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Saturday, 5 August 2017

Rhode Island

Rhode Island's full title is Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. It is the smallest US state with the longest name.

Rhode Island is bordered on the north and east by Massachusetts, on the west by Connecticut, and on the south by Rhode Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. It shares a water border with New York.

Rhode Island is named for the main island in Narragansett Bay.


The English Reformed theologian Roger Williams was expelled in late 1635 by the Puritan leaders from Salem in the colony of Massachusetts because it was believed that he was spreading "new and dangerous ideas". In the spring of 1636, Williams and a number of his followers from Salem began a new settlement on land that the theologian had bought from Massasoit in present-day Rumford, Rhode Island. It became the first nucleus of the colony of Providence Plantation.

The original 1636 deed to Providence, signed by Chief Canonicus. Wikipedia

Williams and others founded Providence Plantation as a free proprietary colony. "Providence" referred to the concept of divine providence, and "plantation" was an English term for a colony.

The first American Baptist church was established at the Providence Plantation in 1639, when Roger Williams was baptized before proceeding to baptize eleven others.

At the time Providence Plantation was a safe haven for those such as Baptists whose were persecuted for their beliefs. It was a pure democracy with complete religious liberty. Williams believed that the conflicts between different religious groups that had been going on since the Reformation were a warning from God against mixing religion and politics.

Roger Williams returned from England with the First Charter from the English Parliament for "Providence Plantations" in July 1644. Other dissenters moved to the area and by the 1650s there were four established settlements on what was to be Rhode Island.

Return of Roger Williams with the First Charter  for "Providence Plantations"

Following the 1660 restoration of royal rule in England, it was necessary to gain a Royal Charter from King Charles II. Charles was a Catholic sympathizer in staunchly Protestant England, and he approved of the colony's promise of religious freedom. On July 8, 1663 the English monarch granted the request with the Royal Charter of 1663, uniting the four settlements together into the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

The Rhode Island Royal Charter outlined many freedoms for the inhabitants of that colony and was the guiding document of the government of Rhode Island over a period of 180 years. It was described by one historian as "the grandest instrument of human liberty ever constructed."

Rhode Island Royal Charter 

Leading figures in the colony were involved in the 1776 launch of the American Revolutionary War. On May 4, 1776, Rhode Island became the first of the 13 colonies to renounce its allegiance to the British Crown.

On May 29, 1790, Rhode Island became the last of the original United States' colonies to ratify the Constitution and was admitted as the 13th U.S. State. It only ratified the United States constitution after being threatened with a trade embargo by the rest of the United States.

Providence in the mid-19th century


Rhode Island's official nickname is "The Ocean State", a reference to the large bays and inlets that amount to about 14% of its total area.

Texas is about 165 times larger than Rhode Island. It's no urban myth that Rhode Island can fit into some ranches in Texas.

Rhode Island boasts 20 percent of the U.S.'s historical landmarks.

The state of Rhode Island gets 3% bigger at low tide.

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