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Reflecting its theocratic roots, the New Haven Colony forbid the establishment of other churches, whereas the Connecticut Colony permitted them.

Economic disaster struck Newhaven in 1646, when the town sent its first fully loaded ship of local goods back to England.

New Haven was founded in 1638 by English Puritans, and a year later eight streets were laid out in a four-by-four grid, creating what is commonly known as the "Nine Square Plan".

The central common block is the New Haven Green, a 16-acre (6 ha) square, and the center of Downtown New Haven.

By 1640, "Qunnipiac's" theocratic government and nine-square grid plan were in place, and the town was renamed Newhaven.

(However, the area to the north remained Quinnipiac until 1678, when it was renamed Hamden.) The settlement became the headquarters of the New Haven Colony, distinct from the Connecticut Colony previously established to the north centering on Hartford.

It was their hope to set up a theological community with the government more closely linked to the church than the that in Massachusetts, and to exploit the area's excellent potential as a port.

Later a third judge, John Dixwell, joined the others.It never reached its destination, and its disappearance stymied New Haven's development versus the rising trade powers of Boston and New Amsterdam.In 1660, Colony founder John Davenport's wishes were fulfilled, and Hopkins School was founded in New Haven with money from the estate of Edward Hopkins.The city served as co-capital of Connecticut from 1701 until 1873, when sole governance was transferred to the more centrally located city of Hartford. New Haven had the first public tree planting program in America, producing a canopy of mature trees (including some large elms) that gave New Haven the nickname "The Elm City".New Haven has since billed itself as the "Cultural Capital of Connecticut" for its supply of established theaters, museums, and music venues. Before Europeans arrived, the New Haven area was the home of the Quinnipiac tribe of Native Americans, who lived in villages around the harbor and subsisted off local fisheries and the farming of maize.

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