Agahel Morse, who were aligned with the Baptists and Methodists, respectively. As finally adopted, this section prohibited only a Christian established religion. By its own words, it would permit the official establishment of a non-Christian church and because of the adoption of Section 3, Section 4 merely became a token remnant of the Standing Order and had little effect. Also, Article VII of the Constitution states that no preference should be given to any religious denomination in this state.
Courts have ruled that this is equivalent to the federal establishment clause. On the other hand, Article I, Section 4 remained a part of the Connecticut law until it was repealed in the Constitution. Article 7 of the Constitution addressed another religious issue. Article 7 attempted to resolve the finances and membership of the town churches once there was no longer a single, central church. Article 7 provided in Section 1 that since it was the duty of all to worship a supreme being in accordance with their conscience, no person would be compelled to join or support any church or religious association.
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The Constitution retained some of the language of the Constitution, regarding non-compulsion, but dropped the taxation grant as well as the method of resignation through the church clerk. The Constitution addressed the topic of education in Article 8. The education of children was always important for the Connecticut authorities and its citizens. Article 8, Section 1 provided that the charter of Yale University, established in by the legislature, was confirmed.
Union School, New London, as it appeared before The schoolhouse was in use until around Connecticut Sons of the American Revolution. The interest from the proceeds was to be applied to the support of common schools in Connecticut.
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In additional funds were generated from interest on taxation of certain goods. He supported the School Fund while serving in the state legislature and was also one of the members of the board of managers to administer the fund. The delegates were concerned—apparently from experience—that the school fund might be diverted to non-education uses. In the s through the s, several cases, notably Horton v. Meskill , arose around the duty of the state to provide free elementary and secondary public education and how to finance it. In confirming this duty, the Connecticut Supreme Court pointed to the educational requirements of Article 8.
In the Constitution was replaced after the federal courts held in that the its provisions establishing the number of state representatives led to unconstitutional apportionment, based on population. For example, the small town of Union and the large city of Hartford were each allotted two state representatives.
Similar Notorious New-Gate Prison. The Revolution of Imagining Connecticut. The Trailblazing Bessye Bennett. Other CT Humanities Programs. We could not locate your form. What did these people think was the purpose of a government? Whom should the government serve? How should it be formed and what should be its structure? Who should make the rules and enforce them?
What rights do people have under this political system? From where does authority come? Do the preamble and Article I together so they get the drift of the document. Have someone read each sentence aloud, and then ask someone to "translate" that sentence. These first sections have the most substance, and so it is worthwhile to spend a good deal of time having them probe until they can see that there is a religious basis for the agreement being made.
3f. Reaching to Connecticut
You should not tell them much, and try to have them avoid being too conclusive in their interpretations. Everything at this point should be at the "maybe" stage. Even if they are well versed, it is good to define a bunch of questions they might have at this point. Anything goes, from Did the King know about this "Comon welth? Simply praise the best questions. The rest of the document is fairly tedious, and, perhaps, would be best broken up for groups of students.
Each group could be held responsible for "translating" two articles and summarizing them for the class. They should be able to describe the procedure outlined for electing the government, and understand the various responsibilities of the government and the magistrates. They should also see that this was a representative government. As they work they will probably need help with some of the words, but then so might you!
The American Colonists Library
Sometimes a guess will have to do. If they begin to get frustrated, assure them that after this the Constitution of the United States will be a snap. This translating session should end with further questions about what these religious lawyers were up to. Tell them that there are further clues in the first laws the General Court enacted as it got down to business in the 's. Pass out the "Selections from Connecticut's Early Laws" and assign it for independent reading.
Again, if it appears to be too much although these laws are a lot more interesting than the "Fundamental Orders" , you could divide them up by section. Once they have read these, they can begin to hypothesize about the nature of Connecticut's early government. Was Connecticut a democracy? Discuss democracy in terms of where ultimate authority or sovereignty lies.
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Where did the authors of the Fundamental Orders think ultimate authority lay? On what authority were the laws made? If students do not know the term, introduce the concept of "theocracy", and have them evaluate the extent to which Connecticut was a theocracy. What evidence do we have that it was? What relationship do the authors of these orders and laws see between themselves and the "mother country? Students might recall oppression of Puritans in the early 's and the desire of these Puritans to reform the Church of England; but if they don't, they should leave the question open - what religious beliefs did these people have?
Were there other settlements besides these three towns? How did they think churches and the government were related? These questions can all be left open, although you may want to say a few things about the concept of "democracy" at this time. Democracy, viewed by people of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, was synonymous with what we would call "mob rule" today. These people feared unregulated populations "taking the law into their own hands," and the experiences of English people under Cromwell only served to confirm theories of imminent disaster when a duly constituted authority was missing.
In fact, most political thinkers were even somewhat uneasy about the idea of a "republic. Followers of John Locke's notions were hardly the mainstream thinkers in England. In America these "whig" philosophers achieved increasing popularity in the 18th Century, but fear of "mad raging democracies" was an integral part of the ideology. Democracy then came to refer to a class the "masses" in 19th-century parlance , that should never be allowed to have too much control of a government - or Liberty would be lost!
How differently we use words in different times. The next documents to puzzle over are the Fitch papers. Thomas Fitch was governor of Connecticut at the time Parliament passed the Sugar Act and the ministry announced its intention to pass a Stamp Act in the next session. The Connecticut Assembly asked him and some others to protest the stamp tax. The pamphlet represents Fitch's ideas, and, actually, was not as radical as many people in Connecticut would have liked. The single page of the letter he wrote to Richard Jackson, in fact, shows clearly that he thought Parliamentary acts should be obeyed, even if they violated colonial notions of constitutionality Jackson was Connecticut's "agent", or lobbyist, in Parliament.
As Fitch was soon to discover, his fellow Connecticut citizens did not agree with his caution. Particularly those of the "new light" persuasion, and those who had interests in western lands, were upset with Fitch's moderation, and used the issue in the election to defeat him. Still, Fitch does raise constitutional objections to Parliamentary taxation that were the type that would become the basis of whig protest to British policy.
Like James Otis of Massachusetts, he suggested Parliament was a supreme law-making body and only they could undo their own acts. On the other hand, he set out to prove they had made a serious mistake that violated all sorts of traditional rights and privileges.
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The resolves by the legislature and the Sept. Apparently independent Connecticut had no intention of obediently buying the stamps.
Again, it is not necessary that everyone read the entire Fitch pamphlet, especially considering the difficulty of the old type. You may want to make a two- or three-page handout of excerpts yourself, and simply have the facsimile pamphlet around for exhibit, or for those interested in reading more of the argument. Another possibility, particularly if you are pressed for time, is to assign the pamphlet to one of your most able students while the others are reading Fitch's letter, the resolutions and the newspaper.
Then have this student role-play Fitch and the other students interview him to get his views on new Parliamentary policy or argue with him as more radical constituents. Whatever the approach, the students need to be able to understand the basic principles for which Connecticut politicians stood: traditional rights, direct representation, charter privileges, self-government.