The New England Colonies

Start Free Trial

What are some historical events that occured in Rhode Island?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Rhode Island is a small state, but its importance to American history is significant. Some important historical events that took place in Rhode Island during the 1600s and the 1700s include the following:

The first permanent settlement in Rhode Island by non-native people took place in 1636 on land that was purchased from the Narrangansett tribe. This settlement was led by Roger Williams, who was looking for a place to live peacefully and to practice his religion freely.

The communities that eventually became the state of Rhode Island gathered under a royal charter granted by King Charles II, and these groups enjoyed the most governmental autonomy allowed any colony in the New World at that time. Rhode Island was the first colony to prohibit the import of slaves as well as the first colony to declare independence from King George III of England.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team