History of Rhode Island

When the first Europeans arrived in the 16th century, the Narragansett, Wampanoag ninantic, Nipmuck and Pequeot tribes (all of the Algonquin group) inhabited the region that today occupies the state of Rhode Island. In 1524, the Italian Giovanni di Verrazano, in the service of France, was the first European to sail along the coasts of this region, although some historians believe that it was the Portuguese Miguel of Cortereal who first explored the coasts of Rhode Island in 1511.

In 1636, a group of Massachusetts settlers led by Roger Williams founded Providence, the first permanent settlement on Rhose Island. Williams and the settlers who accompanied him had fled Massachusetts in search of greater religious freedom. Later new settlements were founded: Portsmouth, in 1638; Newport, in 1639 and Warwick, in 1642. The cities mentioned merged in 1644 to form a colony which was called the Providence Plantations, thanks to the authorization granted by the English Parliament. In 1663, King Charles II of England granted Rhode Island and the Providence Plantation Colony a statute that guaranteed the religious freedom of these colonies. and at the same time strengthened self-government. With the massive arrival of new settlers, relations with the Indians deteriorated, this led to a conflict in 1675 known as the War of King Philip.

During the eighteenth century the colony of Rhode Island prospered thanks to plantations, where slaves worked, and to the development of trade with the rest of the North American and Caribbean colonies. The most important products of this era were agricultural products, among them cheese and horse breeding.

During the 18th century, Rhode Island revolted against the motherland. So in 1769, some colonists burned the English ship “Liberty”, anchored in Newport, so it was no surprise that in 1775 a group of men from this colony, led by Stephen Hopkins and Nathanael Greene, organized the army and the army of revolutionaries. Thus in 1776, Rhode Island was the first colony that declared its independence from Great Britain. In response, British troops occupied Newport, a city they controlled until 1779. After the War of Independence, Rhode Island refused to accept the Constitution in disagreement on some of its articles. However, although without a unanimous agreement, the joining the Union took place in 1790. During 1841 there was an important conflict caused by the disproportionate power that landowners had in the legislative chamber. That year Thomas Wilson, a Providence attorney, made an agreement with the people and drafted a new constitution. He was immediately chosen governor by his supporters and tried to seize power. He was later defeated and abandoned Rhode Island, although many of his reforms were carried out, which his supporters promulgated, and which were amalgamated into a new constitution in 1843.

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At the end of the 18th century, Rhode Island’s economic growth was based on the textile industry, thanks to the abundance of rivers to move industries, to the ingenuity of some of the settlers, (such as Samuel Slater who 1790 had developed a hydraulic loom), the abundance of cotton from the southern colonies and the proximity of markets such as Boston and New York. In 1807, Jeffreson’s ban on the import of English textiles further favored the interests of the industrialists of this state. Another activity that began to develop at the end of the eighteenth century was the jewelry industry, thanks to the system invented at that time that allowed gilding. Along with these industries, a thriving whaling industry developed in Newport, Warren and Providence, supporting the production of oils and candles. During the Civil War there were no armed clashes in this state, although more than 24,000 men participated in the conflict, (among them General Ambrose E. Burnside), and its industry was instrumental in supplying the Union armies. The two world wars managed to stimulate the Rhode Island industry thanks to the powerful naval sector. After World War II, many of the state’s industries reconverted into key sectors of its economy today, such as chemicals.

Rhode Island Tourist Attractions

Tourist and cultural sites – Rhode Island stands out for its bibliographic heritage. Among the most important institutions in this sense, the Redwood Library, the University of Providence and the Historical Society of Rhode Island, owner of more than a million documents dating back to the 17th century. Other notable museums are the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, the Naval War College Museum, the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology and the Museum of Primitive Culture.

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The need to preserve Rhode Island’s architectural heritage, numerous associations have sprung up in cities from Providence and Newport especially. Thus, the Newport County Preservation Societyhas been in charge of maintaining and managing old summer homes of important families, such as that of Cornelius Vanderbilt, as well as numerous museums.

Newport is a true tourist mecca. The main attractions of the city are the palaces, almost all located on Bellevue Avenue, in the southeastern part of the city.

Newport is also home to the oldest synagogue in the United States, the Touro Synagogue is an excellent example of 18th-century architecture east of Washington Square, where several historic colonial buildings have been restored, including the Brick Market Museum and Shop, which in colonial times it was the heart of commerce. In the square there is also the White Horse Tavern, perhaps the oldest tavern in America. Another much-loved spot is the Cliff Walk, (5.5km), southwest of downtown: a path, named in the 1975 National Recreation Trail, along the town’s jagged cliffs, offering some fine views over the town’s villas. golden age.

Block Island – Block Island is perfect for those who enjoy the outdoors and activities such as swimming, fishing, sailing, bird watching, canoeing or horseback riding. Nature trails invite hikers and cyclists to get to know the natural beauty of the island. The village of Old Harbor is the main center of the island. The streets are lined with Victorian houses, hotels and shops. South of the country are the red clay cliffs of Mohegan Bluffs and the Southeast Lighthouse, once the most powerful lighthouse in New England.

Curiosity– In Newport important sailing competitions are held, (the famous America’s Cup traditionally began on the docks of this city), and tennis championships, a sport of great tradition in Rhode Island. In this city there is the Tennis Museum and the International Tennis Hall of Fame ‘where national and international heroes of the racket are honored.

Rhode Island State Flag

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