Salutary Neglect - Detailed Outline for a Paper - Answer to a 1995 FRQ (Free Response Question) for a AP US History class.

Essay by rachelgirlwonderHigh School, 11th gradeA+, May 2004

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Question: "For the period before 1750, analyze the ways in which Britain's policy of salutary neglect influenced the development of American society as illustrated in the following: Legislative Assemblies; Commerce; Religion."


« Although the main purpose of the British colonies established in the New World was to support the mother country and help it to flourish, many of the colonies were unhappy with their situation under Britain.

« Certainly laws imposed by the mother country on the colony were intended to be for the good and prosper of both.

« However, Britain also didn't enforce these laws and maintained an unofficial policy, or traditional habit, of salutary neglect.

M Thus, in the period before 1750, Britain's unofficial policy of salutary neglect influenced the development of American society in legislative assemblies, commerce, and religion.


First : Influence on Legislative Assemblies

M The unofficial policy of British salutary neglect towards the colonies, including the "Intolerable Acts" and others, are partial cause for a development of American legislative assemblies.

« Colonial assemblies demanded the right to levy taxes, make appropriations, approve appointments, and pass laws for their respective colonies.

« Colonial assemblies found ways of circumventing the English control over laws by repassing laws in a slightly altered form.

« The Assemblies came to see them selves as miniature parliaments, sovereign over their colony.

« American politicians question the right of Parliament to tax legislate for America in reaction to a British call for a return to salutary neglect and home rule.

« The Indians/Mutiny Acts impose permanent military occupation - Americans continue to encroach on Indian land and resent the British domination of trade with the Indians.

« The Sugar Act seeks to undermine colonial assemblies legal powers/vice-admiral courts/writs of assistance - American 'nobility' fears loss of power and seeks...