While Europeans explored the area as early as 1614, a group of English Puritans led by Thomas Hooker founded the Connecticut colony in 1635 or 1636. English settlements at Windsor, Wethersfield and Hartford united in 1639 to create the constitution known as the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut.
Connecticut went on to play a huge role during the Revolutionary War as a large supplier of soldiers and weapons to the Continental Army. Referred to as the arsenal of the nation, Connecticut would later become one of the most industrialized territories in the country. On Jan. 9, 1788, Connecticut became the fifth state admitted to the Union.