Politics: Rhode Island Style


I had some time to kill after I got into Providence today, and my hotel (thank you, Priceline!) which is located in a renovated Masonic temple, sits directly across from the Rhode Island State House, also known in Texas as "The Capitol."
So I wandered over to take some pictures and met a nice man from Connecticut taking photos as well.

It's much smaller than the Capitol, and much more stout looking. It's also rather gothic. Interestingly enough, the architects who won the design for the State House were McKim, Mead and White, the same people who designed Chicago's "White City" during the World's Fair. I'm reading The Devil in the White City right now, so there was a little coincidence.

Some interesting factoids about Rhode Island:

  1. The first Afro-American regiment to fight for America made a gallant stand against the British in the Battle of Rhode Island.
  2. Though second in command to George Washington, Nathaniel Greene, a Rhode Islander, is acknowledged by many historians as having been the most capable and significant General of the Revolutionary effort. Cornwallis feared Greene and his forces most. Greene ultimately defeated Cornwallis.
  3. Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island, established the first practical working model of Democracy after he was banished from Plymouth, Massachusetts because of his "extreme views" concerning freedom of speech and religion.
  4. Rhode Island's official state name is Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
  5. Rhode Island has no county government. It is divided into 39 municipalities each having its own form of local government.

Roger Williams, the founder, was one of the first people to lobby for the separation of church and state. The front of the State House has his philosophy inscribed on it.


TO HOLD FORTH A LIVELY EXPERIMENT
THAT A MOST FLOURISHING CIVIL STATE MAY STAND
AND BEST BE MAINTAINED WITH FULL LIBERTY
IN RELIGIOUS CONCERNMENTS.
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