Constitution of 1818 Grants

1818 Commemoration Quick Grants were small, implementation grants for projects that examined the Connecticut Constitution of 1818 and contextualized its lasting impact on our state.

These grants were able to be used to support a wide range of community-oriented programs that explored and commemorated the 200th anniversary of the Constitutional Convention of 1818. Possible themes included, but were not limited to:

  • The events and issues that led to the Constitutional Convention of 1818.
  • The outcomes, both intended and unintended, of the Constitution of 1818. Why did another constitutional convention take place in 1965? Why did adjustments to the 1818 convention take 147 years to occur?
  • As a vehicle to discuss issues relating to voting rights; separation of church and state; religious freedom.
  • As a vehicle to look at Connecticut in 1818 in terms of changing demographics, town life, and people and places related to the convention.


In FY2018, Connecticut Humanities awarded the following grants for projects relating to the Constitution of 1818.

Connecticut Explored (West Hartford), $3,000: “Annotated Poster of the Constitution of 1818” – In partnership with the Connecticut Supreme Court Historical Society, Connecticut Explored produced a two-sided poster that reprinted the complete text of the Constitution of 1818 and included annotations written by members of the Connecticut Supreme Court Historical Society. The posters will be distributed to Connecticut Explored readers inside the Fall 2018 issue and to high school civics teachers for display in their classrooms.

Connecticut Public Affairs Network (Hartford), $2,300: “Commemorating the Constitution of 1818” – The Connecticut Public Affairs Network planned a six-part lecture series with Connecticut Explored on the Constitution of 1818 that provided contextual information, explored the document’s impact on religious freedom and voting rights, and fostered discussion on its lasting impact on citizens of today. The free noontime programs were held at Connecticut’s Old State House (OSH) with themed tours of the OSH, the site of the constitutional convention and a building impacted by the Constitution.

Connecticut Historical Society (Hartford), $3000: “The Constitution of 1818: Debate and Dissent in the Land of Steady Habits” – A three-part lecture series took place at CHS and at UCONN School of Law covering the creation of the constitution of 1818 from different legal and historical perspectives. Speakers, which included Attorney Wesley Horton, Professor Mark Weston Janis, and Professor Richard Kay, covered such topics as the transition from the 1662 Charter to the 1818 Constitution, the debates surrounding the Constitution of 1818 and their relevance to modern Connecticut politics, and the rise of religious toleration in the state.

Avon Free Public Library, $1,250: “From Congregation to Constitution: the separation of church and state in Connecticut”- Avon Free Public Library and Avon Historical Society partnered to offer a series of five programs in the summer, June 2018 to August 2018. The series was titled, “From Congregation to Constitution: The separation of church and state in Connecticut,” and used Original Discontents, a compilation of primary documents by Dr. Richard Buel, as assigned text for patrons. They used the two Congregational Churches in town as locations for two of the programs, with the library hosting the rest.

Civics First, Inc. (Southington), $3,000: “Online Lesson Plans on the Constitution of 1818”- Two distinguished teachers developed lesson plans on the Constitution of 1818 for elementary, middle, and high school teachers. The curriculum will be available to the public online through the Civics First website. The project dovetailed with the Connecticut Explored project and will provide a valuable teaching tool in conjunction with a fold-out poster of the Constitution of 1818.

Westport Historical Society, $1,864: “Rights for All?: Exploring Social Impacts of the 1818 Constitution”- Considering the 1818 Connecticut Constitution as an evolving document, this exhibit examined social parallels between 1818 and 2018, and which elements of the document helped or hindered rights-progress for residents from diverse backgrounds via a lecture series relating to the African American experience in Westport. The exhibit and programming was produced in collaboration with TEAM Westport (Together Effectively Achieving Multiculturalism).

Total Awarded = $14,414


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