Rhode Island

State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
Flag of Rhode Island State seal of Rhode Island
Flag Seal
Nickname(s): The Ocean State
Little Rhody [1]
Motto(s): Hope
Map of the United States with Rhode Island highlighted
Official language De jure: None
De facto: English
Demonym Rhode Islander
( and largest city)
Largest metro Providence metro area
Area Ranked 50th
 • Total 1,214 [2] sq mi
(3,144 km2)
 • Width 37 miles (60 km)
 • Length 48 miles (77 km)
 • % water 13.9%
 • Latitude 41° 09' N to 42° 01' N
 • Longitude 71° 07' W to 71° 53' W
Population Ranked 43rd
 • Total 1,056,426 (2016 est.) [3]
 •  Density 1006/sq mi  (388/km2)
Ranked 2nd
 •  Median household income $55,701 [4] (27th)
 • Highest point Jerimoth Hill [5] [6]
812 ft (247 m)
 • Mean 200 ft  (60 m)
 • Lowest point Atlantic Ocean [5]
Sea level
Before statehood Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
Admission to Union May 29, 1790 (13th)
Governor Gina Raimondo ( D)
Lieutenant Governor Daniel McKee (D)
Legislature General Assembly
 •  Upper house Senate
 •  Lower house House of Representatives
U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D)
U.S. House delegation 1: David Cicilline (D)
2: James Langevin (D) ( list)
Time zone Eastern: UTC −5/ −4
ISO 3166 US-RI
Abbreviations RI, R.I.
Website www.ri.gov
Footnotes: * Total area is approximately 776,957 acres (3,144 km2)
Rhode Island state symbols
Flag of Rhode Island.svg
Seal of Rhode Island.svg
Living insignia
Bird Rhode Island Red Chicken
Gallus gallus domesticus
Fish Striped bass
Flower Violet
Viola sororia
Insect American burying beetle
Nicroforus americanus
Mammal Morgan horse
Reptile Painted turtle
Tree Red Maple
Acer rubrum
Inanimate insignia
Beverage Coffee milk
Mineral Bowenite
Motto Hope
Rock Cumberlandite
Ship Courageous, USS Providence
Slogan Unwind
Song " Rhode Island, It's for Me"
Tartan Rhode Island State Tartan
Other Fruit: Rhode Island Greening
State route marker
Rhode Island state route marker
State quarter
Rhode Island quarter dollar coin
Released in 2001
Lists of United States state symbols

Rhode Island ( d -/ ( About this sound  listen)), [7] [8] officially the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, [9] is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is the smallest in area, the eighth least populous, and the second most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states. Its official name is also the longest of any state in the Union. Rhode Island is bordered by Connecticut to the west, Massachusetts to the north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south via Rhode Island Sound and Block Island Sound. It also shares a small maritime border with New York. [10] The state capital and most populous city in Rhode Island is Providence.

On May 4, 1776, the Colony of Rhode Island became the first of the Thirteen Colonies to renounce its allegiance to the British Crown, [11] and it was the fourth among the newly independent states to ratify the Articles of Confederation on February 9, 1778. [12] The state boycotted the 1787 convention which drew up the United States Constitution [13] and initially refused to ratify it; [14] it was the last of the original states to do so, on May 29, 1790. [15] [16]

Rhode Island's official nickname is "The Ocean State", a reference to the large bays and inlets that amount to about 14% of its total area. [2] Rhode Island covers 1,214 square miles (3,144 km2), of which 1,045 square miles (2,707 km2) are land.

Origin of the name

Despite its name, most of Rhode Island is located on the mainland of the United States. Its official name is State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, which is derived from the merger of four Colonial settlements. The settlements of Newport and Portsmouth were situated on what is commonly called Aquidneck Island today, but it was called Rhode Island in Colonial times. [17] [18] Providence Plantation was the name of the colony founded by Roger Williams in the area now known as the city of Providence. [19] This was adjoined by the settlement of Warwick; hence the plural Providence Plantations.

It is unclear how Aquidneck Island came to be known as Rhode Island, but two historical events may have influenced the name.

  • Explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano noted the presence of an island near the mouth of Narragansett Bay in 1524 which he likened to the island of Rhodes (part of modern Greece). [20] Subsequent European explorers were unable to precisely identify the island that Verrazzano had named, but the Pilgrims who later colonized the area assumed that it was Aquidneck. [21]
  • Adriaen Block passed by Aquidneck during his expeditions in the 1610s, and he described it in a 1625 account of his travels as "an island of reddish appearance," which was "een rodlich Eylande" in 17th-century Dutch, and one popular notion is that this Dutch phrase might have influenced the name Rhode Island. [22] [23] (Historians have theorized that this "reddish appearance" resulted from either red autumn foliage or red clay on portions of the shore.) [24]
Verrazzano Monument, Providence, Rhode Island

The earliest documented use of the name "Rhode Island" for Aquidneck was in 1637 by Roger Williams. The name was officially applied to the island in 1644 with these words: "Aquethneck shall be henceforth called the Isle of Rodes or Rhode-Island." The name "Isle of Rodes" is used in a legal document as late as 1646. [25] [26] Dutch maps as early as 1659 call the island "Red Island" (Roodt Eylant).

Roger Williams was a theologian who was forced out of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, seeking religious and political tolerance. He and others founded Providence Plantation as a free proprietary colony. "Providence" referred to the concept of divine providence, and "plantation" was an English term for a colony. "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" is the longest official name of any state in the Union.

2009 contestation of the name

In recent years, the presence of the word plantation in the state's name became a sufficiently contested issue that the General Assembly voted on June 25, 2009 to hold a general referendum determining whether "and Providence Plantations" would be dropped from the official name. Advocates for excising plantation asserted that the word symbolized an alleged legacy of native disenfranchisement for many Rhode Islanders, as well as the proliferation of slavery in the colonies and in the post-colonial United States. (Rhode Island abolished slavery in 1652, but the law was not enforced and, by the early 18th century, it was "the epicenter of the North American slave trade", according to the Brown Daily Herald.) [27] [28] Advocates for retaining the name argued that plantation was simply an archaic synonym for colony and bore no relation to slavery. The referendum election was held on November 2, 2010, and the people voted overwhelmingly (78% to 22%) to retain the entire original name. [29]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Rhode Island
Ænglisc: Rhode Īeg
العربية: رود آيلاند
aragonés: Rhode Island
asturianu: Rhode Island
Avañe'ẽ: Rhode Island
azərbaycanca: Rod-Aylend
Bân-lâm-gú: Rhode Island
башҡортса: Род-Айленд
беларуская: Род-Айленд
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Род-Айлэнд
Bikol Central: Rhode Island
Bislama: Rhode Island
български: Род Айлънд
Boarisch: Rhode Island
bosanski: Rhode Island
brezhoneg: Rhode Island
буряад: Род-Айленд
català: Rhode Island
Чӑвашла: Род Айленд
Cebuano: Rhode Island
čeština: Rhode Island
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Rhode Island
Cymraeg: Rhode Island
davvisámegiella: Rhode Island
Deutsch: Rhode Island
Ελληνικά: Ρόουντ Άιλαντ
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Rhode Island
español: Rhode Island
Esperanto: Rod-Insulo
euskara: Rhode Island
فارسی: رود آیلند
Fiji Hindi: Rhode Island
føroyskt: Rhode Island
français: Rhode Island
Gaeilge: Oileán Rhode
Gagauz: Rhode Island
Gàidhlig: Rhode Island
galego: Rhode Island
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Rhode Island
хальмг: Род-Айленд
Hawaiʻi: Loke ‘Ailana
Հայերեն: Ռոդ Այլենդ
hrvatski: Rhode Island
Ilokano: Rhode Island
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: রোড আইল্যান্ড
Bahasa Indonesia: Rhode Island
interlingua: Rhode Island
Iñupiak: Rode Qikiqtaq
íslenska: Rhode Island
italiano: Rhode Island
Basa Jawa: Rhode Island
Kapampangan: Pulu ning Rhode
ქართული: როდ-აილენდი
қазақша: Род-Айленд
kernowek: Ynys Rhode
Kiswahili: Rhode Island
Kreyòl ayisyen: Rod Aylann
Kurdî: Rhode Island
кырык мары: Род-Айленд
Ladino: Rhode Island
لۊری شومالی: رودآیلأند
latviešu: Rodailenda
Lëtzebuergesch: Rhode Island
lietuvių: Rod Ailandas
Limburgs: Rhode Island
lumbaart: Rhode Island
magyar: Rhode Island
македонски: Род Ајленд
Malagasy: Rhode Island
മലയാളം: റോഡ് ഐലൻഡ്
Māori: Rhode Island
მარგალური: როდ-აილენდი
مازِرونی: رودآیلند
Bahasa Melayu: Rhode Island
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Rhode Island
монгол: Рөүд-Айленд
Dorerin Naoero: Rhode Island
Nedersaksies: Rhode Island
нохчийн: Род-Айленд
Nordfriisk: Rhode Island
norsk nynorsk: Rhode Island
occitan: Rhode Island
олык марий: Род-Айленд
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Rod-Aylend
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਰੋਡ ਟਾਪੂ
Piemontèis: Rhode Island
Plattdüütsch: Rhode Island
polski: Rhode Island
português: Rhode Island
română: Rhode Island
rumantsch: Rhode Island
русский: Род-Айленд
саха тыла: Род Айлэнд
संस्कृतम्: रोड ऐलैंड
Seeltersk: Rhode Island
sicilianu: Rhode Island
Simple English: Rhode Island
slovenčina: Rhode Island
slovenščina: Rhode Island
српски / srpski: Роуд Ајланд
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Rhode Island
svenska: Rhode Island
Tagalog: Rhode Island
தமிழ்: றோட் தீவு
Taqbaylit: Rhode Island
татарча/tatarça: Род-Айленд
Türkçe: Rhode Island
українська: Род-Айленд
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: Rodé Arili Shitati
vèneto: Rhode Island
Tiếng Việt: Rhode Island
Volapük: Rhode Island
文言: 羅德島州
Winaray: Rhode Island
粵語: 羅德島州
Zazaki: Rhode Island
žemaitėška: Rod Ailands
中文: 羅德島州