Rhode Island Politics and Government

By Maureen Moakley; Elmer Cornwell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THREE
Rhode Island and the Federal System

Hail, realm of rogues, renowned for fraud and guile, All hail, the knaveries of yon little isle … The wiser race, the snare of law to shun, Like Lot from Sodom, from Rhode Island run.

Connecticut newspaper, 1787

Treaties were broken and that, in a modern frame … is what is happening here.

Lawyer for the Narragansett Indians, 1997

A significant feature of the landscape of Rhode Island is miles and miles of beautiful stone walls that line the roads and mark property lines throughout the state. Most of these walls were built by hand from stones dug from the relatively flat, rocky, and unfriendly land on which early Rhode Islanders settled, endured, and prospered. This small state, with limited natural resources, found itself in a hostile civil environment as well. The original colonies and then states in the region long regarded Rhode Island as a “rogue state.” To some extent that stereotype endures.

Given this legacy, there are several aspects to consider in attempting to assess Rhode Island's place in the federal system. First, we will explore the roots of the outsider legacy up to the present day. We then look at the contemporary relations of the state to the federal government and neighboring states. Finally, we consider the state's relationship with the Narragansett Indians who, given their federal status, are from but not of Rhode Island. Although early relations with the Indians were remarkably cooperative, the inevitable and tragic clash of cultures marginalized the status of the Native

-36-

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Rhode Island Politics and Government
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Series Preface xi
  • Authors' Preface xiii
  • Rhode Island Politics and Government *
  • Chapter One - Rhode Island in Transition 1
  • Chapter Two - Political Culture in the Ocean State 19
  • Chapter Three - Rhode Island and the Federal System 36
  • Chapter Four - The Constitution 50
  • Chapter Five - The General Assembly 65
  • Chapter Six - The Executive and the Administration 84
  • Chapter Seven - The Courts 108
  • Chapter Eight - Political Parties 125
  • Chapter Nine - Interest and Group Representation 144
  • Chapter Ten - Budget Politics and Policy 163
  • Chapter Eleven - The Politics of Education 178
  • Chapter Twelve - Local Government 196
  • Epilogue 213
  • General Resources 219
  • Notes 225
  • Index 241
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