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Connecticut: A Case Study in Anti-Imperialism 1636-1776

Elizabeth T. Tiano

Contents of Curriculum Unit 80.ch.04:

This is a four to sis week unit prepared for seventh or eighth grade social studies classes. It has been designed to be used as a source for teachers or as a text to be used in class by the students. The focus of the unit is on the imperial struggle between the colonies and Great Britain. By using Connecticut as a case study of anti-imperialism, students can learn important aspects of imperial struggles throughout world history, including the 20th century. Teachers can bring in information on the other colonies as it relates to the incidents covered in the unit. In this way students can develop a broader picture of the colonial struggle than is presented in the unit.

I have designed this unit primarily because there is a scarcity of classroom materials on Connecticut. Also, textbooks I have used make fleeting reference to Connecticut in the colonial period.

By studying Connecticut, students will learn that their state had a history of independence before the colonial struggle began. They will learn that Connecticut was a self-governing colony from its inception and that Connecticut citizens considered themselves loyal British subjects. Students will also learn that Connecticut colonists viewed imperial interference in their internal affairs as a violation of their rights as Englishmen. Students will learn that Connecticut played a significant and leading role in the struggle with England. Students will understand the difference between conservative and radical political views in the Revolutionary context.

However, the fundamental purpose of this unit is not the study of Connecticut per se, but rather to illuminate imperial relationships throughout world history. The concept of imperialism is not covered to the 20th century. Because the curriculum I use covers the Fall of Tome through the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Age of Discovery, the colonization of North America, ending with the American Revolution. Therefore, further discussion of imperialism is not pertinent to the unit. Teachers may wish, however, to continue the historical development of imperialism into the present day.

The unit is divided into three sections with the sub-headings “Imperialism,” Mercantilism,” and “Connecticut as a Case Study in Anti-Imperialism.” Each section can be used separately to facilitate classroom use. Two sample lessons are provided to illustrate ways the unit can be used in class.

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Imperialism is the political, economic, or military domination of one country over another. Historically, powerful nations have extended their borders by conquering neighboring or distant territories. The conquered peoples are then incorporated into, or ruled separately by, the political system of the stronger nation. Direct imperial control is then exercised by the political organization of the central authority. Early examples of this kind of imperial expansion have been the Egyptians who conquered Syria and other neighboring lands, and the Romans whose country became the center of a vast empire. Later, during the Age of Discovery, the countries of Spain, France, Holland, and England developed large empires in the New World.

There are several reasons why imperial expansion occurs. One is economic gain, the need or desire to obtain material benefits like precious objects or the labor and products of the conquered populations. Another is to augment or increase political power. In a direct sense this means that the conquering nation desires to obtain foreign manpower, or bases to reinforce its own military strength, or to monopolize strategic raw materials. Sometimes, imperial ideologies such as political, religious, or cultural beliefs have become so strong that countries have exerted their control over other nations to spread the “true gospel,” “civilization,” or some particular political creed. There have also been national leaders who believed that aggressive action abroad would distract attention from problems at home. Some writers suggest that totalitarian countries are especially prone to expansionist policies because they cannot maintain internal rule unless their system is insulated from foreign influence.1

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There have been imperialist nations that have allowed their own people to colonize conquered territories. For example, Great Britain allowed its citizens to settle in the New World. These New World colonies were not considered sovereign states by England. To the Crown, they were dependent territories who owed their allegiance to Britain. The British used the mercantilist system in the economic management of the colonies. The mercantilist idea maintained that the colonies existed for the Commercial benefit of the mother country. In most instances, colonists could only trade with England or other British colonies. They were not allowed to develop manufacturing of their own to trade outside their bounds because this would create competition for British home industries. Colonists were required to purchase finished products from the mother country and could sell their raw materials only to England. This created a favorable balance of trade for the mother country. Since the finished products were sold for a higher price than the raw materials, money flowed from the colonies to the mother country.

By about 1750, the British Empire controlled eight island colonies in the Atlantic and Caribbean; Jamaica, the Leeward Islands, Antigua, Nevis, St. Kits, and Montserrat, Barbados, Burmuda, and the Bahamas. The Empire also included fifteen provinces along the American seaboard. These provinces included Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Massachusetts (including present-day Maine), New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania with Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North and south Carolina, and Georgia.2 Thirteen of these American colonies, omitting Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, on the eastern seaboard of North America will be the focus of this discussion.

As we have indicated, the British were primarily interested in the commercial benefits they could derive from their colonies. Therefore, beginning in 1651, Parliament passed Navigation Acts and the Acts of Trade which were intended to control colonial trade, insuring a favorable balance of trade for England. On paper, these laws barred foreign vessels from colonial ports. All trade in the Empire was carried on by British and colonial ships. Colonists were not permitted, by law, to trade in all significant commodities, directly with Europe. European goods could be shipped to an American destination only from a British port. This ensured the collection of duties that raised prices above any similar goods manufactured in England.

The colonists did not strictly obey British trade laws. Colonial shipping engaged in smuggling by trading along routes prohibited by the Acts of Trade and the Navigation Acts. This illicit trade was conducted on the European continent, primarily French and Dutch ports, the coast of Africa and the Foreign West Indies. This smuggling also involved the failure to pay full duties, or none at all, on cargoes not in themselves illegal. A prominent example of this is molasses from the French Islands.3 However, certain colonial products were left uncontrolled and could be sold in any market. Examples of these products are foodstuffs, horses, fruit, vegetables, pig iron, and many forms of wood products.4

The continental colonies were important for providing products for the British West Indies and the mother country. The southern colonies exported tobacco, indigo and rice. By the 1760’s Virginia and Maryland exported considerable quantities of wheat to England. The Middle and New England colonies traded primarily with other American continental colonies and the West Indies. Iron, an important raw material, was provided by the colonies to foundries in the mother country. New England was the center of the shipbuilding industry in the New World. This region’s shipyards produced vessels at far less cost than shipyards in England. In fact, about one-third of all British merchant vessels were built in colonial shipyards by the outbreak of the Revolution. However, the colonies were most important to England as markets for British goods.5 Because the colonists imported more than they exported, British wealth increased.

The original thirteen colonies were founded by individuals, or corporations who obtained charters from the king granting permission to colonize and govern the colony. There were three types of colonies. They were proprietary, owned by one man; corporate, owned by a group of men; or royal, owned by the king. The colonies were basically self-governing. They were governed by a single executive, or governor, and an assembly composed of delegates elected from towns and counties who represented the people in the legislative process. In the charter colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island the governors were elected. In proprietary colonies (Penn. ., Delaware, Maryland; and South Carolina) the proprietors appointed the governors and in royal colonies the governor was appointed by the Crown.6

The colonies had to obey trade laws enacted by Parliament, but as a rule internal matters were left to the discretion of local legislatures. At the end of the 17th century, England was involved in conflicts with the French, who also claimed land on the North American Continent. Because of these conflicts, the crown wanted to strengthen the Empire. One way it sought to do so was to tighten its control over the American colonies by bringing all the colonies under the direct control of the king. Therefore, colonies were required to surrender their original charters to the Crown and had to accept royal charters. After 1752 all the colonies were royal colonies with the exception of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

The royal charters required all the colonies, except Connecticut, to send their laws to England for confirmation or disallowance. If the Crown found the law acceptable, the colonies could continue to enforce it. If it were found unacceptable, it had to be removed from colonial legislation.

For the most part, the colonists accepted their subordinate role in the economic and political system of the Empire. Economically, the colonies prospered because they shared generously in the profits of the dominion.7 Politically, the colonies were free of internal imperial control as long as the colonists obeyed the Navigation Acts and crown appointed officials.

At the end of the Seven Years War, known in America as the French and Indian War, the British began to increase imperial control in the colonies. At the end of hostilities, in 1763, England had a large war debt. British officials reasoned that since the Crown had expended large sums of money fighting the war and colonists were going to benefit by the opening of the frontier formerly under French control and the clearing of the North Atlantic for colonial fishermen, that the colonists should help pay the war debt. England was also maintaining troops on the frontier to protect settlers from Indian raids. This added to the already heavy financial burden of the British government.

The colonists, on the other hand, felt that they had made significant contributions to the war effort by providing supplies to the British and serving as soldiers themselves. They argued that these sacrifices ought to relieve them of any responsibility for the war debt. They also argued that they did not need British troops to protect them because their participation in the war had proved their ability to protect themselves.

Ultimately, the British government decided to raise money to defray the cost of the war by levying internal taxes on the colonies. Until this time the only levies colonists paid the Crown were customs duties. This was external taxation and the colonists had no quarrel with paying these taxes. The imposition of internal taxation, however, created a storm of protest in the colonies that eventually led to independence.

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Connecticut: A Case Study In Anti-Imperialism 1636-1776

Keeping in mind the background of imperialism and British imperial policy in the American colonies, we will now turn our attention to the major purpose of our discussion, the imperial relationship of the Connecticut colony and Great Britain. In 1636, the Reverend Thomas Hooker and his congregation of Calvinist Puritans migrated from Massachusetts Bay Colony to form a settlement in the valley of the Connecticut River. Eventually, the towns of Hartford, Windsor and Wethersfield were founded and became the nucleus of Connecticut. [For the story of the settlement and early government of Connecticut, see Units I and II.] One reason Hooker left Massachusetts Bay was because he objected to the centralized authority of the General Court there. Calvinist Puritans believed in the covenant theory of government. This theory espoused the idea that the people and the government entered into an agreement and both parties were bound to uphold the accord. Some of these early settlers believed it might be the duty of the people to overthrow a government that broke the agreement or dictated action contrary to God’s word.

Three years later, in 1639, the colony of New Haven was founded by Theophilus Eaton and the Reverend John Davenport. New Haven remained an independent colony until 1664 when a royal commission recognized Mew Haven as part of Connecticut. In December of that year New Haven agreed to join the Connecticut colony, despite earlier resistance to in corporation.8

With this background in mind we will now discuss the reasons why Connecticut’s development was different from the other colonies. Connecticut was a small agricultural colony isolated from the mainstream of the Empire and from the other colonies. Since it had neither a staple crop for export or a deep sea port, the colony did not become engaged in direct trade with England or foreign nations. Because there were not adequate roads or other means of transportation, farmers were not encouraged to grow surplus crops for export until early in the 18th century. This isolation caused Connecticut to be largely ignored by the Crown for a long period of time.

Because the founders of Connecticut had migrated to the Connecticut River Valley without royal sanction, the colony had no charter until 1662. Connecticut’s leaders knew they were operating the colony without a firm legal basis. They thought the Warwick Patent, Fundamental Orders, and various Indian grants held by Connecticut might not be recognized by the Crown. [See Appendixes A-D of Unit I for the Fundamental Orders and the Charter of 1662.] In 1660 Charles II was restored to the British throne. The Connecticut leaders feared the new king would put them under the control of Massachusetts. To avoid their absorption into the Massachusetts Bay Colony, they drafted a charter and sent it with John Winthrop, Jr. to England for the King’s signature. The Privy seal was affixed in 1662. This was a corporate charter which gave Connecticut broad legislative powers. The colony was allowed to elect its own governor and lawmakers. It had a bicameral legislature consisting of a Council and a General Assembly. The Assembly could only be dissolved by the approval of its own majority, not by royal prerogative.9 Connecticut was not required by charter to send its laws to England for confirmation or disallowance. In effect, the king had no power or right to appoint officials or interfere with legislation. Because there was little communication between the colony and England, Connecticut was allowed to become a semi-independent, self governing colony.

While, for the most part, Connecticut was ignored by the Crown, the colony was not entirely free of British attempts to assert imperial authority. One challenge to Connecticut’s laws was the 1728 royal disallowance of Connecticut’s 1669 intestacy law. There had been three cases appealed to the Privy Council between 1701 and 1745 by Connecticut citizens who were heirs to relatives who had died intestate (without leaving a will). Connecticut’s London agents had fought these cases on the grounds that British common law did not apply to Connecticut because land ownership and distribution in the colony was different from that of England. Disallowance was a violation of Connecticut’s charter privileges. Nevertheless, the colony dropped its appeal on this decision because the Board of Trade was suggesting that a new charter for Connecticut would be more in the interest of Great Britain. Connecticut did not repeal its intestacy law nor did it act as though the law had been disallowed. When certain families refused to cooperate the courts simply delayed decisions on their cases. This was how matters stood until 1745. In that year another intestate case was appealed to England by one Samuel Clark. In this case, Connecticut successfully argued that British common law did not automatically apply to the colonies and pointed out that Massachusetts intestacy law had been upheld by the Privy Council even though it violated common law. Connecticut won and the intestacy issue was finally resolved in the colony’s favor.10

Connecticut was not always consistent in its views on British law, however. In the dispute over the Mohegan lands the colony found it convenient to appeal to common law to protect its boundary rights. In this case the heirs of one John Mason claimed lands that had been granted to Mason by the Mohegan sachem Uncas. The heirs claimed that when Mason surrendered his 1661 deed to the colony he only allowed jurisdiction over these lands, not rights to the soil. Connecticut argued this case on the grounds that questions concerning land title could only be dealt with by a jury trial as was guaranteed by British common law. The first appeal to the Crown was made by Mason’s heirs in 1704. The dispute was not finally settled until 1772 when the Privy Council gave Connecticut clear title to the lands. Connecticut had won the case but not through the process of common law as the colony had claimed as its right.11

Another challenge to Connecticut’s autonomy were the attempts made by England to revoke the colony’s charter and bring Connecticut under complete British control. The major threat to the charter occurred in 1685. In that year the Dominion of New England was formed as an attempt to consolidate the New England colonies and later New York and New Jersey under one royal governor. In this struggle with the Crown, Connecticut played a waiting game. The colony refused to join the new government without being pushed into it by the King. To further stall consolidation, Connecticut let it be known that it was considering joining the colony of New York whose governor, Thomas Dongan, was offering generous terms for such a merger. However, if Connecticut was to lose its independence it preferred consolidation with Massachusetts. When Connecticut in formed the lords of this desire it was interpreted as submission, and the colony was incorporated into the Dominion. The Dominion lasted until 1689 when Massachusetts revolted, in the wake of the Glorious Revolution in England, and imprisoned the royal governor Andros. Connecticut then resumed its own government under its charter.12

The collapse of the Dominion of New England did not end the Crown’s attempts to revoke Connecticut’s charter. The Board of Trade made seven different attempts to regulate or nullify the colony’s charter. In every instance Connecticut politely but firmly refused to surrender its charter to the Crown.13 And the colony interpreted its charter rights in the broadest possible terms. Connecticut even claimed certain powers that were not legal under the terms of a trading charter or agreeable to the principles of British policy.

Connecticut’s stubborn defense of its charter in the face of British incursions should not lead one to infer that the colony was not concerned with the welfare of the empire. The citizens of Connecticut on the whole considered themselves loyal British subjects. The people of Connecticut were willing to meet reasonable demands of British authorities that did not interfere with their charter rights. Connecticut complied with most elements of the Navigation Acts, generally obeyed circular instructions (notices issued by the Crown for distribution in the colonies) concerning matters of piracy, ships passes, prayers for the royal family, relations with the enemy in time of war, admitted the authority of the King in Council in matters concerning controversies, and recognized the right of the Treasury Board and the Commissioners of Customs to appoint customs officials for the collection of the plantation duty. Connecticut governors took the oath required by the acts of trade, and freemen of the colony took oaths to be faithful and loyal to their lawful sovereign, the King of England. Generally, the colony expressed its loyal obedience to the royal will whenever it wrote to the secretary of state or the Board of Trade.14 At the same time, despite its strong desire to remain free of royal interference Connecticut would not hesitate to appeal to the mother country for protection or assistance in times of need.15 Also, when called upon by England for assistance in British war efforts, Connecticut often did more than its fair share.

We will now turn our attention to the year of 1765 when, as you will recall, the British government attempted to levy internal taxes on the colonies. The small colony of Connecticut played a significant and active role in colonial opposition. When Parliament passed the Stamp Act in 1765, the Connecticut press and some of its leaders expressed resistance to what they considered the Crown’s interference in their internal affairs. Connecticut newspapers and some of its leaders raised the question of independence. They said that this imperial interference in colonial affairs could or might lead to the eventual independence of the colonies. The Connecticut Assembly drafted a resolution to Parliament that presented its case against the Stamp Act. They said the Act was a violation of the rights granted to them under their charter. It also violated their traditional rights as Englishmen in that British subjects could only be taxed by laws they approved. At the same time the Assembly expressed its loyalty to the Crown in all matters except their own internal affairs.

While the Connecticut colonists were opposed to the tax, not all the citizens agreed with the view that England did not have the right to pass this law. For Example, the conservative Governor Fitch did not agree with the tax but said the citizens of Connecticut had to obey the law because the British government was the supreme authority.

Because of strong colonial opposition and pressure from British merchants, whose profits were reduced because of colonial boycotts, Parliament repealed the Stamp Act in 1766. When news of the repeal arrived in Connecticut the General Assembly set aside a special day of celebration and at the same time instructed the governor, who was to be assisted by a committee, to draft a communication to the King expressing their gratitude for the repeal of the Stamp Act and their loyalty to his Majesty.16

With the Stamp Act repealed, Parliament still had to solve the problem of the war debt. In 1767 the British government in the Townshend Acts passed new taxes on the colonies. These new taxes levied duties on certain British manufactured goods, such as paper, glass, paint, and the East India Company’s tea. Parliament at the same time removed duties on colonial wheat and whale oil entering British ports.

England’s leaders believed that the Townshend duties avoided the constitutional question of internal taxation because the taxes were on British goods entering colonial ports, and were not collected in interior towns. Connecticut disagreed. In the first place Benjamin Gale, a leading politician, said it would be unwise for Connecticut to buy English goods because not only would this add to the profits of British merchants, but the tax would also increase the revenue of the Crown all at the expense of Connecticut citizens. In the second place, Connecticut opposed the tax because it had been passed without colonial consent.17 Connecticut’s radicals urged the people to stop importing and buying British goods. The patriots warned again that the colonies might eventually become independent of the Empire. Connecticut’s conservatives were concerned about the rashness of the radicals. They were fearful that antagonizing the Crown would cause the loss of their charter privileges.18 Nevertheless, non-importation helped bring about the partial repeal of the Townshend duties in 1770. The duties on British manufactures were removed; however, Parliament retained the tax on tea.

Hostilities with the Crown were resumed in 1773 with the passage of the Tea Act which gave the British East India Company a monopoly on the tea trade in the colonies. In December of 1773, the Massachusetts Sons of Liberty, dressed as Indians, boarded three ships in Boston harbor and destroyed the East India Company’s tea. The British considered the Tea Party a criminal act and passed the Coercive Acts (the colonists called them the Intolerable Acts) to punish the city of Boston.

When news of the Coercive Acts reached Connecticut, the people became uneasy over the way Parliament had altered the Massachusetts charter and closed the port of Boston. They again feared the loss of their own charter. Connecticut radicals, under the leadership of the Sons of Liberty, and the press urged the public to send assistance to the Patriots in Boston. The Connecticut Courant carried reports of assistance given to Bostonians by their fellow patriots in Connecticut.19

Officially, Connecticut was apprehensive about this new threat to its charter; however it was not willing to take the drastic measures Massachusetts proposed as retaliation against the Crown. In lieu of these measures the Assembly passed a set of resolves in which they again stated their loyalty to the Crown, and insisted again upon their Charter rights, especially, the right to self-taxation and trial by a jury of their peers. These resolves also held that only a local government could close a port, and Parliament’s actions regarding Boston were a threat to liberty. Governor Trumbull, addressed the Assembly and expressed Connecticut’s loyalty to the King and his family. Trumbull also said he looked forward to a constitutional settlement of this new difficulty. The governor said the citizens of Connecticut had the responsibility to protect those rights guaranteed them by British law.20

The Assembly also empowered a Committee of Correspondence to meet with other such committees to discuss this problem. Silas Deane, the secretary for the committee, sent letters to the other colonies proposing a meeting of colonial representatives.21 In 1774, the colonies agreed to send delegates to an inter-colonial congress which met in Philadelphia. The Connecticut delegates to the First Continental Congress, Silas Deane, Eliphalet Dyer and Roger Sherman, were strong in their support of colonial rights. This support earned them a good reputation among the members of the Congress. Only Massachusetts delegates enjoyed greater renown. A Yankee, most especially a man from Connecticut, was very respected.

The Continental Congress prepared two documents which were to be sent to the King. One was the Olive Branch Petition, 1775 which appealed to the King’s reason and said that it was his ministers who were responsible for the present problems and not the King himself. Connecticut’s delegates did not support this petition. However, they did support a Declaration which stated the causes and necessity of taking up arms and also made clear that the colonial cause was just. The King ignored both petitions.

The experience of Connecticut citizens as members of a great colonial system taught them that such systems must be organized for the mutual benefit of all and based on the advice and consent of all. When the central government became exploitive it lost its claim to legitimacy, and outlying members were free to break away. This concept is best stated in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, but the Connecticut people, to expressed it as well. Jonathan Trumbull in a proclamation issued in 1776, stated Connecticut’s position on independence. [Appendix A]

In his statement Governor Trumbull said colonial forefathers had left England to escape the injustice and oppression of haughty kings who sought to destroy the constitutional rights of the people. For many years the American colonists enjoyed the freedom and liberty their forefathers had left England to obtain. Now a new king was violating his sacred obligations to the people, and with the advice of his counsellors was attempting to take from the colonists the rights established and recognized by the solemn compact made with previous kings of Great Britain.

The burden laid upon the people by George III was too great to be born. By issuing cruel and oppressive decrees, the King was depriving the colonists of their natural and lawful rights, and attempting to subject them to the absolute power of the British government. The colonies had sought relief from this oppression by humble and dutiful complaints and petitions. Instead of receiving redress, their complaints and petitions were treated with scorn and contempt. Fresh injuries were laid upon the people and hostile armies and ships were sent to the colonies. This threat to their freedoms left the colonists with no alternative except to submit to slavery or take up arms to defend their natural and constitutional rights.

Therefore, in 1776 when news of Lexington and Concord reached Connecticut, patriots spontaneously picked up their guns and set out for Boston. The American Revolution had begun and the colony of Connecticut rallied to the cause providing men and provisions for the war effort.

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Appendix A

This document, one of many issued by colonial governments in 1776, is perhaps the best of the state statements for justifying independence from England.

Reprinted from Hoadly, Charles J., LL.D. The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut. Hartford: The Case, Lockwood and Brainard Company. 1890. Vol. 15 pp. 451-453.

(Figure available in print form)

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Sample lessons


conquer sovereign import
political allegiance struggling
monopolize commercial prohibit
strategic continental illicit
ideologies export levy


agricultural prerogative
isolate appeal
foreign nullify
sanction repeal
bicameral delegate


1. Students will read orally the sentence containing the word to be defined.
2. Students will attempt to define the word from the context of the sentence.
3. Definitions given by students can be listed on the board.
4. The word will new be looked up in the dictionary.
5. Students can compare the correct definition to the definitions listed on the board. Students will now be able to determine the accuracy of their original definitions.
6. Students will write the correct definition.
7. Students will use the word in a sentence that illustrates its meaning.


The sub-headings of the narrative are Imperialism, Mercantilism and the case study. Each section can be used separately.


1. Students will read the section.

2. With teacher guidance the class will discuss the main idea of the reading.

3. The main idea is written on the board.

4. Students will work independently with the text.

5. On paper they can list details they find that support the main idea.

6. When the corrected papers are returned they can be used in a class discussion to reinforce comprehension.


The newspaper is a suggested culminating activity. This project will reinforce and develop research, writing, art, decision making and creative skills. The newspaper can be an issue of the Connecticut Courant that would have been published in a specific year. Students can choose from the years 1763-1776. Copies of the original Connecticut Courant can be used as models for students. Articles can be written that illustrate the anti-British position of the Courant. Preparation of the articles can be done primarily at home. The will be checked by the teacher before they are printed. The organization of the paper can be decided upon by groups of students in the classroom. Students and the teacher can decide upon the best method for printing the paper.

A package of sixty-four first page facsimiles of the Connecticut and Hartford Courant for the years 1764-1976 is available from the Hartford Courant, Historic Pages, 285 Broad Street, Hartford, Conn. 06115, at a cost of $3.00.

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1. “Imperialism,” International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 1968 ed.
2. Christie, I. R., Crisis of Empire (London: Edward Arnold Lts. 1966), p. 3.
3. Christie Ian R. and Labaree Benjamin W. Empire or Independence, 1760-1776, (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.), p. 10.
4. Christie and Labaree, p. 23.
5. Christie and Labaree, p. 10.
6. Christie and Labaree, p. 15.
7. Christie and Labaree, p.
10. Historians debate the degree of acceptance among colonials. 8. Taylor, Robert J. Colonial Connecticut, New York: K. T. C. Press, 1979), p. 53.
9. Zeichner, Oscar, Connecticut’s Years of Controversy, (Virginia: University of North Carolina Press, 1949), p. 5.
10. Taylor, p. 199.
11. Taylor, p. 204.
12. Taylor, p. 87.
13. Andrews, Charles M., Connecticut’s Place in Colonial History, (New Haven: Yale University Press. 1924), p. 6.
14. Andrews, Charles M., Connecticut and the British Government, (New Haven: Yale University Press. 1933), p. 5
15. Andrews, Place in Colonial History, p. 26.
16. Taylor, p. 230.
17. Zeichner, p. 84.
18. Zeichner, p. 95.
19. Cutler, Charles L., Connecticut’s Revolutionary Press, (Chester: Pequot Press, 1975), p. 22.
20. Collier, Christopher, Connecticut in the Continental Congress (Chester: Pequot Press, 1975), pp. 20-21.
21. Taylor, p. 237.

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The following symbols indicate reading levels:

*** Popular treatment

+ Scholarly, but readable

++ Scholarly and difficult

+Andrews, Charles M. Connecticut and the British Government. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1933. Short article published for the Tercentenary Commission of The State of Connecticut. A good reference on Connecticut.

+Andrews, Charles M. Connecticut’s Place in Colonial History. New Haven: Yale University Press. Excellent reference on Connecticut and the other colonies.

+ Christie, I. R. Crisis of Empire. London: Edward Arnold Ltd. 1966. A very good discussion on British imperial relations with the American colonies.

+ Christie, Ian R. and Labaree Benjamin W. Empire or Independence 1760-1776. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc. A very good, readable source on the colonies and the British Empire.

*** Collier, Christopher. Connecticut In the Continental Congress. Chester: Pequot Press. A concise, readable history.

*** Collier, Christopher. Roger Sherman’s Connecticut. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press. 1971.

*** Cutler, Charles L. Connecticut’s Revolutionary Press. Chester: Pequot Press. An enjoyable, readable history on Connecticut’s Press in the colonial period.

*** Gerlach, Larry R. Connecticut Congressman: Samuel Huntington. Portland: The Waverly Printing Co. 1977. A short, easy to read history on Samuel Huntington.

+Gipson, Lawrence Henry. The American Revolution as an Aftermath of The Great War For The Empire 1754-1763. New York: Academy of Political Science. 1950.

+ Gipson, Lawrence Henry Gipson. The Coming of the Revolution. New York: Harper and Brothers. 1954. Good general reference on the colonies and their relations with Britain.

++ Hoadly, Charles J., LL. D. The Public Records of The Colony of Connecticut. Hartford: The Case, Lockwood and Brainard Company. 1890. A primary source consisting of fifteen volumes covering the years 1751 to 1890.

+ Meyer, Freeman M. Connecticut Congregationalism in the Revolutionary Era. Deep River: The New Era Printing Co. 1977. A good, readable, concise discussion of Congregationalism in Connecticut.

*** Roth, David M. Connecticut’s War Governor: Jonathan Trumbull. Chester: Pequot Press. 1974. An excellent enjoyable source on Governor Trumbull during the Revolutionary War. Contains information on contributions to and participation in the war effort.

*** Stark, Bruce P. Connecticut Signer: William Williams. Chester: Pequot Press. 1975. A concise, readable history.

+ Taylor, Robert J. Colonial Connecticut. New York: K.T.C. Press. 1979. Excellent source on the history of the Connecticut Colony.

++ Van Dusen, Albert E. Connecticut. New York: Random House. 1961. A good book to use as a reference on Connecticut history.

*** Willingham, William F. Connecticut Revolutionary: Eliphalet Dyer. Portland: The Waverly Printing Company. 1977. A readable discussion on one of Connecticut’s leading patriots.

+ Zeichner, Oscar. Connecticut’s Years of Controversy. Virginia: Univ: of North Carolina Press. 1949. An excellent source to use to obtain information on Connecticut’s struggles with the British government.

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Student Bibliography

All the books in this bibliography are written on a Jr. high reading level.

Alderman, Clifford Lindsey. The Colony of Connecticut. Mew York: Hew York: Franklin Walls, Inc. 1975.

Beales, Carleton. Our Yankee Heritage. New York: Books for Libraries Press. 1955. A readable book that contains a good chapter on Connecticut’s Sons of Liberty.

Bixby, William. Connecticut: A New Guide. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. 1974. Contains a chapter on the history of Connecticut which deals with anti-imperialism, internal development and the Revolutionary period.

Carpenter, Allan. Connecticut. Chicago: Children’s Press. 1966. A readable book containing information of Connecticut’s charter, Connecticut’s spirit of independence and the colony’s problems with the Crown.

Collier, James Lincoln and Colier, Christopher. My Brother Sam is Dead. New York: Scholastic Book Services. 1974. An excellent book on the Revolutionary war in Connecticut. This book is recommended for classroom use. It is easy to use in class and the students enjoy reading it.

Hoyt, Joseph B. The Connecticut Story. New Haven: Readers Press, Inc. 1961. Contains a chapter that provides information on Connecticut’s contribution to the war effort.

Johnstin, Johanna. The Connecticut Story. London: Crowell-Collier Press. 1969. A readable source containing chapters on Connecticut’s charter and the Revolutionary Era.

Perry, Charles Edward. Founders and Leaders of Connecticut. Boston: D. C. Heath and Company. 1934. Contains a readable, concise chapter on Colonial Connecticut. This book also has biographies on Connecticut’s leaders during the Revolutionary Era.


Malvern, Gladys. Dear Wife. New York: Longman’s, Green and Co. 1953. This story takes place in Danbury, Connecticut and begins with the outbreak of hostilities in 1776.

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