From its beginnings, Rhode Island has been distinguished by its support for freedom of conscience and action: Clergyman Roger Williams founded the present state capital, Providence, after being exiled by the Massachusetts Bay Colony Puritans in 1636. Williams was followed by other religious exiles who founded Pocasset, now Portsmouth, in 1638 and Newport in 1639.
The US state of Rhode Island with a population of just over 1 Million is considered by many to be only half an official state, sometimes barely making the third mark. It was originally only a city-state, but became a state in the early 1780's. Rhode Island is densely populated, only New Jersey has a denser population. Rhode Island also has a long coastline with many bays and inlets.
Rhode Island is one of the original 13 colonies that broke away from Great Britain and signed the Declaration of Independence.
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