How did you make the map?Rhode Island in Hail, Britannia is fascinating, as it retains the distinctly unique politics of its OTL counterpart, blended with a strong strand of British loyalism:
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, commonly known as Rhode Island, is a province of New England located in the south of the country, bordered by Massachusetts to the north and east, Connecticut to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. It also shares a small maritime border with the Columbian province of New York and Long Island. The smallest province by area, and the fifth-largest by population, Rhode Island is a densely populated province, with Providence as its capital and largest city. Rhode Island’s nickname – “The Ocean Province” – is a reference to the large bays and inlets that amount to about 14 percent of its total area.
Prior to European contact, what is now Rhode Island was inhabited by several Native American tribes, including the Wampanoag, the Narragansett, and the Niantic. The spread of diseases contracted through contact with European explorers, to which they had no immunity, and intertribal warfare decimated the native population through the early-17th century. In 1636, ROGER Williams became the first European to settle in what is now Rhode Island, when he was exiled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his religious views and settled on land at the top of Narragansett Bay. Williams named the site “Providence Plantations”, and it became a haven for religious dissenters. The following years saw other dissenters settle on Aquidneck island (then known as Rhode Island), establishing the settlements of Portsmouth and Newport. In 1644, the three settlements united as the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, governed by an elected council and president, but this arrangement was finally formalised by the Royal Charter of 1663, which united them into a single English colony. Rhode Island was a progressive colony, promising religious freedom for persecuted groups, including Quakers and Jews, and most capital punishment was abolished.
Early relations between settlers and the Native Americans were mostly peaceful, with local tribes near Rhode Island teaching the colonists many valuable skills to survive in the area. The peace between the colonials and the native tribes was shortlived, as King Phillip’s War (1675-1676) saw attacks on the settlements around Narragansett Bay by the Wampanoags led by Metacomet, known as King Philip by the settlers of Portsmouth. Despite Rhode Island’s neutrality, the attacks continued and spread throughout New England until a combined force invaded and destroyed the Narragansett’s main settlement, and hunted down and killed King Philip. In 1686, Rhode Island was forcibly incorporated into the Dominion of New England under King James II, suspending the colony’s charter until 1689 when, following the Glorious Revolution and the accession of William or Orange, Rhode Island’s independent government was restored. In 1693, a royal patent was issued that extended the borders of the colony were expanded to the east and northeast of Narragansett Bay, resulting in later transfers of territory between Rhode Island and Massachusetts Bay, taking the colony to its present size. Throughout the 18th century, the colonial economy was dominated by agriculture and fishing, with lumber and shipbuilding becoming major industries.
During the Colonial Unrest of the 1760s and 1770s, Rhode Island became a hotbed of opposition to the imposition of taxation without representation in the British American colonies, although the colony was sharply divided between Patriots and Loyalists. In 1722, Sons of Liberty members from Rhode Island attacked and torched the British warship HMS Gaspee, a customs schooner enforcing unpopular trade regulations within Narragansett Bay, in one of the first acts of outright defiance against the British government. As part of the New England Colonies, Rhode Island sent delegates to the colonial congresses, but Rhode Island boycotted the 1783 Williamsburg Convention and refused to accede to the United Colonies until the introduction of the Bill of Rights. On 29 May 1790, Rhode Island was granted formal home rule as part of the newly formed United Colonies, although it’s 1663 colonial charter remained in force. Resistance to the colonial government remained strong in Rhode Island, with the province becoming a major bastion of the American Patriot movement, holding power from 1779 to 1783, with the anti-colonial Country Party dominating provincial politics throughout the early-19th century.
Rhode Island was heavily involved in the Industrial Revolution, with the introduction of textile and cotton mills, and the province saw a growing urban population as large number of workers moved from rural to urban areas. The province became one of the most industrialised on the east coast, with large numbers of textile, tool and silverware factories. This rise in the landless population created a growing class of disenfranchised citizens, as the 1663 colonial charter only granted voting rights to landowners and apportioned legislative seats equally among the state’s towns. This caused the over-representation of rural areas and the under-representation of the province’s growing industrial centres. By the 1830s, nearly two-thirds of the male population were ineligible to vote, but despite numerous attempts at reform, through bills in the legislature, they all failed in face of rural opposition. During the Republican Rebellion, Thomas W. Dorr led an armed uprising against the charter government in an attempt to reform the political system. His rebellion was short-lived, lasting from October 1850 to April 1851, and Dorr was arrested, tried and executed for treason. The following year, in 1852, the legislature amended the charter to remove the property requirements for British citizens as part of Rhode Island’s agreement to the Anglo-American Compromise.
Along with the other New England colonies, Rhode Island took part in the series of conferences that led to the creation of the Commonwealth of New England on 1 October 1866. Throughout the late-19th century, the province was a centre of the Gilded Age and provided a home to many of the British Empire’s most prominent industrialists. This period also saw growth in the textile mills and manufacturing industries, and these industries brought population growth and urbanisation to Rhode Island, however the charter continued to deny the vote to the landless poor and disproportionately underrepresented the urban centres in the legislature. In 1919, the Labour party came to power and overhauled the province’s electoral system, granting universal suffrage to men and women, and establishing an independent commission to draw equal constituencies for the legislature.
By the 21st-century, Rhode Island’s is based in services, particularly healthcare and education, and tourism. The province still maintains a prominent manufacturing industry, centred on construction and shipbuilding, with a strong agricultural sector. Politically, Rhode Island is the most distinct of New England’s provinces in terms of its party system, with three major parties. Since the adoption of the instant runoff voting system in 1974, the province has been dominated by any of the three main parties; the conservative Loyalists, the centrist Liberals, and social democratic Labour, the latter of which is the most successfully provincial affiliate of the federal PDP.
The 2016 Rhode Island legislative election was held on 20 July 2016 to elect, under the instant runoff voting system, the 75 members of the House of Assembly.
The election was held only three years after the previous one, after the unstable governing minority coalition of the broad left social democratic Labour Party and the left-wing environmentalist Greens, under Premier David Cicilline, lost a budget vote in the legislature. The election became centred on the issues of financial responsibility and budgetary management, as Rhode Island’s budget deficit was the largest in New England. In the tight three-way election, a characteristic of Rhode Island politics since the early-20th century, Labour ran on a platform of balancing the budget through tax increases for the top earners, whilst the centre-left Liberals, under new leader Nicholas Mattiello, pledged to balance the budget through a combination of spending cuts and tax increase. The opposition centre-right liberal conservative Loyalists, led by Allan Fung, ran a campaign of short-term spending and tax cuts, balanced with measures to reduce future spending.
On election day, Labour lost their plurality in the legislature, losing 11 seats and only remaining the second-largest party by a one seat lead over the Liberals, who gained 4 seats to the detriment of Labour. The Loyalists won an additional six seats, including two safe Labour seats in Greater Providence, becoming the largest party in the legislature but fell short of a majority. The right, fiscal and social conservative Heritage Party held their 9 seats, despite a fall in their share of the vote, while the Greens’ leader, Jeffrey Lemire, won his seat of Providence Nocabulabet from the Liberals in a surprise victory to bring their total of seats to five. Following the election, Fung was appointed as premier at the head of a minority government, with the tacit support of the Heritage Party.