September 24, 2010
Salutary Neglect before 1750
In the time before the 1750’s Great Britain was much too busy to worry about and handle its colonies in the Americas. This was not a bad thing though. The salutary neglect that these colonies experienced helped begin to shape America as we know it today. A few of the most notably changed aspects of the colonies were their legislature, commerce and religion.
The colonies legislature was to begin with controlled mostly by the royal governors with input from the legislative assemblies. The Legislative Assemblies were meant to be much like the British House of Commons. Through time and the lack of royal support for the governor the Legislative Assemblies gained more power within their own colonies. This meant that general decisions on what to do within the colonies were left up mainly to the landholding men. This included punishments and trials for criminals. The colonist believed in trial by jury. This lack of support from Britain also left the colonists to find a way to raise money. It was during this time that the colonist began to first tax themselves.
Aside from taxes the colonist had many other ways that they found to make money for themselves. Trade was among the most popular. The colonist had Great Britain to trade with of course, but they also traded with other countries and colonies. Many major countries had colonies in the Americas at this time and the colonist used this to their advantage. They would trade with the Spanish, French and sometimes with what few Indians there were left. They also traded amongst themselves. Another way the made money was through a very popular crop, tobacco. This on substance was wanted by practically everyone. The colonists were able to produce great quantities of tobacco through the use of slaves. For now the British do not interfere with the colonist’s ways of making money for themselves.
Religion was a major...