Connecticut is referred to as the "Constitution State" due to the fact that it has the first written constitution as recognized by many historians. On 24 January 1639, the Connecticut Colony council passed a resolution to adopt a system of government known as the Fundamental Order of 1638/39. It wasn't until a historian from Connecticut, John Fiske, pushed for the establishment of the "Constitution State" nickname in the late 1950s, that the state officially adopted the slogan. The General Assembly passed a resolution in 1959 that mandated the motto.
The "Constitution State" nickname was made possible by the desire of a number of Massachusetts residents to seek religious and social freedom during the period of Anglican reform in the British colonies. A section of land was chosen by the Massachusetts General Court for settlement; however, it was under dispute with other colonists regarding ownership rights. In response to this problem, a group of magistrates from the proposed region in Connecticut were assembled to settle the dispute. Known as the March Commission, it organized under the leadership of Roger Ludlow, widely known as one of the main founders of Connecticut.
This commission was only scheduled to last until March 1636, at which time a legal system was to be put in place throughout the region. Due to the fact that the organization was so successful in resolving the land dispute and a push to build an ecclesiastical society, the group stayed in power and began the process of self-governing the colony, a fact unique during the era. Ludlow took it on himself to announce to Massachusetts that it had the desire to self-govern. As such, he drafted the Fundamental Orders of 1638/39 as the first constitution in the colonies. This effectively established Connecticut as the Constitution State and an independent entity.
One of the unique factors in the document is the fact that it established many of the fundamentals later used in the drafting of the United States Constitution as well as many of the future democratic republics throughout the world. The Fundamental Orders deemed that the government was based on the rights of individuals, meaning it served the greater good through the will of the people rather than a divine right. Every free male was mandated the right to elect representatives through a process of secret ballot. The document also outlined the duties and responsibilities of the government, while also addressing its limitations on certain matters, a principle that still holds true in constitutions throughout the country and the world.