Despite the name, most of Rhode Island is on the mainland United States. The name Rhode Island and Providence Plantations derives from the merger of two colonies, Providence Plantations and Rhode Island. Providence Plantations was the name of the colony founded by Roger Williams in the area now known as the City of Providence. Rhode Island, the other colonial settlement, was founded in the area of present-day Newport, on Aquidneck Island, the largest of several islands in Narragansett Bay.
Rhode Island was the first of the thirteen original colonies to
declare independence from British rule and the last to ratify
the United States Constitution.
Rhode Island's official nickname is "The Ocean State," a reference to the state's geography, since Rhode Island has several large bays and inlets that amount to about 30% of its total area. Its land area is 1,045 square miles, but its total area is significantly larger.