Rhode Island 1636

Joy Conge

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Roger Williams

The emergence of Rhode Island would not be possible without Roger Williams, which was a Protestant theologian who started the colony. He was one of the first few people who believed in the idea of separation of Church and Government. He was interesting in a way that he learned the languages of the natives but was not interested in converting them. He was against the idea of persecuting civilians because of violating Commandments from the Bible. But because of his beliefs that he was not afraid to express, there were many people that disagrees with him and exiled him from Massachusetts to Rhode Island.

Living in Rhode Island

Rhode Island was a safe haven to social outcasts that was chased out of society. These can include criminals, convicts, refugees, and challengers of established beliefs, especially religion. Even Anne Hutchinson encountered the colony and took shelter in it. In a way, it enabled people to live differently than the traditional English ways. Since it is an island, the people's livelihood revolves around whaling and fishing; which can include mackerel, herring, halibut, and bass. Lumbering was also an active industry for building ships and infrastructure. While there were agriculture happening, farming was difficult because of the rocky terrain and poor soil.

Rhode Island Governance

Eight of the colonies had royal governors, three of the colonies had proprietors who elected themselves governor, but Rhode Island was one of the two that elected their governors. And while there was the House of Burgesses and the Mayflower Compact, Rhode Island had The Portsmouth Compact of 1638 where the colony wanted to be independent from the mother country. It was one of the fundamental step to true democracy. Referring to the compact, it implies that the colony was Christian based, but was non-sectarian which shows its religious freedom. It seems to have an effects as in 1663, King Charles II granted a royal charter to the colony. While its neighbors objected to it being a charter because of the characters living in it, it was a breathe of fresh air compared to the other strictly Puritan practice of the other colonies.