Up until 1750, Britain practiced salutary neglect toward their colonies in North America. Although a sense of mercantilism existed, Britain's lack of supervision gave the colonies a chance to govern independently and to develop separately from Britain. Britain's salutary neglect toward the colonies influenced the development of legislative assemblies, commerce, and religion by forcing the colonies to become more independent, therefore further developing characteristics of and desires to be a sovereign state.
Colonies developed individual governments separate from the rules of Britain. Through legislative assemblies, the colonists made their own decisions for the first time. The House of Burgesses was the first participatory government within the colonies. These governments enforced laws that pertaining to the group of people living there. For example, the Puritans of Massachusetts enforced laws shaped by their beliefs in the Bible. This unique legislature formed the beginnings of a Democratic government, extremely different from the monarchy in Britain. These assemblies eventually evolved into our current legislature, known as Congress. When Britain attempted to regain control of the colonies by strictly enforcing British rules, these Democratic assemblies helped unite the colonies and rebel.
Trade flourished between the colonies, Britain, and the West Indies. Tobacco, sugar, and slaves were among things traded. Britain created the Navigation Acts to create mercantilism between the colonies and Britain; Britain believed the colonies existed only to help the mother country. Although these acts limited importing and exporting in the colonies, these laws were loosely enforced during the salutary neglect period. Colonies also traded between each other, causing the beginnings of an independent, yet weak, economy.
The colonies offered religious freedom to all newcomers. To escape religious persecution in Britain, people came and established certain colonies based on their specific religion. The Puritans founded Massachusetts, and Quakers went to Pennsylvania. More religions...