opinion

Should the state remove the phrase ‘Providence Plantations’ from its official name?

Posted 7/13/09

The General Assembly recently passed bills (although the House and Senate versions must be reconciled) to put create a ballot measure that asks the voters to decide if state’s name should be contracted.

At issue is whether the name “State of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations” evokes slavery with the inclusion of “Plantations.”

Supporters of the name point out that at the time of the state’s founding, the word plantation had no connection to slavery, but was simply the term used for farming.

Supporters of changing the name point out that the word plantation is too freighted with the baggage of the nation’s subsequent history, and will become a drag on tourism and business should the name remain as it is.

Where do you stand on the issue.

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