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calendar   Thursday - May 05, 2016

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Today in History ...

Rhode Island Goes It Alone, May 4, 1776

On this day, May 4, 1776, the colonial leaders of Rhode Island decided not to wait for the Continental Congress and formally declared their own independence from Great Britain. When the Continental Congress did declare independence on July 4, 1776, Rhode Island was still not sure if they wanted to be part of the new American nation or go it on their own. Financially, they were in great shape to go it alone, but others in the colony wanted to be part of America. The conflict between independence and statehood carried on for over a decade. Eventually statehood in the new United States prevailed and Rhode Island, the first colony to declare independence was the last colony to ratify the Constitution of the United States in 1790.

By the mid-1700s, the tiny colony of Rhode Island was prospering more than most of the other colonies. The ports at Providence and Newport were doing a booming business in what was called the triangle-business. They purchased molasses from the West Indies. The distilleries in Rhode Island made rum from the molasses, which they sold to slave traders in West Africa for slaves. They shipped the slaves to the West Indies in exchange for more molasses and the process was repeated over and over.

The ports of Providence and Newport were also homes to privateers and smugglers who helped contribute to the thriving economy.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/05/2016 at 03:48 AM   
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