Grade 8 – 12: Connecticut and its Constitutions


Special issue: 200th Anniversary of the Constitution of 1818

Stories in the issue:


Toleration Party Ticket, 1816-1817. Connecticut Historical Society

5-Part Podcast

These lectures about the constitution were originally given and recorded at Connecticut’s Old State House. For more episodes of Grating the Nutmeg, visit or

Episode 45 (Part 1)—Trouble in the Land of Steady Habits
The social and environmental events that led to the Constitution of 1818. State Historian Walter Woodward. February 2018

Episode 55 (Part 2)—The Collapse of Connecticut Federalists’ Dominance
The political upheaval that led to the Constitution of 1818. Dr. Richard Buel Jr., Professor Emeritus, Wesleyan University. April 2018

Episode 56 (Part 3)—The Debates of the Constitution of 1818
Attorney Wesley Horton, president of the Connecticut Supreme Court Historical Society. April 2018

Episode 59(Part 4)—A Milestone in Church-State Relations in Connecticut?
Robert J. Imholt, Professor Emeritus, Albertus Magnus College. September 18, 2018

Episode 63 (Part 5)—Why the Constitution of 1818 Matters today
Judge Henry Cohn and Judge Jon Blue. November 13, 2018

More About Connecticut’s Government

“Are we the Constitution State?” by Walter Woodward, State Historian, Spring 2005. Woodward argues that the Fundamental Orders were not the first written constitution–and perhaps not a constitution at all.

The Land of Steady Constitutional Habits,” by Wesley Horton, Fall 2012. Horton discusses all of the state’s constitutional documents.

The Standing Order: Connecticut’s Ruling Aristocracy,” by David Corrigan, Fall 2012. Corrigan describes the small group of families that initially ruled Connecticut.

The Unsteady Meaning of ‘The Land of Steady Habits,’” By Walter Woodward, Fall 2012. Just where did our reputation as “the Land of Steady Habits” come from?

The ‘Notorious’ Hartford Convention,” by Dr. Matthew Warshauer, Summer 2012. What does the War of 1812 have to do with the Constitution of 1818? A lot.

Reflections on the 1965 Constitutional Convention,” by Lawrence J. DeNardis, Summer 2014

“‘No Taxation Without Representation’: Black Voting in Connecticut,” by Katherine Harris, Spring 2016

Gaining Religious Equality: Jews Petition in 1843by Mary Donohue, Spring 2016. What did it take for Jews to get equal rights in Connecticut?

West of Eden: Ohio Land Speculation Benefits Connecticut Public Schools,” by Lary Bloom, Summer 2007

Connecticut in the War of 1812, Summer 2012 issue

Lesson Plan LINK

Developed by Jim D’Acosta, National Board Certified Teacher, Fairfield Warde High School

This lesson plan, which Jim developed for his “Civics and Contemporary Issues” class made up primarily of 12th grade students, uses the entire Fall 2018 issue of Connecticut Explored, including the pull-out annotated poster. Most of the stories in the issue are available online but you might find it easier to work from classroom copies. To order copies, visit or contact for posters, while supplies last. Lesson plan shared with permission.


The 200th Anniversary of the Constitution of 1818 projects were supported by
CT Humanities 






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