includes Narragansetts, Wampanoags, Nipmucks
includes Narragansetts, Wampanoags, Nipmucks
Migratory nature of early peoples who hunted, gathered and farmed and sought shelter in caves and portable wigwams and longhouse villages
Native people’s respect for and preservation of natural resources portends contemporary environmentalism
Today’s RI still uses hundres of place names rooted in native language and culture. Many of today’s street and highways are derived from Native American trails. Native wall building and other traditions endure
In 1636 banished Roger Williams established Providence known for religious freedom
Portsmouth, Newport and Warwick are settled
British legal recognitions of RI and its charter in 1643, 1663, and 1694 and 1647 is first General Assembly
Metacomet-led Indians attack RI mainland settlements. Portsmouth and Newport escape destruction
Samuel Cranston ably rules RI for 29 years as dutiful member of British Empire. Major potential power wielded by Newport merchants.
RI boundaries with CT and MA are set
Newport merchant class grabs political power. Political parties organize (Ward vs. Hopkins)
England tightens trade and raises taxes . RI reacts with violence against British custom ships.
Supporting Washington’s army and defending the Bay and homeland
RI renounces allegiance to King on May 4, 1776 and forms its own Navy in 1775.
Colonists unsuccessfully attack British at Newport in 1778. RI regiments fight at Yorktown and other key battles
Farmers take General Assembly from merchants and create worthless money and fiscal crisis.
John Brown opens trade with China/India.
Slave trade is abolished.
After holding out, RI is last colony to ratify US Constitution in 1790 and became a “state”
is born at Slater Mill in Pawtucket. Samuel Slater builds mill on British model
China trade profits provide investment capital for mill development. Intial mills are wood, later are stone
Economic activity shifts to interior rivers that can power mills. Mill valleys are populated with farm families and English and Irish immigrants without town voting rights.
Providence surpasses Newport in economic power as center of transportation, finance and the emerging industrialized society.
Rural RI retains political power and suppresses voting rights of immigrant mill workers. Thomas Wilson Dorr leads rebellion.
Nativist sentiments championed by press promote discrimination against growing Irish/ immigrant mill workers. Mill owners threatened by civil strife affecting cotton imports from South
More interested in preserving the union than freeing slaves, RI joins fight with 26,000 soldiers in 15 regiments including a decorated Black regiment.
Industrialized RI produces hugh quantities of war supplies including muskets, cannons, and uniforms
RI industrialization explodes with unpresidented production of cotton, wool and metals in late 19th C. Urban areas bulge with onslaught of immigrant workers
With names like Knight (Fruit of the Loom), Berkshire Fine Spinning, Brown & Sharpe, Corliss and Gorham, RI breeds massive companies that encourage laborers to organize in order to be heard.
Led by Anthony, Brayton, Aldrich and others, republications control politics in Washington and at home – splitting immigrant loyalties and alienating Irish Catholics. Temperance, suffrage, engage women in the political process.
Popularity grows as a resort for the wealthy.
Immigrant groups struggle to adapt and participate. Blacks work for equality. Natives struggle with “de-tribalization”
Booming economy in 1900’s attracts additional waves of immigrants to urban RI — most from Southern and Eastern Europe
RI plays its part in time of patriotism and industrial production
Depression spawns an arrary of public works and social programs
Nearly 100,000 serve while the home front roars with unprecedented production
As late as 1840, 60% of Rhode Islanders without the requisite land holdings could not vote in state elections
After decades of Republican control, Democrats representing disenfranchised immigrants take control of General Assembly in a Bloodless Revolution
Physical and social landscape are transformed by public building, road boom, and city beautiful movement.
Jobs decline as economy shifts from wartime to peacetime. Industrial exodus exacerbated by labor unrest, and energy costs, and decaying infrastructure
Beginning in 1970, Quonset Pt/Davisville closure and Newport fleet withdrawal create economic upheaval.
People and business flee urban areas leaving behind poverty, blight, crime, disinvestment and a federal war on poverty.
Starting in 1950, Providence population shifts to rapidly growing suburbs. By 1970’s, retailing follows
Efforts to save Newport Mansions combined with festivals and sailing competitions spur the development of $2 billion tourism industry. Efforts to stop shoreland oil refineries spark environmental activism that encourages public waterfront access.
State unsuccessfully tries to woo new smokestack industries and Bay oil refineries
Public/private partnerships spur a downtown renaissance centered on riverfront development
Development of the new airport, convention center and Newport infrastructure boost tourism to record heights
New economies, opportunities and challenges characterize the coming of a new century and millennium