Sydney V. James


This article explores the diversity of thought that Rhode Island experienced specifically during the colonial period, in relation to New England at large. Rhode Island never was more obviously the place where people "thought otherwise" than in the years before the Revolution. The colony defied the norms of Puritan Massachusetts, England, and Europe at large. Furthermore, the citizens of Rhode Island thought otherwise from each other in many ways. Yet in most respects the otherness was defined by the geographical borders. In character the colony contrasted with the rest of New England, yet remained an integral part of the region.