The New England Colonies

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What are some historical events in Rhode Island?

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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.

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What important events happened in colonial Rhode Island?

Rhode Island was a very unique colony. First, it was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams. Like most colonies, Rhode Island was chartered as a safe-haven from religious persecution. In fact, Rhode Island housed the first Baptist Church and Jewish Synagogue in the country. It was one of the more accepting colonies at the time.

As tensions arose with England, Rhode Island became the first colony to totally denounce its allegiance. This occurred on May 4, 1776 and sparked confidence in the rest of colonial America. However, Rhode Island was hesitant about ratifying the constitution and was the last colony to do so.

Rhode Island was also ahead of its time in terms of slavery. The Quaker population in the colony abhorred slavery. On March 1, 1784, Rhode Island essentially freed children of slaves from that point forward. Colonial Rhode Island seemed to be ahead of its time in a lot of areas involving human rights.

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