Life in colonial Rhode Island involved working in manufacturing, ship building and the brewing and exportation of rum. A network of factors, such as class, wealth and religion, dictated one's day-to-day activities.
Lower-class colonists had to make their way as semi-skilled tradesmen. They would work as servants, sailors or hired hands, under someone with higher status. These colonists also were prohibited from taking part in the political process in any capacity.
Middle-class citizens were able to vote and hold public office, but very few did the latter. Most of these individuals were professionals or store owners who employed the lower class.
The richest citizens of colonial Rhode Island held public office and managed the colony's governmental workings.