Constitution of Rhode Island

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The Constitution of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is a document describing the structure and function of the government of the U.S. State of Rhode Island.


The constitution was ratified in November 1842 after the Dorr Rebellion, and the constitution became effective in May 1843. Prior to this time, the state was governed by the original royal charter granted in 1663 even after American independence in 1776.[1] Much of the text of the 1663 charter language was adopted in the 1843 version.

In 1984, Rhode Island voters approved a referendum proposal to call a new Constitutional Convention, which was elected in November 1985 and convened in January 1986.[2] On January 20, 1987, "the state's first new constitution in 144 years was officially entered into the state Archives".[3]


  1. ^ Rhode Island 1663 charter (accessed August 20, 2010)
  2. ^ 1986 Providence Journal-Bulletin Rhode Island Almanac, pages 142–143
  3. ^ 1997 Providence Journal-Bulletin Rhode Island Almanac, page 24

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