• Menu
  • Menu
Claiborne Pell Newport Brücke, Bild: JJM Photography / shutterstock

Rhode Island – the smallest state with a great history

In Rhode Island, some things are confusing. It starts with the name, because the smallest state in the USA is by no means an island. Rather, this is a peninsula on New York’s doorstep. But American history was written in this region, and it is still the home of high society. Rhode Island is hardly larger than Saarland, but officially this state can adorn itself with a somewhat more lavish name: “State of Rhode Island and Prividence Plantations”. The Americans have given this beautiful area a different name because of its geographical tininess: “Little Rhody”.

Magnificent villas and green forests

A life in luxury has been something of a matter of course here for generations. As early as the 19th century, Rhode Island was a preferred destination for the American upper class. And the magnificent villas – especially in Newport – still bear witness to the splendour of earlier days. This is where the summer residences were built, which their owners referred to as “cottages” in a touch of understatement. In reality, these villas were more like palaces of European character. In the heyday of this state, all this moved in miniature format in a maritime atmosphere, because where the green forests of the peninsula ended, the Atlantic Ocean spreads.

A mixture of music and fire

Providence, the capital of Rhode Island
Providence – Capital of Rhode Island, Image: Sean Pavone / shutterstock

Rhode Island has always been home to people who were aware of the political influence of this state on the politics of the United States. This has hardly changed to the present day, because the two representatives from Rhode Island have their seats in the House of Representatives, and the four electors have the chance to write world politics, because their votes could decide who moves into the White House as president of the USA . This is a small paradise with a great history. The “Slater Mill” in the idyllic small town of Pawtucket is considered the cradle of the industrial revolution in America. And the capital Providence is one of the oldest metropolises in the country. If you stroll through the venerable Benefit Street, you will pass impressive restored houses from the era of the Federation again and again. Every year, Providence hosts the WaterFire Festival – a mixture of musical sounds and countless beacons on the three rivers that give the city a unique character.

See also  Entry restrictions to the USA lifted from November

A Dutchman named Roger Williams

It was a Dutchman who once took possession of Rhode Island. Roger Williams chose the name “Rhode Eylandt” and was taken with the red color of the earth. In 1511, the Portuguese sailors led by the explorer Miguel de Cortereal were less interested in landing on this peninsula. They left it at entering this piece of land in their books and ignored its existence. When said Roger Williams went ashore there, he met mainly Indians. But he professed the ideals of the Baptists and decided to coexist peacefully with the natives. Thus, a century and a half later, Rhode Island could boast of being one of the first states to criminalize slavery and abolish racial segregation. However, the region also developed into a theater of war for a few years because the British claimed Rhode Island. During the American Civil War, the Europeans then ceded the peninsula to New York without a fight.

Block Island – Nature and Lighthouses

Castle Hill Lighthouse in Newport, Rhode Island
Castle Hill Lighthouse in Newport, Image: Belikova Oksana / shutterstock

Over time, the small state enjoyed an above-average quality of life even in America. Gourmets are still drawn to the best restaurants in the historic cities. The density of universities and colleges is also very high in Rhode Island. The coasts of the Atlantic Ocean are rugged almost everywhere, and the maritime character of the area is evident in the restaurants on the plates. Rhode Island is – similar to its neighbor New England – famous and popular because of the abundance of seafood. The former summer retreat of well-heeled Americans has long since become one of the most popular destinations in the United States. A jewel of a special kind is Block Island. And this is indeed an island. It is eleven kilometres long, has two photogenic lighthouses and an interesting and protected nature reserve. In Newport, a jazz festival has been delighting music lovers from all over the world with an extensive program since 1958. Many a performer started his career here.

See also  New Jersey: Neighbor of the metropolis of New York

Remembering the “Royals” of the New World

If you climb the summit of Jerimoth Hill at Narragansett Bay, you can look forward to a great panoramic view from a height of 250 meters, because there are thirty small islands off the coast. The largest of them is Aquidneck Island. But the area is also a preferred destination for outdoor enthusiasts and ornithologists. Rare migratory birds settle here. The “Marble House” and “The Breakers” in Newport have retained the splendour of earlier eras. Both palaces once belonged to the wealthy family of the entrepreneur Vanderbilt. There, the marble is always polished to a high gloss and visitors to these museums marvel at the antique furniture and the impressive collections of art of all kinds. The memory of the legendary coal magnate Edward J. Berwind and the Astors is also kept alive in a museum. These were the “royals” of the New World, and some of them copied the architecture of European palaces.