The smallest state in the United States has the rather unwieldy name of The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations! Popularly known as Rhode Island, this picturesque part of the New England region is also called the Ocean State because you could be standing anywhere and yet be less than 30 miles away from the sea!
Apart from drawing droves of well-heeled citizens to its beautiful homes every summer, Rhode Island also has a place in American history. It was one of the 13 colonies that began the American Revolution in a bid for independence from the British. Bordered by Massachusetts and Connecticut on three sides, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south, the state is actually a collection of more than 30 islands situated in Narragansett Bay. Aquidneck Island, on which the city of Newport is located, is the largest island in the Bay, while others include the popular Block Island and the charmingly named Hope and Prudence.
The majority of Rhode Island’s inhabitants is white, and the state has a strong presence of Americans of Italian and Portuguese descent. As a result the state also has the highest percentage of Catholics in the U. S. Culturally diverse, Rhode Island is also home to a large percentage of people with Irish, English and French ancestry. Their influences, ranging from language to cuisine, mingle to create a unique ethos quite unlike that in other New England states.
The capital of Rhode Island is Providence, a city full of architectural marvels. Other prominent cities include Warwick, Cranston, and Central Falls. Several scenic little towns dot the landscape, attracting a large number of tourists. Most of the population is engaged in agriculture, metal fabrication, jewelry manufacturing, and ship- and boat-building. The state is also home to a number of prestigious schools including Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and Providence College.
The state motto is ‘Hope’, while the state drink is coffee – sure shot indications that the people of this state do not believe in sitting around letting the grass grow under their feet!
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