By: Ryan Felts
In 1636, Roger Williams, after being banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his religious views, settled at the tip of Narragansett Bay, on land granted to him by the Narragansett tribe. He called the site "Providence" and declared it a place of religious freedom. Rhode Island was the last of the 13 colonies to be founded.
Most people were farmers. Boat,ship construction, and agriculture are the major industries in Rhode Island.
Rhode Islanders were among the first colonists to take action against British rule by attacking British vessels. On May 4, 1776, Rhode Island was the first colony to renounce allegiance to Great Britain and declare independence. Although no major battles took place in the state, Rhode Island regiments participated in every major campaign of the war.
Of course Roger Williams is important because he founded the colony but along with him is Anne Hutchinson who was also banished for her ideas know as antinomianism and fled to Rhode Island with her family.
The first mention of the name Rhode Island is in the letter of Giovanni da Verrazzano, the explorer, dated July 8, 1524, in which he refers to an island near the mouth of Narragansett Bay, and compares the island to the Island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean.
Rhode Island was the first colony to have complete religious freedom. Williams demanded no oaths regarding religious belief, you didn't have to attend the worship if you didn't want to, and no taxes went to support a state church. He even sheltered the abused Quakers even though he didn't agree with their views.
Introduction to America
The most important thing that Rhode Island introduced to America was the idea of complete religious tolerance. No other colony at this time had this type of freedom and they looked down upon Rhode Island for this reason, calling it the "Sewer" colony.
The people who lived in Rhode Island enjoyed blessings on top of religious tolerance the Rhode Islanders managed to achieve remarkable freedom of opportunity. Many of the people who lived in Rhode Island had nothing in common with Roger Williams other than being unwelcomed anywhere else, but that didn't matter because everyone was welcomed.
"History Of Rhode Island." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation,20 Aug 2013. Web. 10 Sep 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Rhode_Island>.
"Rhode Island." Info Please. Pearson Education. Web. 10Sep 2013. <http://www.infoplease.com/us-states/rhode-island.html>.
"History Of Rhode Island." . Rhode Island Government. Web. 10 Sep 2013. <http://sos.ri.gov/library/history/>.