Colony and the New Haven Colony. The colonies of Connecticut and New Haven established Fundamental Orders documents, considered the first constitutions of the United States. In 1662, the three colonies merged under a royal charter, making Connecticut a crown colony. Connecticut was one of the Thirteen Colonies that rejected British rule in the American Revolution. Connecticut is the third smallest state by area, the 29th most populous and the fourth most densely populated of the fifty states.
It is known as the constitutional state, the nutmeg state, the state of provisions and the land of stable habits. He was influential in the development of the United States federal government (see Connecticut Commitment). The Connecticut River, the Thames River, and ports along Long Island Sound have given Connecticut a strong maritime tradition that continues today. The state also has a long history of hosting the financial services industry, including insurance companies in Hartford County and hedge funds in Fairfield County. Connecticut's rural areas and small towns in the northeastern and northwestern corners of the state contrast sharply with its industrial cities such as Stamford, Bridgeport and New Haven, located along coastal roads from the New York border to New London, and then north along the Connecticut River to Hartford.
Many cities in Northeast and Northwest Connecticut are centered around a green. Nearby are usually historical visual symbols of New England cities, such as a white church, a colonial meeting house, a colonial tavern or inn, several colonial houses, etc., which establish a scenic historic appearance maintained for both historic preservation and tourism. Many of the areas in southern and coastal Connecticut have been built and rebuilt over the years, and they look less visually like traditional New England. There are two teams from Connecticut in the American Hockey League. The Bridgeport Islanders is an agricultural team for the New York Islanders competing in the Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport.
The Hartford Wolf Pack is the subsidiary of the New York Rangers; they play at the XL Center in Hartford. The state hosts several major sporting events. Since 1952, a PGA Tour golf tournament has been played in the Hartford area. It was originally called the Insurance City Open and later the Greater Hartford Open and is now known as the Travelers Championship. Lime Rock Park in Salisbury is a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) racing circuit, home to the International Motorsports Association, SCCA, United States Auto Club and the K&N Pro Series East races. Thompson International Speedway, Stafford Motor Speedway and Waterford Speedbowl are oval tracks that offer weekly races for NASCAR Modifieds and other classes, including the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
The state also hosts several major mixed martial arts events for Bellator MMA and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Commemorative stamps issued by the United States Postal Service with Connecticut themes include Nathan Hale, Eugene O'Neill, Josiah Willard Gibbs, Noah Webster, Eli Whitney, the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan, who is docked in Mystic Seaport, and a decoy of a broadbilled duck. From 1703 to 1875, Connecticut had two capitals; General Assembly sessions met alternately in Hartford and New Haven. Since then, the capital has been Hartford.
The name Connecticut comes from a Native American word, quinatucquet, which means approximately next to the long tidal river. It refers to the Connecticut River, which runs through the center of the state. Connecticut's southwestern border, where it adjoins New York State, is marked by a panhandle in Fairfield County, which contains the cities of Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk and Wilton.
Webster practiced law, edited a newspaper, served as a judge and member of the Connecticut House of Representatives. The first standards were set by the Connecticut code of 1650, which required all parents to educate their children and that each municipality of 50 families have an elementary school, paid for by the city.