Rhode Island

Rhode Island is one of the New England states. It is the smallest state in the USA. It borders Massachusetts to the north and east, Connecticut to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south.



1 Providence - State capital, largest city and major business center. Home of Brown University, one of the most prestigious (and most expensive) universities in the USA
2 Central Falls – It only covers one square mile and is one of the most densely populated cities in the world.
3 East Greenwich – Founded in 1677, this historic Main Street district offers charming shops, fine dining, and a community theater.
4 Narragansett – Best New England Beaches.
5 Newport - on Aquidneck Island. Once the favorite city of America's elite, it's famed for yachting, mansions and jazz. Newport was where every coke, steel, and railroad baron had to be represented with a castle-like mansion in the 19th and 20th centuries
6 Pawtucket - Birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution.
7 South Kingstown, including the villages of Kingston, West Kingston, Matunuck, Peacedale and Wakefield.
8 Warwick - Home to TF Green Airport, a shopping center and "Gaspee Days" is an easy (and cheaper) place to land from your flight and hire a hotel room and car.
9 Woonsocket – Once known as "Little Quebec," it has the largest French-speaking population in Rhode Island. French is rarely heard today: it has been replaced by English, Spanish and Portuguese.


Other destinations

Fort Adams that stands in Rhode Island is one of the most impressive American forts and a true feat of military engineering.


Getting here

By plane
Rhode Island has an airport in the centrally located city of Warwick, the 1 T.F.Green Airport wikipediacommons (IATA: PVD), in addition to various domestic American airports, Condor also flies to it from Frankfurt in the summer season. The airport also has a train connection, so that you can continue your journey without a car.

The nearest international airport with a wide range of destinations is Boston Logan International Airport (IATA: BOS), from which onward travel by rail is also possible.



Marine animals and seafood play a big part in the local cuisine. There are countless fish restaurants that want to cook for guests in excellent quality. Clam cake or clam chowder is a must-try when visiting Rhode Island.

Clam cakes (also known as clam fritters) are deep-fried mixtures of chopped clams (usually quahog) with various other ingredients that are fried into balls. The dough consists of flour, milk, clam juice, eggs and baking powder. They are particularly popular during clamming season (September 15th to May 15th) when mussels are in abundance. In season, private individuals are allowed to dig for mussels and oysters on the beach. Clam cakes are often sold as finger food in take-out shops. A meal usually consists of several cakes, french fries and cole slaw (coleslaw). Often there is also clam chowder (mussel soup).



Rhode Island has some great bars, a few brewpubs, a few wineries and a brewery or two.

Newport is home to the Newport Storm Brewery. The local brew can be sampled at many locations throughout RI. Pawtucket has become the brewing center of the state.

Rhode Island law requires beer and wine to be sold only in liquor stores, not in supermarkets or convenience stores. However, the liquor stores are also open on Sundays.


Physical geography

It has an area of 4,002 km². It is bordered by Massachusetts to the north and east, and by Connecticut to the west. On the southern border is an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean that it shares with the state of New York.

Nicknamed the Ocean State, it is home to numerous beaches. It is mostly flat, the average altitude is 60 m above sea level. n. m. The highest point in the state is Jerimoth Hill, 247 meters above sea level. n. m.

It is located in the New England province of the Appalachian region and has two distinct natural regions. Eastern Rhode Island, containing the Narragansett Bay lowlands. And Western Rhode Island, which is part of the New England Highlands. Narragansett Bay is very characteristic of the topography of the State. Block Island is 9 km from the southern coast of the State. Inside the bay there are approximately 30 islands. The largest is Aquidneck Island, which shares municipalities with Newport, Middletown and Portsmouth. The second largest is Conanicut, the third Providence.

A very rare type of rock called cumberlandite can be found in Rhode Island. Initially, there were two known mineral deposits in the State, but since they could be exploited through the use of gunpowder, one of the deposits was almost completely exhausted during the Civil War.


It has a continental oceanic climate, which combines warm, rainy summers with very cold winters. The average temperature ranges between 28 °C and -7 °C. The highest temperature recorded was 42°C in June 2006, in Providence. The lowest was -25°C in Coventry on 6 February 1996.



Its name originally applied to the largest island in Narragansett Bay, also known as Aquidneck. The most widespread explanation considers that the name is due to the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano who, upon discovering the nearby Block Island, called it Rhode Island, due to its similarity in shape with the Greek island of Rhodes. Later explorers, mistaking the island, applied it to Aquidneck Island.

Another hypothesis holds that the name comes from Roodt Eylandt, "Red Island" (in 17th century Dutch), given to the island by the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block due to the reddish color of its land.



Colonial period

In 1524, the Italian navigator Giovanni da Verrazzano crossed the mid-Atlantic coast of North America, in search of a completely aquatic route that would allow him to reach China through North America. During that year, he left what is now New York Harbor and headed east until he discovered what was later called Block Island. The natives directed him to what is now known as Newport Harbor. He remained there for two weeks while his team examined the bay and the surrounding continent. In early May 1524, Verrazzano set out to renew his search for a Northwest Passage.

In 1614, Dutch explorer Adriaen Block discovered the island known today as Block Island, home of the Narragansett Indians and the Niantics. Most of the indigenous people were decimated by new diseases, inter-tribal fighting, and King Philip's War. The last members of the Niantic tribe joined the Narragansett, who today form a federal reservation.

Since its founding, Rhode Island was the first place, in what is now the United States, that allowed religious freedom. In 1636 Roger Williams, after being expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his religious beliefs, settled at one end of Narragansett Bay. This place was called Providence, and was declared a religious freedom zone. Williams had maintained friendly agreements between the settlers and the Narragansett tribe, who became allies of the English in 1637 against the Pequots. Despite this, peace did not last, as conflicts soon arose between the settlers and the Indians.

In 1637, Anne Hutchinson was banished from Massachusetts for criticizing the local clergy. Ella Anne, along with William Coddington and John Clarke among others, founded the city of Portsmouth on Aquidneck Island. In 1639, Coddington left the city to found Newport on the same island. That same year a formal government was established for the island, with Coddington as governor and Philip Sherman as Secretary. In 1643, Samuel Gorton founded Shawomet, present-day Warwick. In 1644 the name of Aquidneck Island was changed to Rhode Island. Quakers began arriving in strong waves during the 1650s and 1660s seeking freedom to practice their religion, while Sephardic Jewish immigrants from Barbados settled in Newport, home to the oldest synagogue in the United States still in use. .

In 1663, King Charles II granted a new charter to the colony. John Clarke received this Charter of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations, which guaranteed religious freedom and established the boundaries the state has today. According to this document, which was used as the state Constitution until 1842, only landowners had the right to vote.

Relations between the New Englanders and the Indians became strained, sometimes even leading to bloodshed. On December 19, 1675, a settler militia from Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, and Rhode Island massacred about 350 Narragansett Indians at the Battle of the Great Swamp. The tribes that lived around Rhode Island were the Wampanoag, the Pequots, the Narragansett, and the Nipmuck. A native, named Squanto, helped pacify hostilities between the natives and the settlers, and taught the latter how to survive in the area.

The most important event in Rhode Island of the 17th century was King Philip's War (1675–1676). King Philip (nickname for the Wampanoag tribal chief, Metacomet) decided to rebel against the English, who had purchased the tribe's land from his father. The first attacks were around Narragansett Bay, but they gradually spread throughout New England.


Revolution and industrialization: 1770-1860

Rhode Island's tradition of independence and dissent gave it a prominent role in the American Revolutionary War. The first bloodshed occurred in 1772, when a band of Providence residents attacked a British ship over the imposition of certain trade regulations. On May 4, 1776, it declared its independence from Great Britain, but was the last of the 13 colonies to ratify the Constitution.

The Industrial Revolution displaced large numbers of workers to major cities. These workers did not own land, and therefore could not vote. In 1829, about 60% of the state's white men did not have the right to vote. There were several attempts to fix this problem, but they were unsuccessful. In 1842, Thomas Dorr drafted a state Constitution approved by popular referendum. Opposition by the governor, Samuel Ward King, led to the Dorr Rebellion. Although the revolt was unsuccessful, an amended version of the state Constitution was passed, granting the right to vote to white men who owned land or paid a dollar poll tax.

Rhode Island was also involved in the slave trade after the American Revolutionary War. Slavery in the state dates back to 1652. In 1774, the population percentage of slaves was 6.3%, almost double that of any other New England colony. At the beginning of the 18th century, several merchant families became interested in the slave trade. The Brown family stands out, who gave their name to the famous university. After independence, merchants controlled 60 to 90 percent of the African slave trade.


From the Civil War to the progressive era: 1861-1929

During the American Civil War (1861–1865), the state sided with the Union and provided 25,236 recruits, of whom 1,685 died. Rhode Island, along with other Union states, used its industrial capacity to supply the abolitionist army with the materials necessary to win the war. Progress and modernization led to the creation of an urban transportation system, and the improvement of its health services. After the war, racial segregation was abolished throughout the state. Postwar immigration caused the population to grow. From the 1860s to the 1880s, most immigrants were originally from England, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, and Quebec. Ten years later, the origin of the immigrants had moved to the south and east of Europe. This entire flow of migration fueled the state's thriving economy at the turn of the century. In the years before World War I, Rhode Island's constitution retained its reactionary character, in contrast to the more progressive reforms that were being carried out in the rest of the country. The state never ratified the 18th Amendment prohibiting alcoholic beverages. During World War I, it sent 28,817 recruits, of whom 612 died. After the war, the state was severely affected by the 1918 flu epidemic.


From the Great Depression to the present

In the 20th century, the state continued its economic growth, although the decline of heavy industry devastated large areas. The old industrial areas were especially affected, along with the rest of the urban areas, by the construction of interstate highways over urban centers and the suburbanization resulting from the “G.I.” Act, which greatly benefited war veterans.

After industrial reconversion, and due to the influx of Boston residents in recent years, prices in the real estate sector have grown spectacularly. Since the Great Depression of 1929, the Rhode Island Democratic Party has dominated local politics, although there are exceptions, such as Buddy Cianci or Vincent A. mayor of Providence.



Population development

Rhode Island has 1,052,567 inhabitants (as of the 2010 census), of which 81.4% are white, 5.7% African American, 12.4% Central or Latin American, 2.9% Asian and 0.6% Indians.

Rhode Island is struggling with a declining population. As of the 2010 US Census, only Michigan had a population decline. In Rhode Island, the population increased by only 0.4% or 4,248 people in 10 years. US officials now estimate that between April 1, 2010 (census) and July 1, 2011, the population decreased by 0.1 percent, or 1,265 people. This ends the phase of population growth, some of which lasted well over 100 years, for many states on the east coast.



The religious affiliation of the people of Rhode Island is:
Religion in 2019
Christians 45%
Catholics 30%
atheists 20%
other 5%

Population by religion
Catholics - 443 940
Protestants - 348 810
No religion - 211 400
Other religions - 52,850

Rhode Island is home to the Catholic Diocese of Providence and the Anglican Diocese of Rhode Island. It has the highest percentage of Catholics in the nation, due mainly to the massive immigration of Dominicans, Irish, Italians and French Canadians and to a lesser extent of Portuguese, Puerto Ricans and Cape Verdean communities. It is interesting to note that given the number of Catholics indicated, there is no county among the 24 counties with the highest percentage of Catholics in the country. This is because Catholics are spread throughout the State. Along with Utah, they are the only States in which the majority of their population belongs to a single religious cult.



Constitution of the state

Rhode Island's constitution dates from 1842 and has been amended many times. At the head of the executive branch is the governor, who is elected for four-year terms. The Rhode Island legislature (General Assembly) consists of a 38-member Senate and a 75-member House of Representatives. Both are elected for two years.



List of Governors of Rhode Island
List of Lieutenant Governors of Rhode Island

Rhode Island and Federal Politics
Rhode Island has two members of the United States House of Representatives and four presidential electors. Relative to its area, Rhode Island has the highest density of electors.

For a long time, Senator Lincoln Chafee was by far the most liberal Republican in the Senate until he was voted out in favor of Sheldon Whitehouse in 2006. Chafee later resigned from the Republican Party and won the November 2010 gubernatorial election in Rhode Island as an independent candidate. He was a member of the Democratic Party from 2013 to 2019.


Economy and Infrastructure

Real gross domestic product per capita (per capita real GDP) was USD 54,365 in 2016 (national average for the 50 US states: USD 57,118; national ranking: 24 out of 50). The unemployment rate was 4.3% in November 2017 (national average: 4.1%).

Economic sectors are toolmaking, textile industry, metalworking industry, plastics industry, shipbuilding, tourism, medical research, oceanic research institutions, fishing and agriculture (2%).



air traffic
The state has a number of airports, with major American airlines serving Theodore Francis Green State Airport in the city of Providence.

The only railroad company in Rhode Island is the Providence and Worcester Railroad. It operates the former New Haven route from New York, N.Y. to Boston, Massachusetts and the route to Worcester (Massachusetts).

Amtrak has established its high-speed Northeast Corridor service on this route with the Acela Express. The only stop on the Acela Express trains in Rhode Island is Providence. Amtrak's other trains (called Northeast Regional) also stop in Westerley and Kingston.