1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Connecticut

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CONNECTICUT (see 6.951) had in 1920 a pop. of 1,380,631, as compared with 1,114,756 in 1910. The increase for the decade was 23.0%, as compared with 14.9% for the whole United States, and was the highest percentage of increase for Connecticut of any decade up to that time. In 1900 the pop. per sq. m. was 181.9; in 1910, 231.3; in 1920, 286.4.

The populations and percentages of increase of the important cities during the years 1910-20 are as follows:—

1920. 1910.  Increase 
per cent.

 Bridgeport 143,538  102,054  40.6 
 Bristol 20,620  9,572  116.4 
 Hartford 138,036  98,915  39.6 
 Meriden 29,842  27,265  9.5 
 New Britain 59,316  43,916  35.1 
 New Haven  162,519   133,605  21.6 
 New London  25,688  19,695  30.7 
 Norwalk 27,700  6,954  299.0 
 Norwich 22,304  20,367  9.5 
 Stamford 35,086  25,138  39.6 
 Torrington 20,623  15,483  33.2 
 Waterbury 91,410  73,141  25.0 

Agriculture.—In 1900 40.1% of the population was classed as rural by the census; in 1910 34.4%, and 1920 32.2%. The farming population was actually somewhat smaller than even these figures would signify. In 1900 the farms of the state numbered 26,948, in 1910 26,815 and in 1920 22,655, a loss of 4,160 in the latter decade. During the decade 1900-10, the state lost 126,295 ac. held in farms, or 5.5% of the total area of the state. Moreover, 76,273 ac. of improved land, 7.2% of the total, were allowed to go back to forest.

In spite of this decline, the total value of farm property increased by 40.7% during the decade. In 1910 the average value of land per ac. was $33.03; in 1920 it was $53.28. The most important crops of the state are hay, corn and tobacco. The rapid growth of the cities has stimulated dairying, market gardening and egg raising. During the World War a Farm Bureau was introduced into each of the counties of Connecticut. It is one of the most important factors in the state, making for better farming and the solution of the local agricultural problems.

Manufactures.—Connecticut is one of the preëminent manufacturing states. From 1909 to 1914 the increase in the total of its manufactured products was 11.3%. In 1914 this value was $545,47l,517. Connecticut, although the 46th state in size, was in 1914 12th in the value of its manufactured goods. The per capita value was $454 as compared with $245 for the United States. In 1914 the state contained 4,104 manufacturing establishments employing an average number of 226,264 wage-earners, and was the 8th among the states in number of wage-earners. The five most important branches of manufacturing were the following:—

Products Manufactured.  No. Establishments.  Value of
 Brass, Bronze and copper goods 67 $69,353.103 
 Foundry and machine-shop products  388  67,009,127 
 Cotton goods 50 30,808,918 
 Silk goods 44 30,591,825 
 Firearms and ammunition 13 25,657,797 

The outbreak of the World War speedily brought profound changes to Connecticut manufacturing. Inevitably, large war orders of the belligerent nations were placed in Connecticut. Not only did munitions plants grow, but many other factories benefited by making accessory parts such as springs for shells, bases for machine-guns, etc. A rough measure of the effect of the new stimulus is to be found in the building projects of the state. During the years 1913 and 1914, 254 manufacturers constructed 386 buildings at a cost of $6,288,230. In 1915 and 1916, 294 manufacturers built 627 buildings at a cost of $18,277,825, nearly three times the amount of the preceding two years. The expansion continued during 1917 and 1918, when 386 manufacturers engaged in 738 building operations at a cost of $13,837,802, but in the summer of 1920 it came practically to an end as a result of the post-war depression setting in at that time. In May 1918 Gov. Holcomb stated that 80% of Connecticut manufacturing was “directly or indirectly engaged in producing munitions, rifles, machine-guns, clothing and other articles used by the army; and we have at least five plants within our borders where ships and power-boats are being constructed.” With the signing of the Armistice and the cancelling of war orders, Connecticut factories began to reorganize. The readjustment to a peace footing was made easier by the great demand for manufactured goods that characterized the year 1919, and had been practically completed throughout the state when the depression of 1920-1 brought a considerable slowing up of productive effort. The growth of manufacturing, coupled with the increase in the cost of living that followed the outbreak of the World War, brought labour troubles to Connecticut. Before the war the wage-earners of the state were not well organized, labour organizations totalling in 1912 59,895 members. The bulk of these organizations were among the skilled trades and the transportation workers. Factory employees were in general not unionized. In 1911 and 1912 the state suffered only 48 strikes and in the next two years 45. In 1915 and 1916, the years of the great expansion, there were 422 strikes, involving approximately 68,000 employees. In the next two years there were 183 strikes involving 33,391 employees. From that time until 1921 strikes diminished in number until the depression of 1920-1, when because of wide-spread unemployment they practically ceased. The rapid changes in the manufacturing situation from 1918 to 1921 and the constant shifting of the wage-earning population made it difficult to collect statistics of value regarding the labour organizations. In 1918, however, there were 327 labour organizations in the state, mostly among the skilled trades and transportation workers. The most important result of the war-time labour disturbances was a general increase in wages. The attempt to increase the number, size and power of unions met with but indifferent success.

Government.—In 1911-2, the 34th and 35th, and in 1915-6 the 36th, amendments to the Connecticut constitution were adopted. The first stated the conditions under which the lieutenant-governor was to take the place of the governor; the second provided that the General Assembly should adjourn not later than the first Wednesday after the first Monday of June; the third allowed the passage by the General Assembly of a law to cover payment of mileage to the legislators. In 1914 a workmen's compensation law was passed, which applies to all industries in which five or more persons are employed. Compensation for total disability is one-half the employee's weekly wages, compensation to be not less than $5.00 nor more than $14.00 per week, and in no case to run for more than 520 weeks; compensation for partial temporary disability not more than half the weekly wages, compensation not to run more than 112 weeks; permanent partial disability, at same rates; in case of death, graded benefits. The law is enforced by Compensation Commissioners,

appeals from whose findings may be made to the superior court of the county. In the physical examinations for the draft during the World War, 20.79% of those examined were disqualified for physical disability, Connecticut being the seventh highest state in this percentage. On investigation it was found that many of the disabling disorders were due to preventable conditions in childhood. The result was the appointment of a commission to report a programme for child welfare. The commission reported in 1921. It was found at the same time that 37.21 % of all Connecticut registrants under the draft law were aliens. Only one state had a higher percentage. The result of this situation was a vigorous movement for the Americanization of aliens.

Education.—Beginning July 15 1909, the organization of public education changed from the district type to that of town management. There were in 1921 less than ten townships in the state that had not availed themselves of the law. Under township management all schools of the township are under the direction of the town school committee. Appropriations for the support of the schools are made at a town meeting. The plan has resulted in better and more uniform advantages for school children. Compulsion was made more rigid by the enactment providing that after Sept. 1 1911 no employment certificate of any description could be accepted by any employer except such as were issued by the State Board of Education. On July 1 1917 a law went into effect providing that all new public-school teachers pay annually 5% of their salary into a pension fund. At the end of 35 years (changed to 30 in 1919), the last 15 of which must be within the state, or on reaching the age of 60, the teacher might retire and receive the annuity which his or her contributions and accrued interest would warrant. To this the state would add as a pension a sum equal to the annuity. Special provisions were made to apply to public-school teachers already in service at the time of passage. In 1911 a charter was granted for a woman's college at New London, and in 1914 it was opened as the Connecticut Woman's College, with Dr. F. H. Sykes as president.

In 1920 the corporation of Yale University announced the establishment of a Department of Education in the graduate school, designed among other things to train “superintendents, supervisors, principals, directors of special activities, research specialists, normal and college instructors in education and class-room teachings.” For further information regarding Yale University, see that heading.

History.—In 1913 it became known to the public that the financial condition of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford railway was unsound. The dependence of the people of the state on the road was made clear by a statement of the road's president, Mr. Howard Elliott, that in 1913 the road controlled 942 of the 1,000 m. of steam railroad in the state, and in addition was interested in separately operated trolley lines aggregating 605 m. out of a total of 911 miles. This dependence was augmented by the fact that (to quote Gov. Holcomb) “the securities of this corporation are quite largely owned and held by women and children, in trust funds, and by our insurance companies who purchased them as a safe, conservative investment.” The change in the financial affairs of the railway brought its stock rapidly from far above par to much below. The suffering caused was general and very considerable. Public opinion forced a change of management.

When the United States was finally compelled to sever diplomatic relations with the Imperial German Government (Feb. 3 1917), Gov. Holcomb requested the Legislature (Feb. 6 1917) to provide for a census of men of military age, the object being to determine not only the number of such men but their occupations, previous military training, nationality and whether or not they were citizens. It was the pioneer military census within the United States and served as a model for those of other states. The Home Guard of Connecticut, formed March 9 1917, rose to 10,000 men. During the summer of 1917 the 26th Division was organized from the New England National Guard. Of the units in that organization the following came from Connecticut: the 1st and and Conn. Infantry became part of the 102nd Infantry; two batteries of Conn. Field Artillery became part of the 103rd Field Artillery; the Conn. Cavalry became part of the 101st Machine-Gun Battalion; and the 1st Conn. Field Hospital and 1st New Haven Field Hospital became part of the 101st Sanitary Train. The division established its headquarters in France at Neufchateau, Oct. 31 1917. It participated, among other actions, in the Aisne-Marne, the St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne offensives. During the formation of the 26th Division, preparations were being made for the National Army. The 1st Provisional Training Regiment was organized at Plattsburg, N. Y., May 15 1917. To this regiment Connecticut sent her officer candidates to train for commissions. On Aug. 25 1917 the 76th Division was organized at Camp Devens, Ayer, Mass., its officers below the rank of lieutenant-colonel being drawn almost entirely from the 1st Provisional Training Regiment. The bulk of the drafted men from Connecticut went originally to this division. In July 1918 the division established headquarters in St. Amand-Mont-Rond, France, and became the 3rd Depot Division. The number of Connecticut men drafted under the Selective Service Act was 34,574; this figure does not include the numerous volunteers in the armies of the United States or of the Allies. The number who died were 1,305. The amount subscribed by Connecticut in the five War Loans was $437,476,103, an amount $137,557,803 above the state's quota.

Connecticut failed to ratify either the 18th (Prohibition) Amendment or the 19th (Woman Suffrage) Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The governors of Connecticut in the years following 1909 were: Frank B. Weeks, 1909-11; Simon E. Baldwin, 1911-5; Marcus H. Holcomb, 1915-21; Everett J. Lake, 1921-

Bibliography.—For recent works on Connecticut see H. W. Waldradt, The Financial History of Connecticut from 1789 to 1861, Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, March 1912; P. W. Bidwell, Rural Economy in New England at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century, ibid. April 1916; C. M. Douglas, The Government of the State of Connecticut, revised and rewritten by Lewis S. Mills, agent of the Conn. State Board of Education (1917); R. J. Purcell, Connecticut in Transition (1918); C. M. Andrews, The Fathers of New England and Colonial Folkways in The Chronicles of America (1919); M. Newcomer, Separation of State and Local Revenues in the United States (a comparative study of eight states, including Connecticut) (1917); H. Elliott, Connecticut and the New Haven Road (1913).

(R. H. G.)