Britans Policy of Salutary Neglect

Topics: United States, British Empire, Legislature Pages: 3 (355 words) Published: October 11, 2006

America was Britain's colony and obviously Britain had control of its colonies

affairs. But Britain did not enforce its power until the colonies began to become stronger.

Britain's policy of salutary neglect prior to 1750 highly influenced the development of

society in America.

The American colonies were not intended to have legislative bodies since

parliament was the legislative body for the entire British Empire. But due to the great

distances between Britain and its colonies, immediate law decisions were not possible.

Hence the colonies developed legislatures for day to day procedures, such as the Virginia

House of Burgess that became the symbol of representative governments. This is why

when the British imposed heavy laws and taxes the colonist cried out "no taxation

without representation". The colonies learned they could govern themselves without

British interference developed the idea of representative government in society.

Until 1763 the various Navigation Laws, involving commerce, imposed no burden

on the colonies, and were loosely enforced. They had open trade with Spain. They also

had the triangular trade going between the Caribbean sugar island, with the Spanish and

Portuguese and then to London then back to America to sell industrial goods for a heavy

profit. The laws were not enforced because the British mercantilist class gained profit as

well. This allowed the colonies to develop trade routes and agreements that would later

influence them.

The Anglican religion was not enforced in the colonies whatsoever prior to

1750. Most of the British colonies were settled for purposes of religious freedom. The

Puritans who were reformist, who actually wanted to purify the Anglican Church, were

the major denomination in New England. Quakers were prominent in Pennsylvania and

the Catholics in Maryland .The Anglican Church...
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