Fundamental Orders Of Connecticut Essay Research Paper

Fundamental Orders Of Connecticut Essay, Research Paper

Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

The British North American colonies were on the cutting edge of governmental systems in

their time. They developed confederations and other styles of ruling that greatly differed from the

iron fist of the absolutist monarch of Britain. Among these colonies, Connecticut was the

forerunner. Among three major towns, Hartford, Windsor and Wethersfield, Connecticut formed

what is today known as a federalist government. Within Connecticut?s federalism, the ideas of

many modern governing techniques were applied, such as a written constitution and popular

sovereignty. Because of this, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut was a blueprint for the

modern day Constitution because it contained a central government linked to local governments,

three separate branches of government, and a representative government unlike the one of Britain.

The modern day federalism that is applied today is structured like that of the Connecticut

federalism. A general court in Hartford acts like a central meeting place like that of present day

Washington D.C.. This General court has the ability to rule over the towns of Connecticut, but the

locals of a town may provide input to their public officer and he can provide the central court with

this information. The general court is not to be mistaken as an absolute rule. An example is found

in section 11 of the Fundamental Orders. The general court may distribute funding to the towns,

and they may distribute them as they please. If this was a dictatorship, the general court would tell

the local governments how to distribute their funds.

The Fundamental Orders established three branches of government like that of the modern

day federalism. In section 1 of the Fundamental Orders, an executive office as well as a judicial

branch is elected. The person with the most votes becomes the governor, and the next six runners

up would hold positions as magistrates in the general court. The representative branch is

established in section two where it is stated that the next runners up to the magistrates shall be the

public officers to the people of their town. These three branches of government are exactly the

same in present day, but how they are elected and appointed to their position is the only difference.

The idea and structure of the representative government is the most evident similarity

between the U.S. Constitution and the Fundamental Orders. Unlike that of the British method of

virtual representation, the Fundamental Orders established a system of representation which had a

representative for each town. The idea of democracy in the U.S. is that of sovereignty resting with

the people. This new type of representation did just that. Each towns person had the opportunity

to submit their opinion on political and economical matters to their public officer. This officer

could then represent the people based on their opinions and try to push for rulings on laws in their

favor. This was truly ahead of it?s time.

The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut laid the foundation for the modern day U.S.

Constitution with the ideas of a central government linked to local governments, three branches of

government and a representative government different than that of Britain. For something made in

1638, this was a marvel of political and governmental systems. It is the centerpiece for an almost

perfect democracy. It?s basic ideas are still being applied to this day and will for days to


Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

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