Rhode Island

State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
Flag of Rhode IslandState seal of Rhode Island
The Ocean State
Little Rhody[1]
Motto(s): Hope
State song(s): "Rhode Island, It's for Me"
Map of the United States with Rhode Island highlighted
Official languageDe jure: None
De facto: English
DemonymRhode Islander
(and largest city)
Largest metroGreater Providence
AreaRanked 50th
 • Total1,214[2] sq mi
(3,144 km2)
 • Width37 miles (60 km)
 • Length48 miles (77 km)
 • % water13.9%
 • Latitude41° 09' N to 42° 01' N
 • Longitude71° 07' W to 71° 53' W
PopulationRanked 43rd
 • Total1,059,639 (2017 est.)[3]
 • Density1006/sq mi  (388/km2)
Ranked 2nd
 • Median household income$55,701[4] (27th)
 • Highest pointJerimoth Hill[5][6]
812 ft (247 m)
 • Mean200 ft  (60 m)
 • Lowest pointAtlantic Ocean[5]
Sea level
Before statehoodColony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
Admission to UnionMay 29, 1790 (13th)
GovernorGina Raimondo (D)
Lieutenant GovernorDaniel McKee (D)
LegislatureRhode Island General Assembly
 • Upper houseSenate
 • Lower houseHouse of Representatives
U.S. SenatorsJack Reed (D)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D)
U.S. House delegation1: David Cicilline (D)
2: James Langevin (D) (list)
Time zoneEastern: UTC −5/−4
AbbreviationsRI, 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
BirdRhode Island Red chicken
Gallus gallus domesticus
FishStriped bass
Viola sororia
InsectAmerican burying beetle
Nicroforus americanus
MammalMorgan horse
ReptilePainted turtle
TreeRed Maple
Acer rubrum
Inanimate insignia
BeverageCoffee milk
ShipCourageous, USS Providence
TartanRhode Island State Tartan
OtherFruit: 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
Interactive map of Rhode Island

Rhode Island (d/ (About this soundlisten)),[7][8] officially the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,[9] is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest state in area, the seventh least populous, and the second most densely populated. It has the longest official name of any state. 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] Providence is the state capital and most populous city in Rhode Island.

On May 4, 1776, the Colony of Rhode Island was 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 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 percent of its total area.[2]

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 the island came to be named Rhode Island, but two historical events may have been of influence:

Verrazzano Monument, Providence, Rhode Island
  • 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 this island.[21]
  • Adriaen Block passed by the island 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]

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.

Attempt to change the name

In recent years, the word plantation in the state's name became a contested issue, and the Rhode Island 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 claimed that the word symbolized an alleged legacy of "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: Роуд Айланд
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
Kabɩyɛ: Rood Ayilandi
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
Lingua Franca Nova: 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