The word "Connecticut" is a French corruption of the Native American word quinetucket, which means "beside the long, tidal river".
Reverend Thomas Hooker and the Rev. Samuel Stone led a group of about 100 who, in 1636, founded the settlement of Hartford, named for Stone's place of birth: Hertford, in England. Called today "the Father of Connecticut," Thomas Hooker was a towering figure in the early development of colonial New England. He was one of the great preachers of his time, an erudite writer on Christian subjects, the first minister of Cambridge, Massachusetts, one of the first settlers and founders of both the city of Hartford and the state of Connecticut, and cited by many as the inspiration for the "Fundamental Orders of Connecticut," cited by some as the world's first written democratic constitution that established a representative government.
The state took a leading role in the industrial revolution of the United States, with its many factories establishing a worldwide reputation for advanced machinery. The educational and intellectual establishment was strongly led by Yale College, by scholars such as Noah Webster and by writers such as Mark Twain, who lived in Connecticut after establishing his association with the Mississippi River. Many Yankees left the farms to migrate west to New York and the Midwest in the early nineteenth century. Meanwhile, the heavy demand for labor in the nineteenth century attracted Irish, English and Italian immigrants, among many others, to the medium and small industrial cities. In the early 20th century, immigrants came from eastern and southern Europe. While the state produced few nationally prominent political leaders, Connecticut has usually been a swing state closely balanced between the parties. In the 21st century, the state is known for production of jet engines, nuclear submarines, and advanced pharmaceuticals.
Massachusetts on the north, Rhode Island on the east, the Atlantic Ocean on the South, and New York on the west.