Skip to main content

Providence Plantations, Rhode Island and

PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS, RHODE ISLAND AND

PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS, RHODE ISLAND AND. The Providence Plantations were the first white settlements in Rhode Island. The clergyman Roger Williams, banished by the General Court of Massachusetts Bay for propagating "new and dangerous opinions," founded the Providence Plantations in June 1636. Williams bought a large tract of land from the Narragansett Indians, and in 1638 joined with twelve other settlers in forming a land company. Their covenant provided for majority rule and allowed religious liberty. Other religious dissidents fleeing the Bay Colony's orthodox Congregationalism founded towns at Narragansett, Newport, Pawtuxet, Pocasset, and Warwick by 1643. To protect local land titles, Williams petitioned Parliament to recognize Providence, Newport, and Portsmouth as a charter colony, and the charter was issued on 24 March 1644 as the Incorporation of Providence Plantations in the Narragansett Bay in New England (adding Warwick in 1647). After the Restoration, Williams received a royal charter from Charles II in 1663 confirming the parliamentary charter.

The charter of 1663 declared religious liberty and became in the seventeenth century a haven for adherents of despised and persecuted religions, especially Antinomians, Baptists, Quakers, French Huguenots, and Jews, the latter gathering in a small community in Newport. The aim of Providence Plantations was to sever church-state connections to protect the church from the state's corrupting influence. Initially developed as individual farmsteads dispersed across the countryside, over time residents gathered into tight nuclear towns. 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 term "Providence Plantations" still remains part of the official title of the state of Rhode Island.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bridenbaugh, Carl. Fat Mutton and Liberty of Conscience: Society in Rhode Island, 1636–1690. Providence, R.I.: Brown University Press, 1974.

James, Sydney V. The Colonial Metamorphoses in Rhode Island: A Study of Institutions in Change. Edited by Sheila L. Skemp and Bruce C. Daniels. Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 2000.

McLoughlin, William G. Rhode Island: A Bicentennial History. New York: Norton, 1978.

Michelle M.Mormul

Jarvis M.Morse

See alsoRhode Island .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Providence Plantations, Rhode Island and." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Providence Plantations, Rhode Island and." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 15, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/providence-plantations-rhode-island-and

"Providence Plantations, Rhode Island and." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved December 15, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/providence-plantations-rhode-island-and

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.