Tuesday, November 10, 2009

State Study: Rhode Island

Yep...behind again. I'm nothing if not slowly persistent :o)

Rhode Island is the last state for the New England State portion of our United States History Walk. I like it's 'real' name...The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Kinda neat, heh?

The Charter of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, July 15, 1663 from Yale law School's Avalon Project historical documents
Rhode Island Secretary of State info page
Visit Rhode Island site
Rhode Island Today
some interesting facts and figures about R.I.
State symbols, courtesy of the R. I. state government
Rhode Island's 39 towns and cities....just 39 of them...
KidInfo page on Rhode Island This is a really fun page worth bookmarking and visiting again
Information via 50 States site
Academic Kids Encyclopedia...lots of information about the founding colonies plus just about every other subject you might be interested in, from math to science. Really neat site!
Have Fun with History site...between this and the Academic Kids one, we will be visiting quite often for idea starters!
The New England Colonies pages
USA History - Rhode Island it starts here, with the colonization of the New England Colonies. Just keep moving through the pages...there's a lot of good information here.
I'm not a great Wikipedia fan, but there is good stuff to be found, providing you search father and back it up with other sites.

You always have Colonial House from Netflix, but if memory serves, it wasn't all that family friendly really...just a note.

We'll be looking for more interesting books to add in, as usual. And then there's all the bunny-trail fun stuff...like a study on violets, the state flower or the red maple, its state tree...the surf surrounding R.I, the ocean state...the Rhode Island red or the striped bass...the quahaug, the state sea shell...they held the first open golf tourney, had the first 'discount' department store, has the Tennis Hall of Fame...they even have the world's largest bug (eeewwww....but, ok...) the big blue termite is 58 feet long (tourism watch-out!). The Industrial Revolution even started there...with Samuel Slater's water-powered cotton mill.

There's plenty of keep one occupied with fun and study :o)

Rhode Island History, Population, and Other State Facts

Many of the facts you're looking for about Rhode Island are here. You can find a brief history of Rhode Island and get a few interesting details, like population. Feel free to use this information for your school projects.

Rhode Island History

Rhode Island Colony was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams after being banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his religious views. He settled at the tip of Narragansett Bay near the Mashassuck River, calling the site Providence and declaring it as a place of religious freedom. Historically, the land of Rhode Island is unique because it was purchased twice, once from the King of England, and once from the Native American tribes which lived on the land.

On May 18, 1652 Rhode Island passed the first law in North America making slavery illegal. This is particularly intersting since Rhode Island was the location of the first slaves in the English colonies and the colony actively participated in the early days of the slave trade.

Charles II of England granted John Clarke a Royal Charter on July 8, 1663 to Rhode Island. Under the terms of the charter, only landowners could vote. Before the industrial revolution, when most people were employed as farmers, this was considered democratic. As the industrial revolution moved large numbers of workers into the cities, making a class of people who were permanently landless, and therefore voteless class developed. By 1829, 60% of the state's free white males were ineligible to vote.

Several attempts had been made to address this problem, but none passed. In 1842 Thomas Dorr drafted a liberal constitution which was passed by popular referendum. However the conservative sitting governor, Samuel Ward King, opposed the people's wishes, leading to the Dorr Rebellion. Although this collapsed, a modified version of the constitution was passed in November, which allowed any white male to vote that owned land or could pay a $1 poll tax.

Rhode Island was the last state to ratify the United States Constitution (May 29, 1790) and did so only under the threat of being declared a foreign nation and having its exports taxed.

If you want more about Rhode Island history, check here.

Law and Government

The capital of Rhode Island is Providence and its current governor is Donald Carcieri (Republican). Its two U.S. Senators are Jack Reed (Democrat) and Lincoln Chafee (Republican). Its two U.S. Congressmen are Patrick J. Kennedy (Democrat, District #1) and Jim Langevin (Democrat, District #2).


Rhode Island's 1999 total gross state product was $33 billion, placing it 45th in the nation. Its 2000 per capita Personal Income was $29,685, 16th in the nation. Rhode Island's agricultural outputs are nursery stock, vegetables, dairy products, and eggs. Its industrial outputs are fashion jewelry, fabricated metal products, electric equipment, machinery, shipbuilding and boatbuilding, and tourism.


According to the 2000 census, its population was 1,048,319. The largest city is Providence with a population of over 100,000. Warwick, the location of the state airport, has a population of 85,000.


Smithfield, Rhode Island is home of Bryant College, a prestigious business school; Providence, the oldest and largest city in the state, is the home of Providence College and Brown University.

Rhode Island has several state colleges and universities, the University of Rhode Island, located in Kingston in the southern part of the state and Rhode Island College in North Providence. Johnson and Wales University is known for its culinary arts and hospitality schools, and the Naval War College in Newport produces graduates for the US Navy.

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Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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