Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

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Official seal of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations ( 1636 - 1776 ) was one of the thirteen colonies in North America that separated from motherland Great Britain in the 1776 Declaration of Independence of the United States . It is the precursor to the state of Rhode Island .


In 1511, for the first time, a European explorer took note of the coasts of what would later become the Rhode Islands. The Portuguese navigator Miguel Corte-Real sailed past the coast without landing there.

Parts of the area were claimed by the Dutch colony Nieuw Nederland at the beginning of the 17th century , but remained only sparsely populated. The English colony, later called Rhode Island and Providence Plantations , was founded in 1636 by the anthropologist, state philosopher, politician and theologian Roger Williams , a Baptist who had been banished from the Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony . The colony's constitution, drafted by Williams, was democratic and granted members of all denominations full freedom of belief and conscience. Rhode Island outlawed slavery as early as 1652. Under the royal statute of 1663, governors were appointed until the end of colonial rule. Only between 1686 and 1689 did Sir Edmund Andros act as governor of the Dominion of New England , which included Rhode Island.

After Rhode Island ratified its Declaration of Independence in the fall of 1775, Royal Governor Nicholas Cooke was also elected to the office of Governor of the new state in November 1775. On May 4, 1776, the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations became the first of the Thirteen Colonies to finally declare itself free from the Kingdom of Great Britain . On May 29, 1790, Rhode Island became the 13th state in the United States.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. James Ernst (1932): Roger Williams: New England Firebrand. Macmillan, p. 82.
  2. ^ Edwin S. Gaustad (1999): Liberty of Conscience: Roger Williams in America. Valley Forge: Judson Press, p. 28.
  3. ^ Viola Florence Barnes: The Dominion of New England: A Study in British Colonial Policy , American Classics, F. Ungar Pub. Co., New York, 1960 (English)