Rhode Island Politics and Government

By Maureen Moakley; Elmer Cornwell | Go to book overview
Save to active project

The Constitution

And whereas, in their humble address (the people of Rhode Island) have freely declared, that it is much on their hearts to hold forth a lively experiment, that a most flourishing civil state may stand and best be maintained, and that among our English subjects, with a full liberty in religious concernments; and that true piety rightly grounded will give the best and greatest security to sovereignty.

Royal Charter granted by King Charles II, 1663

Thus, Rhode Island's [constitutional] history is that of a quintessential system of parliamentary supremacy.

Rhode Island Supreme Court, 1999

The variety of constitutional traditions among the fifty states is considerable. This is true not only of the content and matters dealt with, but also in terms of the number of successive constitutional documents and major revisions written and ratified by the states. In some the production of successive constitutions and revisions almost has been a local cottage industry. Having four or more constitutions has not been unusual in some instances. 1 In tabulated lists Rhode Island is in a small group that displays relative stability. The state's first frame of government was the Royal Charter of 1663, which the colony retained as its constitution until the state adopted its first homegrown document in 1843. 2 The latter, with very substantial modifications (including fifty-nine amendments) has remained in place ever since.


The charter granted by King Charles II in 1663 is actually a quite remarkable document. It was extraordinarily liberal for its day. It is most often noted


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Rhode Island Politics and Government


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 245

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?