The Most Important Ballot Question In America

William A. Jacobson
Legal Insurrection

Should the name of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations be changed to State of Rhode Island?

Background here, Is Rhode Island’s Name Racist?

[…The use of the word “plantations” had nothing to do with, and predated, slavery in Rhode Island. Rather, “Rhode Island” signified the islands in Narraganset Bay and the “Plantations” were the mainland settlements:

Providence Plantations was the name of the colony founded by Roger Williams in the area now known as the City of Providence. Rhode Island was the area now known as Aquidneck Island, which now comprises the city of Newport and the towns of Middletown and Portsmouth, the largest of several islands in Narragansett Bay…

[…Historically, linking Rhode Island’s ties to slavery to the word plantations is a mere word game. Rhode Island never had slave plantations in the Confederacy sense, as this history professor at Rhode Island College pointed out]


(Section 1 of Article XIV of the Constitution)

Approval of the amendment to the Title, Preamble and Section 3 of Article III of the Rhode Island Constitution set forth below will have the effect of changing the official name of the State from “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” to “State of Rhode Island”:

Full text of amendment for Question 1

The Title of the Constitution shall be amended to read as follows:


The Preamble of the Constitution shall be amended to read as follows:

We, the people of this State which state shall henceforth be known as the state of Rhode Island, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and to transmit the same, unimpaired, to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution of government.

Section 3 of Article III of the Constitution shall be amended to read as follows:

Section 3. Oath of general officers.

– – All general officers shall take the following engagement before they act in their respective offices, to wit: You being by the free vote of the electors of this state of Rhode Island, elected unto the place of do solemnly swear (or, affirm) to be true and faithful unto this state, and to support the Constitution of this state and of the United States; that you will faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties of your aforesaid office to the best of your abilities, according to law: So help you God. [Or: This affirmation you make and give upon the peril of the penalty of perjury.]

Bonus question: How long before an amendment is proposed to remove the words “grateful to Almighty God”?

CAJ note: The professor is a native of Rhode Island.

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