HS – Church & State in the “Land of Steady Habits”

TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Belief, Politics and Government
Theme
Democratic Principles and the Rule of Law; The Struggle for Freedom, Equality, and Social Justice
Town
Hartford, Danbury, Statewide
Related Search Terms
church and state, freedom of religion, Congregational Church, establishment clause, Constitution of 1818, first amendment
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History

Historical Background
There was no separation of church and state in early Connecticut. Blasphemy and worship of “any other God but the Lord God” were listed as capital offenses in the Code of 1650. Parents and masters were required by law to provide their children or apprentices with religious education. Under the Fundamental Orders of 1639, the governor had to be a member of an “approved Congregation,” although voters were not required to be church members in Connecticut Colony (as they were in New Haven Colony at the same time.)

The Congregational Church was the established, official church of the colony. The church even oversaw local schools until 1795. All residents were expected to pay taxes to their local Congregational Church, whether or not they worshiped there. In 1727, the General Assembly passed a law exempting members of the Anglican Church from paying taxes to the Congregational Church and allowing their taxes to be delivered to their local minister instead. Later laws exempted members of other Christian denominations from paying taxes to the “established Society,” as long as they filed a certificate declaring that they attended a dissenting church and contributed to it financially.

By 1790, about two-thirds of the religious societies in the state were Congregationalist, while the other one-third represented other Christian denominations (mostly Anglican/Episcopalian and Baptist.) Jewish congregations were not allowed to incorporate in Connecticut until 1843. The Congregational Church was disestablished in the Connecticut Constitution of 1818, nearly two decades after the First Amendment to the United States Constitution banned Congress from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.”

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

Has there ever been complete separation of church and state in Connecticut?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • Was there religious freedom in colonial Connecticut?
  • What was the relationship between church and state in early Connecticut (1639-1818)?
  • Who were some of the people/groups advocating for a separation of church and state in early Connecticut?
  • To what extent were there successful challenges to the establishment of the Congregational Church in Connecticut prior to 1818?
  • What effect did the Constitution of 1818 have on the relationship between church and state in Connecticut?
  • Is there religious freedom in Connecticut today? In the United States?
  • To what extent is there a separation of church and state today?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Document Set #1:

Capitall Lawes.” Published in The Code of 1650, Being a Compilation of the Earliest Laws and Orders of the General Court of Connecticut: Also, the Constitution, or Civil Compact, Entered into and Adopted by the Towns of Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield in 1638-9. To Which is Added Some Extracts from the Laws and Judicial Proceedings of New Haven Colony Commonly Called Blue Laws. Hartford, 1830. p. 28-29. Original from University of California.
An Act for preventing Disorders in the Worship of God.” May, 1723. Published in Acts and Laws, of His Majesties Colony of Connecticut in New-England: Passed by the General Assembly May 1716 to May 1749. Hartford, 1919. p. 290. Original from University of California.

Document Set #2:

An Act for providing how the Taxes Levied on Professors of the Church of England, for the support of the Gospel, shall be disposed of….” May, 1727. Published in Acts and Laws, of His Majesties Colony of Connecticut in New-England: Passed by the General Assembly May 1716 to May 1749. Hartford, 1919. p.340. Original from University of California.
An Act in Addition to, and for the Alteration of an Act… for the Ease of Such as Soberly Dissent from the Way of Worship, and Ministry, Established by the Laws of this Government.” May, 1729. Published in Acts and Laws, of His Majesties Colony of Connecticut in New-England: Passed by the General Assembly May 1716 to May 1749. Hartford, 1919. p.366. Original from University of California.
An Act concerning the People called Baptists.” October, 1729. Published in Acts and Laws, of His Majesties Colony of Connecticut in New-England: Passed by the General Assembly May 1716 to May 1749. Hartford, 1919. p. 372. Original from University of California.

Document Set #3:

An Act securing equal Rights and Privileges to Christians of every denomination in this State.” Enacted in October 1791. Published in Public Statute Laws of the State of Connecticut, Book I, Hartford, 1808. p. 575. Original from New York Public Library.
An Act for the Support of Literature and Religion.” October 1816. Published in Public Statute Laws of the State of Connecticut, Book II, Hartford, 1808. p. 279. Original from New York Public Library.

Document Set #4:

Danbury, Connecticut, Baptist Association to Thomas Jefferson, October 7, 1801. The Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress.
View a transcription online, courtesy of The Thomas Jefferson Papers, Princeton University.
Thomas Jefferson to Danbury, Connecticut, Baptist Association, January 1, 1802. Image 2 (Copy). The Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress.
View a transcription online, courtesy of The Thomas Jefferson Papers, Princeton University.
Download a transcription of the two letters.

Document Set #5:

Constitution of Connecticut, 1818. Article I: Declaration of Rights, especially Sec. 3-4; Article VII: Of Religion. Connecticut State Library. View the text-only version or download the digitized version from the Connecticut State Library Digital Collections.
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

1) You may choose to have all students in the class examine all of the documents in the toolkit over several sessions, or you may divide the students into five groups, having each group focus on one document set.
2) Introduce the compelling question and assign the primary source documents that will drive the inquiry.
3) Use the Library of Congress Primary Source Analysis Tool worksheet or another technique or organizer of your choice to guide students’ observations, reflections, and generation of questions.
4) Have students share their discoveries and questions based on the document set they have just explored. You may also want to introduce some of the suggested supporting questions listed above.
5) As students investigate additional sources or hear from other groups, return frequently to the list of questions.
6) Conclude with a discussion of the compelling question—supported by evidence from the primary sources—and a recap of any unanswered questions and what additional resources might exist.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Students will research the history of the relationship between church and state in a different colony or region of the United States and compare it to the situation in Connecticut.
  • Students will investigate contemporary issues relating to the separation of church and state or religious freedom in the United States or elsewhere in the world. These could include school prayer; public monuments that are religious in nature; school vouchers; religious profiling; bans on niqabs, burkas, or headscarves; government funding for faith-based organizations or programs; immigration policy; religious persecution worldwide; etc.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles & Books to READ

Grade 5 – The Fundamental Orders: Rules and Laws for Early Colonial Connecticut


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Politics and Government, Colonization and Settlement
Theme
The Role of Connecticut in U.S. History
Town
Hartford, WethersfieldWindsor, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Constitution, Civics, Voting Rights, Government, Freemen, Colonies
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 5 – Early United States History

Historical Background
The Fundamental Orders provided the framework for the government of Connecticut Colony—originally just the towns of Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield—from 1639 to 1662. The document was inspired by Thomas Hooker’s sermon of May 31, 1638, and consisted of a preamble and 11 “orders” (or laws). The Fundamental Orders spelled out when general courts should be held, how the governor and magistrates should be chosen, and who could vote. Although Connecticut was an English colony at the time, the document does not make any reference to the authority of the crown—only to that of God.

The Fundamental Orders identified two types of voters—“admitted inhabitants” and “freemen.” Not everyone living in a town was an “admitted inhabitant.” Paupers, itinerants, or other undesirable newcomers could be “warned off” from a town or refused admission. Adult male “inhabitants” could vote for local officials at town meetings and could also elect deputies to attend the General Court in Hartford. “Freemen” were a more selective group. Only they could serve as deputies and vote for the governor and magistrates. While in New Haven Colony only church members could become freemen, in the Connecticut Colony any adult man of good character with a certain amount of property could be admitted as a freeman, if he was willing and able to travel to Hartford to take the Oath of Loyalty and be sworn in by the General Court. Although there was nothing in Connecticut law until 1814 that said you must be white to be a freeman, there is no evidence that there were freemen of African descent in Connecticut in the 1600s.

It is largely thanks to the Fundamental Orders—considered by some to be the first written constitution in western democratic tradition—that Connecticut is nicknamed the “Constitution State.”

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

What is the best way to organize a government?
How did laws and rules in the colonies both promote and hinder freedom and equality?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • Why did the people of Connecticut create the Fundamental Orders?
  • Why were the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut important and what do they tell us about colonial Connecticut?
  • Who was allowed to vote under the Fundamental Orders? Who was not allowed to vote?
  • Who should be allowed to participate in government/civic life?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Fundamental Orders of 1639. RG 001:001 Records of the Colony of Connecticut, State Archives, Connecticut State Library.

You can view the rest of the original document here:

Full text of the Fundamental Orders is available through The Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy, Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

Download the “What it says…”/”What it means…” Fundamental Orders Cards. Print enough single-sided copies for each student or group of students. Cut each set into two piles of cards—one for “What it says…” and one for “What it means…”
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

1) Open with a discussion of who makes rules and laws that affect the kids in your class. Why do these rules and laws exist? What would happen without rules and laws? How can people work to change rules or laws that they think are unfair?
2) Next, move on to a discussion about who made the rules and laws that governed the various American colonies. (Note: While some colonies were governed directly through a royal charter, Connecticut did not have a charter until 1662.)
3) Introduce the Fundamental Orders as one of the founding documents in Connecticut history, although one that can be difficult to understand. Project the image of at least the first page of the document. Ask students to make observations.
4) Having students working individually, in pairs, or groups, distribute the sets of “What it says…”/”What it means…” cards. Give students time to read and try to match the original language of the document with its meaning.
5) Ask students what they could figure out about how Connecticut Colony was organized and governed in the 1600s. Address some of the supporting or compelling questions and solicit additional questions from the class. Discuss how and where students could find answers.
6) Wrap up by brainstorming some later documents that changed how the colony—or later the state and nation—were governed (e.g. Charter of 1662, United States Constitution, Connecticut Constitution of 1818, Connecticut Constitution of 1965.)

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Based on their study of the Fundamental Orders and other background information (available through the sources listed below or in the Teacher Snapshot above), as well as an investigation of voting requirements today, students will make a graphic organizer comparing who could (and could not) vote in Connecticut in 1639 with who can (and cannot) vote in Connecticut today.
  • Students will research the history of voting rights in the United States and create a timeline showing when different groups achieved (or lost) the right to vote.
  • Working individually or in groups, students will create a charter/constitution for their classroom, including a process for how new rules can be introduced and how rules considered unfair can be challenged.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ

Grade 8 – Who Gets to Vote? History of Voting Rights in Connecticut and the United States


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Politics and Government, Law, Social Movements, Women
Theme
The Struggle for Freedom, Equality, and Social Justice
Town
Statewide
Related Search Terms
Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, African American Rights, Suffrage, Isabella Beecher Hooker, Voting, Reform Movements, Politics, Anti-Suffrage Movement, 15th Amendment, 19th Amendment, Constitution of 1818, Civics
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 8 – United States History

Historical Background
Throughout American history, the right to vote has been available to some people and denied to others. Voting rights have been restricted on the basis of age, race, sex, property value, church membership, ability to pay taxes, and literacy, among other factors. In the 19th century, Connecticut women (notably the Smith sisters in Glastonbury), Native Americans (such as Isaac Glasko of Griswold), and African Americans (such as Bias Stanley and William Lanson of New Haven) all petitioned against injustice on the basis of “no taxation without representation,” but none was ever successful. Twice prior to the passage of the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Connecticut General Assembly approved striking the word “white” from the qualifications of electors in the state Constitution, only to have it voted down by the public (in 1847 and 1865). While two neighboring states—New York and Rhode Island—granted women full or partial voting rights prior to the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, Connecticut women were only granted the right to vote in 1920. The story of disenfranchisement—and the eventual expansion of voting rights—is the story of the changing conceptions of freedom and equality in America.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How have the American conceptions of freedom and equality changed over time?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • Who had the right to vote at different times in American history?
  • What were the arguments in favor of and against expanding the right to vote at different times in American history?
  • Why is it important to vote?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

For the Introduction

“Why We Have Elections” lesson from the Connecticut’s Kid Governor Toolkit.

Connecticut’s Kid Governor℠ is a national award-winning statewide civics program created by the Connecticut Public Affairs Network (CPAN). Download the entire Connecticut’s Kid Governor Toolkit.

Constitution of Connecticut, 1818. Article VI: Of the Qualifications of Electors. View the text-only version or download the digitized version from the Connecticut State Library Digital Collections.

Note: The original 1818 qualifications were amended several times to add a literacy requirement (1855), addition of “in the English language” to the literacy requirement (1897), and strike out the word “white” (1876). In September 1920, the Connecticut General Assembly passed an act extending voting rights to women, in compliance with the 19th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

For Part 1: African American Suffrage

page Download the article “Amendment to the Constitution.” Hartford Daily Courant, October 4, 1847. pg 2.
Negro Suffrage.” Wilmington Journal. (Wilmington, N.C.) November 12, 1847. 3:3. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress. View the entire newspaper page online.
page Download the article “Justice to the Negro.” Hartford Daily Courant, May 26, 1865. pg. 2.
Great News from Connecticut—Negro Suffrage Repudiated.” Daily Ohio Statesman. (Columbus, Ohio) October 5, 1865. 2:1. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress. View the entire newspaper page online.
page Download the article “The Connecticut Election.” Hartford Daily Courant, October 5, 1865. pg. 3.
‘All Men Free and Equal.’ The XVth Amendment Proclaimed. Message to Congress.—Proclamation of the President.” J. H. Benham & Son, Printers, New Haven, Conn., 1870. Library of Congress.

For Part 2: Women’s Suffrage

Declaration and pledge of the women of the United States Declaration and Pledge of the Women of the United States concerning their Right to, and their Use of the Elective Franchise.” Isabella Beecher Hooker, 1871. Connecticut Historical Society. Download a transcription of the document.
The Dirty Pool of Politics—Can We Clean It?” postcard. National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Votes for Women. ‘No Taxation without Representation’” postcard. National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Some Reasons Why We Oppose Votes for Women.” New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, 1910. Connecticut Historical Society.
I want to vote, but my wife won’t let me” postcard. National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center, Smithsonian Institution.
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

This is a three-part activity, with an introductory activity, section on African-American voting rights, and a section on women’s voting rights. You may choose to do some or all of the parts.

Introduction
1) Complete the “Why We Have Elections” lesson, from the Connecticut’s Kid Governor℠ program.
2) Introduce the compelling and initial supporting questions that will guide the inquiry.
3) As a class, examine “Article VI: Of the Qualifications of Electors” from the Connecticut Constitution, 1818.
4) Make a list of the criteria for voting and a list of who/what groups were excluded from voting under Connecticut’s first “official” constitution.
5) Ask students to contribute additional questions that will help guide the inquiry.

Part 1: African American Suffrage
1) Students examine the five newspaper articles, using the analysis technique of your choice. You may wish to use the Library of Congress’s Primary Source Analysis Tool, which prompts students to OBSERVE, REFLECT, and QUESTION.
2) Students share their findings and questions in small groups or with the class.
3) Students examine the “All Men Free and Equal” proclamation and discuss the author, subject, intended audience, and purpose of the document.
4) As a class, revisit the supporting and compelling questions and make a list of any remaining questions that could guide further inquiry.

Part 2: Woman Suffrage
1) Working in small groups or individually, half of the students examine sources #1-3 (pro-suffrage); half of the students examine sources #4-5 (anti-suffrage), using the analysis technique of your choice.
2) Students discuss the author (if identifiable), subject, intended audience, historical context, and purpose of each source.
3) Compile a list of arguments made at the time in favor of and against women’s suffrage. Were these arguments the same or different from those that had been made about restricting or expanding the right to vote to different people/groups in the past?
4) As a class, revisit the supporting and compelling questions and make a list of any remaining questions that could guide further inquiry.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Imagining they are living in Connecticut immediately after the passage of the 15th (1870) or 19th (1920) Amendment to the United States Constitution, students will create a broadside (poster) or newspaper advertisement designed to convince either African Americans or women to vote in the next election. Students should consider and reference the historical context and events that led to the expansion of voting rights to this group.
  • Students will create a contemporary “Get out the Vote” campaign (advertisement, PSA, etc.) to inform potential voters about the importance of civic participation.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ

Save

HS – A Connecticut Lawyer Stands for Human Rights

Edward Dorgan
Lewis S. Mills High School, Burlington


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Law, World War II, Crime and Punishment
Theme
The Role of the United States in World Affairs
Town
Norwich, Statewide
Related Search Terms
World War II, Crimes Against Humanity, Holocaust, Nuremberg, Nazis, War Crimes, Thomas Dodd
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History

Historical Background
In the immediate aftermath of World War II, Thomas Joseph Dodd, a Norwich-born lawyer from Connecticut, served on the United States’ prosecutorial team at the International Military Tribunal (IMT). The tribunal, which the Allied nations assembled in order to try Nazi leaders for war crimes, took place in 1945-46. The IMT, which is often referred to as the Nuremberg trial (after the German city in which the proceedings took place) was an unprecedented effort to hold leaders of a nation state accountable for their wartime actions while also endeavoring to uphold their rights to a fair trial.

Dodd, as the second-ranking lawyer for the US prosecution, supervised the team’s day-to-day management. He, along with chief US prosecutor Robert H. Jackson, also shaped many of the strategies and policies. Additionally, Dodd prepared indictments, presented evidence, and cross-examined defendants.

Excerpted from “Connecticut Lawyer Prosecutes Nazi War Criminals at Nuremberg” by Laura Smith for ConnecticutHistory.org.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

To what extent is the international community responsible for the protection of human rights?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What was the purpose of the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany from 1945-1946?
  • How did the United States assist in the prosecution of Nazi war crimes?
  • What role did Connecticut lawyer Thomas Dodd play in the Nuremberg Trials?
  • What was the significance (legacy) of the Nuremberg Trials?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Select one of the following images:

Thomas Dodd Courtroom Scene. Thomas J. Dodd Papers. University of Connecticut, Archives & Special Collections, University of Connecticut.
Thomas Dodd with Shrunken Head Exhibit. Thomas J. Dodd Papers. University of Connecticut, Archives & Special Collections, University of Connecticut.
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Having studied U.S. involvement in World War II and how the Allies won the war, students will focus on the post-WWII consequences for Nazi military officers charged with “war crimes” and crimes against humanity.

1. Using one of the two suggested photos of Thomas Dodd in the Toolkit as their “question focus,” students will examine the photo and write as many questions as they can.
2. Working in pairs or small groups, students will discuss their questions with classmates, improve their questions, and decide on three questions that will drive their research on Thomas Dodd and the Nuremberg Trials.
3. Working with their partner(s), students will use primary and secondary sources about the Nuremberg Trials (see recommended websites and articles below) to help them answer their supporting questions.
4. Finally, students will revisit the compelling question and discuss the impact/legacy of the Nuremberg trials today.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Students will synthesize and share their research findings and results of their inquiry investigation orally or in writing.
  • Students will investigate later war crime trials/tribunals and write an analysis of the legacy of the International Military Tribunal (the Nuremberg Trials) and Thomas Dodd in protecting/supporting human rights worldwide.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles & Books to READ