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Rhode Island. Governor (1647-)

 Organization

Dates

  • Existence: 1647-

Historical Note

Upon the founding of the colony the original settlements formed political compacts and establish rules of governance and conduct. While such agreements were suitable early on a more organized, centralized form of government became necessary as the colony expanded. In 1644, the first colonial charter uniting the several communities of Newport, Portsmouth, Providence, & Warwick was acquired from England. In 1647, colonial government was established and a General Assembly met to produce a code of laws and adopt a colonial seal. Within the acts and orders established was the appointment of a President of the colony, the predecessor to the office of the Governor along with assistants representing each of the towns. There continued to be a President of the colony until receipt of the second Royal Charter from King Charles II in 1663. The charter called for the leadership of the state to consist of a Governor, Deputy-Governor, and ten (10) assistants. Although this charter created the position of Governor the duties and powers of the office granted under the charter were limited. During the early years of the colony, the towns had much more power than the centralized government, and therefore the position of Governor was largely symbolic. The Governor held certain powers because of his position as commander in chief, but did not have the ability to control the direction of the colony as did the General Assembly. The General Assembly’s current website explains that under the charter there existed “a nearly powerless, elected governor”. The first iteration of the Rhode Island Constitution, ratified in 1842, continued to limit the power of the Governor and give to the General Assembly many of the powers designated to the executive branch in the federal government. The Governor, although the symbolic figurehead of the state, did not exercise any legislative powers under the concept of separation of powers until 2004. In 2004, voters approved a referendum calling for an amendment of the state Constitution, finally establishing a separation of powers within the state government. This amendment took some of the immense power of the General Assembly by giving the Governor the power to appoint the heads and members of many commissions and boards, and to appoint members of the judiciary. Other major change in the Office of the Governor occurred in 1994, when the term of General Officers went from two (2) years to four (4) years.

Found in 8 Collections and/or Records:

Executive Orders, 1973

 Digital Work
Identifier: 1973 Executive Orders
Dates: 1973

Executive Orders, 1974

 Digital Work
Identifier: 1974 Executive Orders
Dates: 1974

Executive Orders, 1975

 Digital Work
Identifier: 1975 Executive Orders
Dates: 1975

Executive Orders, 1976

 Digital Work
Identifier: 1976 Executive Orders
Dates: 1976

Gina Raimondo, 2015-2021

 Sub-Series — Box: Governor's Executive Orders 2015-2021 (partial), 2021-09
Identifier: 2021-09
Scope and Contents From the Series: Record of orders issued by the governor as head of the executive branch of government having status or rule of law and not requiring action by the state legislature
Dates: 2015-2021

Governor's executive orders

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 1997-14-2015-03
Scope and Contents Record of orders issued by the governor as head of the executive branch of government having status or rule of law and not requiring action by the state legislature
Dates: 1937-2014

John A. Notte, Jr., 1961-1963

 Sub-Series
Scope and Contents From the Series: Record of orders issued by the governor as head of the executive branch of government having status or rule of law and not requiring action by the state legislature
Dates: 1961-1963

Orders issued under authority of State Emergency Defense Act of 1942, 1942-1946

 Item
Identifier: C#0479
Scope and Contents Orders issued by Governor J. Howard McGrath under authority of Chapter 1150 of the Public laws of 1942 & approved by the State Council of Defense. Includes orders, regulations & proclamations concerning sea coast lighting, air raids & blackouts, powers & functions of district warning centers, fuel emergencies, establishment of civilian defense services, etc. Orders (#1 - 22) May 4, 1942 to August 31, 1945. Proclamations (3) of Governor John O. Pastore concerning the closing of...
Dates: 1942-1946