The first people living in what is now Rhode Island are believed to have arrived at least 30,000 years ago. Thousands of years later, Native American tribes such as the Narragansett, Wampanoag, and Niantic lived in the area. The Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano explored the area in 1524. Then in 1636, Roger Williams—a man expelled from the neighboring Massachusetts Bay colony because of his religious beliefs—founded a colony in Rhode Island. The region will become known as a place where people of different religions can practice freely.
In 1776, Rhode Island became the first colony to declare independence from Great Britain. But it was the last of the original thirteen colonies to ratify (or sign) the US Constitution to join the Union; The Rhode Island delegates insisted that the Bill of Rights, which guarantees certain freedoms, be added to the Constitution before they were signed. Experts do not agree on the origin of Rhode Island’s name. One explanation is that explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano compared the land he found to the Greek island of Rhodes, and this inspired colonist Roger Williams to name the colony Rhode Island. Another explanation is that the Dutch explorer Adrian Block named the land Roodt Eylandt, which means “red island”, because of the red clay on its shore – and the name later became Rhode Island. Rhode Island is called the Ocean State because it has more than 400 miles of coastline. Everyone in the state lives half an hour from the sea!
Geography of Rhode Island
According to itypetravel.com, Rhode Island, the smallest state in the United States, is only 48 miles long and 37 miles wide. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the north and east, the Atlantic Ocean to the south, and Connecticut to the west. It can be divided into two geographical regions. The coastal lowland spans the south and east and includes the islands of Narragansett Bay and Block Island. The region has lagoons and sandy beaches. It becomes forest west of the bay. The northwestern corner of the state is the Eastern Highlands of New England with lakes, ponds and hills. Here is the highest point in Rhode Island, Jimot Hill.
Wildlife of Rhode Island
During colonial times, many mammals in Rhode Island were hunted to near extinction in the state. But some of these animals have returned. Black bears, beavers and fishermen (a type of weasel) have all returned to land. Other common mammals are minks, raccoons and river otters. The tiny state is also popular with birds, especially along the coastline. Green herons, blue-winged warblers, common eiders, loons, and harlequin ducks are among Rhode Island’s many birdlife. Reptiles such as the northern redbell snake and the eastern smooth green snake live here. And the region is home to amphibians such as blue-spotted salamanders and northern leopard frogs.
Population: 24,600 thousand people (2010)
Area: 29.7 sq. km
Time zone: UTC-5, summer UTC-4
Altitude: 9 m
Zip code: 02840-02841
Newport belongs to the state of Rhode Island. Geographically located on the island of Akidnek. The Newport Bridge connects the city to Conanicut Island. See Rhode Island cities.
Historical data says that the city was founded by eight residents of Portsmouth in 1639. The settlement grew rapidly and soon became the largest of the first 4 cities in the state. In 1640 a public school was opened here. An interesting fact is that the Jewish community of Newport is considered the second oldest in America, and the Touro synagogue is considered the oldest in America. As early as 1658, groups of Jews began to settle here after they were persecuted by the Inquisition in Portugal and Spain.. Many Quakers also settled in Newport, and the meeting house for them built in 1699 is considered the oldest in the city. 1727 was marked by the opening of a printing house in the city, and 1732 – the beginning of the publication of the first city newspaper. Newport at the turn of the XVII-XVIII century – the largest center of piracy. The most famous pirate of Newport is Thomas Tew, who had the nickname “The Rhode Island Pirate”. In addition, Newport during the colonial period was the center of the slave trade.
During the Revolutionary War, the city had both loyalists and supporters of independence. By the end of the war, the population of the city had decreased by about 3 times. The economic prosperity of the city was destroyed by the war, as Newport was closed to foreign trade during the military occupation. Many merchants left Newport. In the middle of the 19th century, wealthy southern planters organized the construction of summer mansions here in order to escape the heat. Many of the richest families in the state at the turn of the 20th century traveled to Newport for the summer. They built luxurious mansions here. The life of Newport at that time is beautifully described in the novel “The Age of Innocence” by Edith Wharton. In the second half of the 20th century, Newport experienced a major economic downturn with the closure of many US Navy facilities, which were major employers in the city. However,
Interestingly, for some time the city was the summer residence of the President of America. Currently, tourism is the backbone of Newport’s economy. The city is known as a favorite place for summer holidays, famous for its 19th century villas. The city is home to Salv Regina University, as well as a US Navy base. The historic center of Newport is made up of wooden houses of the 17th-18th centuries.
Newport is home to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The city is known as the premier sailing center in America. It is also interesting that in 1895, the first American golf championships were held in Newport.