Rhode Island State Facts, Symbols and History

Rhode Island Fast Facts

Capital: Providence (popularity). 172,459 (2008 est.)

Rhode Island Population: 1,050,292 ( 2012 est.) (443rd)

Rhode Island Quarter: The Rhode Island quarter is the third quarter released in the 2001 series of United States Mint’s 50 State Quarters® Programs.Rhode Island was admitted to the Union on May 29, 1790, becoming our National 13th State.The quarter honors “Ocean State” and features a vintage sailboat gliding across the famous Narragansett Bay with a picture of Pell Bridge in the background. Sailing is Rhode Island’s most popular sport, thus being called the “sailing capital” of the world.

Language: English, others

Largest Cities: (by population) Providence, Warwick, Cranston, Pawtucket, East Providence, Woonsocket

Name: Rhode Island was named “Roodt Eylandt” (red island) by the Dutch explorer, Adrien Block, referring to the red clay that lined the shores.

Statehood: May 29, 1790 (13th state)

Rhode Island symbols

  • Animal: Rhode Island Red
  • Fish: striped bass
  • Flag of Rhode Island
  • Flower: purple
  • Fruit: Rhode Island Apple Gardening
  • Mineral: bowenite
  • Motto: “I hope”
  • Nicknames: (most used) Ocean State; Little Rhody
  • Shell: Quahaug
  • Soil: Narraganset
  • Song: “Rhode Island is for me”
  • State seal
  • Wood: Red Maple

Rhode Island (The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations) is the smallest US state in terms of area, located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Rhode Island was one of 13 American colonies that rebelled against England. Initially, the state consisted of two parts: Providensky Plantations (the mainland of the state, the largest city is Providence) and Rhode Island (the island part, the largest city is Newport).

The Rhode Island Colony was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, after he was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony because of his religious views. He settled on a headland bordering Narragansett Bay near the Moshasack River, naming the place Providence and declaring freedom of worship for the Baptist settlers there.

On May 18, 1652, Rhode Island passed the first law in North America to outlaw slavery.

King Charles II of England granted John Clark a Royal Charter for Rhode Island. The only one of the 13 colonies, Rhode Island received complete freedom of religion. The right to vote was given only to landowners, which was quite democratic for the time, since most of the settlers were farmers. With the beginning of the industrial revolution, a large class of workers formed in the colony, who did not have the right to vote. By 1829, 60% of free white men were in this category.

In 1841, Rhode Island was the only US state where not all free men had the right to vote. The state assembly refused to pass the necessary amendments, which caused armed riots in the state. The riots were put down, but the assembly was forced to pass a new state constitution that gave the vote to all men who could pay the $1 poll tax.

Rhode Island was the last of the original 13 colonies to adopt the US Constitution (May 29, 1790).

The capital of Rhode Island is Providence.

State population: 1,051,302 (data for 2011)

Rhode Island is home to several universities, including the world-famous Brown University and the rising Johnson & Wales University, as well as the Rhode Island School of Design and Providence College. In addition, the state has a public university, the University of Rhode Island.

Rhode Island State Symbols

Rhode Island State Facts, Symbols and History
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