Rhode Island

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  • This article was last edited in 2014. Some of its information may be outdated.
Rhode Island
Capital Providence
Nickname The Ocean State
Official Language None
Governor Gina Raimondo, D
Senator Jack Reed, D
(202) 224-4642
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D
(202) 224-2921
Ratification of Constitution/or statehood May 29, 1790 (13th)
Flag of Rhode Island Motto: "Hope"
Rhode Island Capitol building.

Rhode Island is the smallest U.S. state in land area (48 miles long by 37 miles wide[1]) and one of the original thirteen colonies. Its area is 1,214 square miles, less than one-seventh the size of New Jersey.

Its official name is actually "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations."[2] So, even though it is the smallest state in the United States, it has the longest name.

Providence, the capital of Rhode Island, was founded by Roger Williams. It was the first government in the world to be founded on the principles of religious liberty, and separation of church and state. This was very different from the situation in Boston, which was ruled by the Puritan theocracy. Quakers, for example, were welcome in Rhode Island but not permitted in Boston. For a while the Quakers controlled the colony of Rhode Island, and took an active part in King Phillips War.

The state Constitution of Rhode Island, like all of the other 50 states, acknowledges God or our Creator or the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe. It says:

We, the people of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and to transmit the same, unimpaired, to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution of government.

Elected Officials



Interesting facts about Rhode Island

  • Shortly after the American Revolution, Rhode Island imposed high taxes in interstate commerce and required its residents to use paper money
  • Rhode Island is the only state that still celebrates Victory Day (victory over Japan).[3]
  • Rhode Island was the first of the original thirteen colonies to declare its independence from Great Britain
  • Rhode Island merchants controlled between 60% and 90% of the African slave trade to America after the American Revolution[4]
  • The two state capitals in the United States that are the closest to each other are Providence, Rhode Island and Boston, Massachusetts (42 miles; 50 miles by highway).
  • According to a report by the Communications Workers of America, Rhode Island has the fastest average broadband speed of any state.[5]

Notable Rhode Islanders

See also


  1. http://www.visitrhodeisland.com/regions/index.aspx
  2. http://www.sec.state.ri.us/library/riinfo/riinfo/knowrhode
  3. http://www.sec.state.ri.us/library/riinfo/riinfo/knowrhode
  4. http://www.slavenorth.com/rhodeisland.htm
  5. http://www.projo.com/business/content/bz_rhode_island_internet_speeds_07-06-07_NF6765T.2677fa3.html