What were the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut and who wrote them?

1 Answer
Jun 16, 2017

The fundamental Orders of Connecticut were an early form of a constitution enumerating basic civil rights. It was written by the citizens of Connecticut and a major John Mason.


The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut are considered by some to be the earliest State Consititution. The citizens of the cities of Wethersfield , Windsor and Hartford Connecticut, wanted a means of self rule. The cities were too far from the government in Boston MA. to be ruled easily from there.

The citizens sat down and wrote out a constitution for self government. The principle author seems to have been a Major John Mason. When all the people agreed with what was written the citizens of the three cities ratified the document. The document was then sent to Boston where it was approved.

Just before the American revolution the British government revoked the Charter and substituted government by a royal governor. The people of Connecticut hid the document in an oak tree, later called the Charter Oak.

The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut was written by the people that it was intended to govern. It was an early exercise in constitutional democracy.