The governor and magistrates served as the upper house of the Connecticut General Court. Unlike New Haven, the language of the Fundamental Orders focused primarily on civic life rather than religious affiliation or requirements. Lets take a look back on the history of Connecticut. The orders were transcribed into the official colony records by the colony's secretary Thomas Welles. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed, that every General Court, except such as through neglect of the Governor and the greatest party of Magistrates the Freemen themselves doe call, shall consist of the Governor, or some one chosen to moderate the Court, and 4 other Magistrates at least, with the mayor part of the deputies of the several Towns legally chosen; and in case the Freemen or mayor party of them, through neglect or refusal of the Governor and major party of the magistrates, shall call a Court, at shall consist of the mayor party of Freemen that are present or their deputies, with a Moderator chosen by them: In which said General Courts shall consist the supreme power of the Commonwealth, and they only shall have power to make laws or repeal them, to grant levys, to admit of Freemen, dispose of lands undisposed of, to several Towns or persons, and also shall have power to call ether Court or Magistrate or any other person whatsoever into question for any misdemeanor, and may for just causes displace or deal otherwise according to the nature of the offence; and also may deal in any other matter that concerns the good of this commonwealth, except election of Magistrates, which shall be done by the whole body of Freemen.
The model of the Biblical covenant served as the foundation for all Puritan organizations. The Plantation Covenant was a similar early constitution that explicitly required all members and representatives to be church members and required decision making in accord with the perfect rule of scripture. This document, which governed Hartford, Windsor and Wethersfield, followed other codified laws in New England at the time, except in a more compact form. It is ordered and decreed, that the deputies thus chosen shall have power and liberty to appoint a time and a place of meeting together before any General Court to advise and consult of all such things as may concern the good of the public, as also to examine their own elections, whether according to the order, and if they or the greatest part of them find any election to be illegal they may seclude such for present from their meeting, and return the same and their reasons to the court; and if yet prove true, the court may fine the party or parties so intruding and the town, if they see cause, and give out a warrant to go to a new election in a legal way, either in whole or in part. The preamble, then, was a civil equivalent of a church covenant. Thus, Connecticut earned its nickname of The Constitution State.
With thousands of descendants, he was a founding father of America. The powers granted to the government are stated through limitations of how power could be used. The General Court, or elected body established by the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, convened every September and April. The governor and magistrates, who composed the nucleus for an Upper House, were to be elected by the freemen at the Court of Election. Details of the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut The Fundamental Orders consist of 11 orders, which bound the people of the three Connecticut towns to the laws created in a similar way to New England statute laws. Its provisions for voting in what is now Connecticut reveal how far from democratic it actually was. Theocracy is governance by religious leadership with a presumption that leaders are divinely informed by God.
To prevent hasty, ill-considered choices, nominations for election were made at the September General Court by the deputies from each town. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed, that the Election of the aforesaid Magistrate shall be on this manner: every person present and qualified for choose shall bring in to the persons deputed to receive them one single paper with the name of him written in at whom he desires to have Governor, and he that hath the greatest number of papers shall be Governor for that year. Whereas the Mayflower Compact was a general statement in favor of majority rule and consent of the governed, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut was a detailed plan of government which gave power to the people. It remained as a guideline for the laws of these colonies till 1662. It's arguably the very first constitution of the American colonies.
The aforesaid deputies shall be chosen in manner following: every person that is present and qualified as before expressed, shall bring the names of such, written in several papers, as they desire to have chosen for that employment, and these 3 or 4, more or less, being the number agreed on to be chosen for that time, that have greatest number of papers written for them shall be deputies for that court; whose names shall be endorsed on the back side of the warrant and returned into the court, with the constable or constables hand unto the same. It was a Constitution the government that Massachusetts had set up. Note that the year recorded in the document is 1638, because the British calendar in use at the time began the new year on March 25 instead of January 1 as does the Gregorian calendar we use today. Why did it impact the colonies? The subsequently followed the Fundamental Orders two years later. The charter of Connecticut in 1662 superseded and was largely based on the Fundamental Orders. It also called for the popular election of a governor and judges.
But none of these Courts shall be adjourned or dissolved without the consent of the major part of the Court. It is Ordered, sentenced and decreed that no person be chosen Governor above once in two years, and that the Governor be always a member of some approved congregation, and formerly of the Magistracy within this Jurisdiction; and all the Magistrates Freemen of this Commonwealth: and that no Magistrate or other public officer shall execute any party of his or their Office before they are severally sworn, which shall be done in the face of the Court if they be present, and in case of absence by some deputed for that purpose. It was a Constitution for the colonial government of Hartford and was similar to the government Massachusetts had set up. It is ordered, sentenced and decreed, that when any General Court upon the occasions of the Commonwealth have agreed upon any some or somes of money to be levied upon the several Towns within this Jurisdiction, that a Committee be chosen to set out and appoint what shall be the proportion of every Town to pay of the said levy, provided the Committees be made up of an equal number out of each Town. No religious test was established for voting, the Orders omitted all reference to the authority of the crown, and the General Court was given supreme authority over the towns and their inhabitants.
Others think of it as the first declaration of independence. However, this Order gave men more voting rights and made more men eligible to run for elected positions. Though it referenced the will of God, the Fundamental Orders broke with the British theocratic traditions and differed from the Plantation Covenant of New Haven Colony, instead focusing the 11 orders on a structure for civil government, hence its significance. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that no person be chosen Governor above once in two years, and that the Governor be always a member of some approved Congregation, and formerly of the Magistracy within this Jurisdiction; and that all the Magistrates, Freemen of this Commonwealth; and that no Magistrate or other public officer shall execute any part of his or their office before they are severally sworn, which shall be done in the face of the court if they be present, and in case of absence by some deputed for that purpose. Click the link for more information. That was pretty much the reason Hooker and his followers had left Massachusetts.
Samples Since its foundation, the team of professional writers has been successfully working on the orders. The Foundations of the Fundamental Orders Like the modern Federal Constitution, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut outline a number of common rights that were to be given equally to the farmers and other free people of the three towns. In it, it clearly specifies that every citizen should bring their own piece of paper with them to the polling place with their chosen candidate. Thomas Hooker, Thomas, 1586—1647, Puritan clergyman in the American colonies, chief founder of Hartford, Conn. It also called for the popular election of a governorand judges. It is highly detailed, covering many different aspects of government based on political principles that many have retrospectively praised for their insight. The aforesaid deputies shall be chosen in manner following: every person that is present and qualified as before expressed, shall bring the names of such, written in several papers, as they desire to have chosen for that employment, and these three or four, more or less, being the number agreed on to be chosen for that time, that have the greatest number of papers written for them shall be deputies for that Court; whose names shall be endorsed on the back side of the warrant and returned into the Court, with the Constable or Constables' hand unto the same.
Indeed the Puritans regarded unconfined democracy as an aberration. The other Orders prescribed regulations for nomination and election and set forth conditions for calling the General Court into special session. It is Ordered, sentenced, and decreed, that when any General Court upon the occasions of the Commonwealth have agreed upon any sum, or sums of money to be levied upon the several Towns within this Jurisdiction, that a committee be chosen to set out and appoint what shall be the proportion of every Town to pay of the said levy, provided the committee be made up of an equal number out of each Town. They were adopted in January 1639 by a number of early puritan towns in Connecticut like Hartford, Windsor, and Wethersfield. Origins Connecticut colonials established their communities after splitting from Massachusetts communities in the early 1630s. It is ordered and decreed, that the deputyes thus chosen shall have power and liberty to appoynt a tyme and a place of meeting togather before any Generall Courte to aduise and consult of all such things as may concerne the good of the publike, as also to examine their owne Elections, whether according to the order, and if they or the gretest prte of them find any election to be illegall they may seclud such for prsent from their meeting, and returne the same and their resons to the Courte: and if yt proue true, the Courte may fyne the prty or prtyes so intruding and the Towne, if they see cause, and giue out a warrant to goe to a newe election in a legall way, either in whole or in prte.