PROVIDENCE — The smallest state in the country has the longest official name, and most voters in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations are just fine with that tongue twister. Rhode Island was either named for the Isle of Rhodes (in the … RELATED: Rhode Island Votes To Officially Change Its 'Hurtful' Name. Just Rhode Island. But what does context matter when there are dragons to slay? Some supported it, … In 2010, a question about replacing “the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” with simply “Rhode Island” appeared on the ballot, but was rejected by 78 percent of voters. As soon as practicable, all such agencies will eliminate the word from their stationery, electronic letterhead and all other official correspondence, including paystubs. Rather, at the time Rhode Island was founded, the term plantation simply signified an early settlement: Its distances North to South are 48 miles and East to West 37 miles. State Senator Harold M. Metts and State Representative Anastasia P. Williams introduced legislation in both chambers that would put the name change referendum on the ballot. “Don’t be proud of the word that represents the worst of what our nation has to offer. “Whatever the history of the term is in Rhode Island, it is an unnecessary and painful reminder of our nation’s racist past.”, “‘Plantations’ brings to mind the inhuman and degrading treatment of the African-Americans, slave sales that tore families apart, rapes and lynchings,” he continued. However, Rhode Island was the last state to ratify the United States Constitution. Answer: Rhode Island is an island within what is now the state of Rhode Island. Just Rhode Island. There’s absolutely no good reason for Rhode Island to change their state name. That, however, would require a change in the Rhode Island Constitution. How did the swastika make an entrance in discussing “plantations”? She called these actions the first steps toward racial equity. Rhode Island was one of the 13 original colonies, first settled by Roger Williams in 1636. Last week in the Woonsocket Call [and in the Providence Journal today], Rhode Island’s Historian Laureate, Patrick T Conley, published an article asking the reader to appeal to his authority and vote ‘No’ on Amendment 1, which seeks to remove the word ‘Plantation’ from Rhode Island’s official state name.In his article, Conley writes that, “Presentism is History’s cardinal sin.” Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed an executive order on Monday changing the way the state’s name appears on all government documents, websites, and communications, removing the word “Plantations.”. Rhode Island voters on Tuesday approved shortening the state’s official name, removing the centuries-old phrase “and Providence Plantations.” The state is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Connecticut, and Massachusetts as well as a relatively short maritime border with New York. It’s a slap in the face. Officially, Rhode Island was incorporated as The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations when it declared statehood in 1790. We're just Rhode Island now: Voters decide to drop 'Plantations' from state name. “I would like to see a fiscal note that explains just how much making this change immediately is costing Rhode Island taxpayers.”. Rhode Island is moving toward changing its official name — the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations — due to its slavery connotations. It was named Rhode Island after the Native American's who had lived there. In 1637, another group of Massachusetts dissenters purchased land from the Indians on Aquidneck Island, which was called Rhode Island at the time, and they established a settlement called Pocasset. Effective immediately, the Office of the Governor will no longer use the word “Plantations” in executive orders or citations or on its website. According to Ballotpedia: To put a legislatively referred constitutional amendment before voters, a simple majority vote is required in both the Rhode Island State Senate and the Rhode Island House of Representatives. In 1643/1644, the towns were combined under their current name […] Though it was the first colony to abolish slavery, in 1652, historians argue that there is little evidence that the law was ever enforced before slavery was abolished nationwide. “We are facing a historic deficit,” Ms. Morgan said in a statement. Though the word plantation can refer to a settlement or a large group of cultivated plants or trees, the governor and others in support of the change say that the connotations of slavery were unavoidable. Around New England Governor Wants To Rename Rhode Island. It was named Rhode Island after the Native American's who had lived there. A traditional nickname for Rhode Island, obviously in reference to the state's small size. 3. Though it was the … If some black leaders get a chilling feeling from seeing the word “plantation,” they would probably faint dead away if they saw “niggardly” in an official document. “The word ‘plantations’ conjures extremely painful images for many Rhode Islanders,” Mr. Metts said in a statement. The state known as Rhode Island official name is The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Of all the colonies, Rhode Island experienced the greatest increase in land use during the first half of the eighteenth century, up from 9 percent in 1700 to 50 percent in 1750. The word plantation in the state's name became a contested issue during the course of the 20th century and the increased awareness of slavery and its role in early Rhode Island history. Rhode Island considers taking 'plantation' out of its official state name. Update:  An earlier version of this article suggested that the name change had been made official. The smallest state of the union, Rhode Island, also has the longest official name of any of the states: "State of Rhode Island". Gina Raimondo. For African-Americans and other People of Color, ‘plantations’ are synonymous with centuries of race-based slavery and violence. Officially, Rhode Island was incorporated as The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations when it declared statehood in 1790. It was named Rhode Island after the Native American's who had lived there. Providence Plantation is not synonymous with slavery. Rhode Island is bordered by Connecticut to the west and Massachusetts to the north and east, and it shares a water boundary with New York'sLong Island to the southwest. 1. Rhode Island is the smallest of the 50 states in area. The order, Executive Order 20-48, will change the name to just “Rhode Island” in official communications from the governor’s office — including future executive orders, citations and … Curious about the official name of the 13th state, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, I stop by the Kingston Hill Store in Kingston on the way out of Newport and quickly discover a local history section so fantastic I hardly have time to browse through the old postcards, another whimsical hobby of mine (such good handwriting! Now officials there are looking to make a change. PROVIDENCE — It’s called Rhode Island now. Tom Mooney. It has been decided that we should choose to remove context and substitute personal interpretation of meaning. Be proud of the best in Rhode Island.”, Rhode Island to Remove ‘Plantations’ Reference From Documents. State Senator Elaine J. Morgan, a Republican, said that she supported putting the name change referendum on November’s ballot, but questioned the costs of replacing already printed stationery and checks. The state is one of the most densely populated and heavily industrialized for its size. The official name of Rhode Island is “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.” Voters will have a chance in 2010 to remove the reference to “Providence Plantations” as part of a referendum pushed by advocates who argue that the reference to “plantations” is insensitive to blacks and perpetuates a racist image. But the governor jettisoned the latter phrase from state documents, with a vote on it likely to follow. Terms under which this service is provided to you, legislatively referred constitutional amendment, Democrats Have Objected to Electoral Vote Certification For the Last 3 GOP Presidents, The Eight Worst Media Lies About Trump’s COVID-19 Response, 5 Reasons Why You're Not Crazy to Question the Election Results, My Top 10 (ish) Pandemic Hell Streaming Binges. In 2010, Rhode Island voters were offered the chance to revise the state’s name, but rejected the proposed change 77.9 percent to 22.1 percent. The state’s official name, “The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,” appears on state documents. They see it as their job. A proposition presented a call for the official name of the state to go from “the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” to just “the State of Rhode Island.” Many thought the “plantation” referenced politically incorrectness about Rhode Island’s role in slavery , and should therefor be nixed from the official state name. But we live in a time where there is no past, no future, only the present. A traditional nickname for Rhode Island, obviously in reference to the state's small size. And in the present, madness reigns. Rhode Island’s governor recently signed an order changing the state’s name from “The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” to “Rhode Island” on state websites and documents. Supporters of changing the state's official name say that the current connotations of the word 'plantation' are more important than its historical meaning in Rhode Island. Lawmakers want voters to decide whether to change the state’s official name in November. 2012-11-30 01:16:38. It is thought that the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano may have compared another island, Block Island, off the southern tip of the current state, to the Mediterranean island of Rhodes. Rhode Island, known formally as the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, will drop the latter half of its official name on state documents and websites following an executive order signed by Gov. It is thought that the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano may have compared another island, Block Island, off the southern tip of the current state, to the Mediterranean island of Rhodes. As a Rhode Islander with Jewish heritage, I know all too well that the swastika, originally a symbol of spirituality and peace, became a symbol of profound hatred and evil. This name is derived from the state's official name, "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations." The Plantation State. Yikes, he’s reaching. The official name of Rhode Island is “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.” Voters will have a chance in 2010 to remove the reference to “Providence Plantations” as part of a referendum pushed by advocates who argue that the reference to “plantations” is insensitive to blacks and perpetuates a racist image. “We have to acknowledge our history, that’s true, but we can acknowledge our history without elevating a phrase that’s so deeply associated with the ugliest time in our state and in our country’s history,” Ms. Raimondo, a Democrat, said at a news conference Monday announcing the order. Raimondo announced that she plans on removing the phrase, … The smallest U.S. state has the longest name, and it's not sitting well with some in the George Floyd era. Rhode Island State Names (Etymology of Names) Rhode Island Name Origin and State Nicknames. Riding a national wave of awareness about racial injustice, Rhode Island voters on Tuesday approved shortening the state’s official name and lopping off the centuries-old phrase – “and Providence Plantations” – that supporters said held connotations of slavery. That’s where Newport, Middletown, and Portsmouth are. All State Nicknames. While there are a number of likely motivations for Rhode Island’s official nickname as the “Ocean State,” the primary reason why it has this moniker is because it was voted on by the state legislature and written into the official state register of laws and regulations. Rhode Island is the smallest in area, the eighth least populous, but the second most densely populated of the 50 US states behind New Jersey. While there are a number of likely motivations for Rhode Island’s official nickname as the “Ocean State,” the primary reason why it has this moniker is because it was voted on by the state legislature and written into the official state register of laws and regulations. Rhode Island was formally named The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations when it ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1790. It was sent to the Rhode Island House of Representatives for consideration. “Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” has been the official full name of the state since the colonial era, created by the unification of the original “four towns,” which in order of their dates of founding were Providence (1636), Pocasset/Portsmouth (1638), Newport (1639), and Shawomet/Warwick (1642). The Governor’s Office and the state agencies under the Governor’s control shall determine whether there is an available alternative to the use of the state seal in official documents and replace or omit such seal where possible. Look at a map of Rhode Island and you will see what appears to be an Island in Narragansett bay called Aquidneck Island. The state of Rhode Island is moving to change its official name — "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" — due to its connection to slavery. Rhode Island is the smallest in area, the eighth least populous, but the second most densely populated of the 50 US states behind New Jersey. Rhode Island’s official full name is State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Two days ago, Rhode Island's first female governor made the announcement at a news conference. Officially, Rhode Island was incorporated as The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations when it declared statehood in 1790. The governor also announced an implicit bias training requirement for state employees and initiatives to hold police officers more accountable, including body cameras for state police. “It is a hurtful term to so many of us.”. If they don’t find anything blatantly racist, sexist, or bigoted, they twist or remove the meaning of some words to make them offensive. This name is derived from the state's official name, "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations." “We can’t ignore the image conjured by the word plantation,” Ms. Raimondo said. Rhode Island, is an island. Official State Nickname of Rhode Island. Guess actually educating people is too difficult in this day and age. It looks like you are asking these same questions about all of the smallest US states? Gina Raimondo at a news conference in Providence, where she announced the executive order on Monday. As a student of our State’s history, I know that in 1663 when ‘The Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations’ received its Charter, the word ‘plantations’ was not necessarily connected with slavery. The “official” name of the state is “The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.” But to those choosing to be ignorant — or those who really are — “plantations” means “a usually large farm or estate, especially in a tropical or semitropical country, on which cotton, tobacco, coffee, sugar cane, or the like is cultivated, usually by resident laborers.”. Well, we can’t have that — even if the black leaders are being silly. We will also remove those words from our letterhead, citations, and other Office correspondence. For the … Rhode Island's official nickname is "The Ocean State" (the nickname can be seen on Rhode Island license plates and the U.S. Mint's commemorative quarter for the state). The term "Providence Plantations" still remains part of the official title of the state of Rhode Island. The state’s official name will remain unchanged for now, but voters may be presented with the option in November. Gov. Early settlers erroneously thought that he had been referring to the island called Aquidneck by the Native Americans. Due to its historical association with slavery, the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is moving ahead with removing "plantations" from … Rhode Island is the smallest of the 50 states in area. PROVIDENCE, R.I. — It’s called Rhode Island now. Effective immediately, all executive agencies under the Governor’s control will remove the word “Plantations” from their websites. Some people wake up every morning, have their morning coffee and maybe some breakfast, and then sit down at their monitors and begin looking for something to be offended by today. In 1776, Rhode Island was the first of the colonies to renounce its allegiance to the British Crown. The word “Plantations” in Rhode Island history giving rise to the name has nothing to do with slave ownership or slave plantations. (Connecticut, Delaware, any others?) Rhode Island Gov. However, words and symbols can take on new meanings over time. While the same question was … It’s painful.”. Rhode Island, one of the original 13 colonies, traces its history back to Providence Plantations, founded by Roger Williams in 1636. We researched all the nicknames for all the states. This isn’t the first time Rhode Island’s official name has come under scrutiny. For a state that is only 37 miles wide and 48 miles long, it is notable that its shoreline on Narragansett Bay in the Atlantic Ocean runs for 400 miles. It was founded by Roger Williams. Thus is born a Twitter meme and the makings of another scurrilous attack on someone who never intended to offend. Rhode Island is bordered by a relatively short maritime boundary in the southwest with New York Fishers Island, Connecticut to the west, Massachusetts to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean. On June 18, 2020, the state Senate passed S 2902 in a vote of 38-0. Question: Why is Rhode Island called Rhode Island, even though it’s not an island? As soon as practicable, the Office of the Governor will order and commence using stationery that reads “State of Rhode Island” only. Dozens of people polled across the state Tuesday gave varying reasons for why they supported or opposed removing plantations from the state name. On July 15, 1663, English King Charles II granted a Royal Charter to the colony, “by the name of The Governor and Company of the English Colony of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations.” Eventually the name of the region was colloquially shortened to just “Rhode Island,” despite the main part not being an island at all. The group included William Coddington, John Clarke, and Anne and William Hutchinson, among others. Rhode Island, officially the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, is a state in the New England region of the United States. “People say ‘I’m proud of our name,’ and I say, ‘Well, you can be proud of Rhode Island, but don’t be proud of that,’” Ms. Raimondo said. 2. But the order would shorten it to just “Rhode Island”. Its official name, Rhode Island, is used on United States Geological Survey topographic and many other maps, but it is known locally as Aquidneck Island, in part to distinguish it from the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, of which it is a part. Unity Watch: Will Speaker Pelosi Ignore the Will of the Voters and Overturn Two House Seats. Aquidneck Island (or Rhode Island) is the largest island in Narragansett Bay. It covers an area of 1,214 square miles. But in the context as it was originally intended, “plantations” referred to a new colony. It’s demoralizing. All Rights Reserved. State Representative Anastasia P. Williams. Rhode Island was formally named The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations when it ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1790. The Providence Journal. Newport, Portsmouth, and Providence united in 1644 to form the Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (\"plantation\" is a British English word for \"colony\") with the aim of fighting for their independence. The state’s removal of the reference comes at a time of nationwide protests over systemic racism following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. Advertisement Although the word "Plantations" in Rhode Island's name does not specifically refer to a place where slaves labored, the measure's backers insisted it still offends, especially since Rhode Island's ties to the slave trade are undeniably deep. 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