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Salutary Neglect Essay

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The early 15th century marks a period in global history known as the Age Of Exploration, during which there was a scramble amongst European nations to explore, settle, and control the corners of the world. It was during this period that the British began to colonize the Americas, and, by the early 1700s, just a couple hundred years later, there were an estimated 250,900 people living in the American colonies. As the colonies grew more autonomous and a number of political issues developed in Britain, the British government began neglect their control of the day-to-day function of the colonies, the result of which was that between the years of about 1690 to 1763, the British employed a policy towards the American colonies known as salutary…show more content…
While the colonists modeled the structure of their legislation after the British House of Commons, salutary neglect also provided colonists the opportunity to develop their own local assemblies from individuals within their respective communities. In this regard, the lack of British involvement in the colonies allowed the legislative assemblies to develop in a way that was better catered to the needs in the colonies, developing a group of people who became accustomed to having their opinions heard by the government.
The primary authority of the colonies was meant to be the British Privy Council, which was responsible for governing both Britain itself as well as the entirety of its vast overseas empire. The greater part of the members of the Privy council, who governed from England, had little to no knowledge of the colonies themselves, and nearly every member of the council had never so much as set foot in America. In order to compensate for the unacquaintedness of the British government with the colonies, Royal Governors were also appointed as authority figures to govern from within America itself. However, many of these Royal Governors were chosen for reasons other than their capability as leaders, and were therefore ineffectual authority figures. As a result of the insufficient political system and British salutary neglect of the colonies, the Royal Governors who had been appointed by the British had much less power than the British had likely intended, which
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