- Photo Blogs
- Special Reports
Every year on July 4, America celebrates the day she declared independence from King George III and Great Britain. But two months before the national holiday, one of the original thirteen colonies celebrates its own declaration of independence.
On this day in history, Rhode Island declared independence from Great Britain.
Founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, Rhode Island was to be a haven for religiously persecuted groups. The colony also became a trading hub for the transatlantic slave trade. Molasses from the West Indies was turned into rum in distilleries in Rhode Island and then traded for slaves on the West African Coast.
Because of the lucrative trade in Rhode Island, the colonists naturally felt restricted by the British. The Sugar Act of 1764 raised the duty on molasses and tightened trade regulations. This act, along with its brothers like the Stamp Act, contributed to Rhode Island’s and the other twelve colonies’ desire for independence from Great Britain.
On May 4 Rhode Island formally renounced its allegiance to the British crown and within two months the rest of the colonies followed suit and the war for American Independence truly began.
On May 4 the Flashback Assembly took place, the Theatrical Showcase was in the PAC and the Young Republicans club held officer elections.
But 236 years ago and 1,258 miles away, the wave of independence began.
By Jessica Jost